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Overwhelming debt from credit cards prevents medical treatment

Credit cards will not cause illness, but they could prevent a person from obtaining needed medical care. Credit card debt could slow a person's recovery from an illness or even prevent the person from recovering at all. A recently released study suggests that overwhelming debt from credit cards may play a significant role in keeping consumers in Texas and elsewhere from obtaining needed medical treatment.

The study, which was conducted by a group of sociologists, discovered that consumers who are sick and fail to seek medical treatment due to cost concerns are more likely to owe credit card debt rather than other type of debt. Over 64 percent of those responding to the survey failed to see a medical professional due to costs also admitted to owing money on credit card debt. Also, almost 58 percent of participants in the survey admitted they were already facing debt related to medical problems.

The sociologists who conducted the study concluded that having debt on credit card accounts as well as debt related to medical expenses are associated with not obtaining needed medical care. These types of debts played a more significant role in consumers failing to obtain medical treatment than other types of debts, such as education loans, mortgages or vehicle loans. Even after the researchers took into consideration other assets in the person's household as well as income, medical and credit card debt continued to play a significant role in forgoing medical treatment.

With knowledge of the new research data, consumers in Texas may want to do something to rid themselves of credit card debt before they find themselves in a medical emergency. There are many options to free oneself from overwhelming debt owed to credit card companies. However, one common option is to file a personal bankruptcy which has the ability to potentially discharge unsecured debts, such as those owed on credit card accounts.

Source: Fox Business, "Credit Card Debt Causes People to Forgo Medical Care," Martin Merzer, May 21, 2013

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