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Knoxville Bankruptcy Law Blog

3 most expensive medical procedures

It is no secret that the health care system in the United States places a heavy financial burden on patients. Whether you are going in for a general wellness check or preparing for a major surgery, you can anticipate a hefty bill to pay, and this is often true even when you have insurance. The expenses often lead people to accumulate debt, and this debt can be financially crippling. There are debt relief options available for individuals who are struggling to pay medical expenses.

The following are three of the most expensive medical procedures available that will likely result in considerable medical debt.

Choosing a method to reduce or eliminate credit card debt

Many individuals in Tennessee have experienced financial hardships after falling behind on credit card accounts. Those who have similar accounts in collections may consider pursuing debt forgiveness through consolidation. However, although an offer to consolidate may appear appealing, there could be consequences to using similar methods to reduce or eliminate credit card debt.

Falling past due on a credit account can be a daunting experience. Although one may be able to avoid a similar situation by paying the minimum amount due each month, those who are struggling just to get by may find it difficult to make the minimum payment. Once an account falls past due, creditors may seek to sell the account to a collection agency, which could bring about constant phone calls and letters seeking payment.

Debt relief: Many worry they will remain in debt throughout life

The trials of dealing with debt are an unfortunate reality for many individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere. Studies suggest that more than 10 percent of those surveyed said they would likely remain in debt throughout the remainder of life. However, with some studies indicating that the actual number of Americans that are dealing with substantial financial concerns is significantly higher, many may be in need of debt relief.

Results from another recent study indicated that more than 70 percent of consumers carry some level of debt until the day they pass on. These studies suggest that the average amount of debt these individuals carry comes in at just over $60,000. Although a significant portion of these debts is contributed to mortgages, these studies indicated that many individuals also carried substantial amounts in credit card and auto loan debts.

Debt relief: Even good debts may lead to dire financial hardships

With an economy that is thriving, many families in Tennessee and elsewhere may feel less apprehensive about taking on new debts. However, there may be some confusion about which types of debt are considered positive and which types may provide little monetary return. With high interest rates that can cause account balances to constantly rise, credit cards are one example of financial obligations that could leave a person in search of debt relief.

Debts that are considered good consist of any financial obligation that may provide a person with some form of return, such as a home or student loan. With home loans, there is the potential that a property may increase in value, and student loans may increase a person's ability to earn income substantially. However, results from a recent survey suggested that nearly 20 percent of Americans considered mortgages as bad debts, and nearly double that amount felt the same about student loans.

Medical debt driving retired seniors to bankruptcy

Getting sick, suffering an injury or simply getting older -- all of these are unavoidable aspects of being human. With the high cost of health care, medical debt may be an unavoidable part of being human, too. This particular economic strain can be devastating no matter what stage of life a person is in, but seems to be weighing particularly heavily on Tennessee's elderly population. 

Since 1991, the bankruptcy rate for people over the age of 65 has tripled. As the cost of seeking medical treatment soars, seniors often pull from their retirement savings to pay back debts or to get harassing creditors off their backs. Even if they do manage to pay down what they owe, they often have nothing left to live on. As one expert put it, seniors are outliving their retirement. 

Credit card debt: Average interest rates hit all-time high

For many individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere, credit cards may seem like an essential part of life, especially for those living a paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. However, with constant increases to interests rates, using similar accounts to fund purchases may come with inherent risks. Whether a card is used for everyday needs, or to cover the costs of medical care, carrying a high balance on a credit account could lead to extensive struggles with credit card debt.

Recent reports suggest that with an economy that is thriving, interest rates of credit card accounts are continually on the rise. According to these reports, the average interest rate on similar accounts recently hit an all-time high, coming in at just under 17 percent. These rates were increased by nearly 0.56 percent in the past six months alone, and the changes to interest rates could reportedly rise two more times by the end of the year.

3 mistakes people make when paying off credit card debt

Millions of Americans suffer from immense credit card debt. In some cases, the only relief is to file for bankruptcy. While numerous outlets have advice on how to pay off debt, everyone's situation is different. A course of action that works for one person may not be best for another. 

You need to have a solid game plan in mind, so you can pay off the debt as quickly as possible while paying as little interest as you can. Avoid these mistakes on your journey to getting free of debt. 

Seeking advice in pursuing debt relief in Tennessee

With consumer debts across the nation reaching an all-time high, many individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere may be experiencing the hardships of dealing with overwhelming financial responsibilities. Similar concerns can place a heavy burden on a person and leave him or her uncertain about how to regain financial stability. Those who experience dire financial struggles may wish to know more about their options and how to choose a path to pursue debt relief.

Whether in the form of credit card or medical bills, or mortgages or student loans, significant amounts of debt can weigh heavily on a person. When dealing with similar issues, a person's goal may be to form a plan to pay back debts, and experts suggest that the first step in addressing financial concerns is to identify the source of the problem. While for some, this might be a simple task, those who experience multiple forms of debt may find it challenging.

Credit card debt: How a balance could affect one's credit score

Many individuals in Tennessee and elsewhere place a great deal of importance on building and maintaining a positive credit score. Some may employ a variety of methods when attempting to cultivate a healthy financial standing. However, one prevalent myth concerning the pursuit of a higher credit report could be leading some astray, and may instead be leading them toward issues with credit card debt.

Recent studies suggest that just over 20 percent of credit card users who took part in a recent survey admitted that they were attempting to build up their scores by carrying a constant balance on their credit cards. Payment history can play a part in determining one's credit, and making payments on time each month could help a person build a positive score. However, experts suggest that merely carrying a balance does little to affect one's score, and carrying a balance that approaches one's credit limit could actually hurt his or her credit.

Proposed changes concerning student loans in Chapter 7 bankruptcy

With the ever-increasing costs associated with college tuition, the price of pursuing a higher education has left many facing prolonged periods of monetary struggle. When coupled with other forms of debt, such as credit card and medical bills, high amounts of student loan debt could leave a person in Tennessee living a lesser quality of life. While discharging student loans in Chapter 7 bankruptcy could prove challenging at times, proposed changes to bankruptcy laws could provide many students with some much-needed relief if they are passed into law.

Recent studies indicate that more than 40 million individuals that carry student loan debt, and the amount of outstanding debts in this area sit at around $1.4 trillion. Under current law, discharging similar debts in bankruptcy can be a challenging task, as a person must be able to prove that continuing to owe student loans would cause undue hardships. However, legislators have proposed changes to how undue hardships are determined.

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