Consolidating your debts enables you to settle your medical loan in easy installment payments, some credit agencies even include credit card, auto loan or housing mortgage, if you have any, under this scheme. It must be said though that not everyone is eligible for debt consolidation. First, you are not in any way bankrupt and you still have some steady income left, second you are not qualified for the federal or state governments' Medicaid program, and third, you are not receiving any help from religious groups or any non-profit organizations.
If you are looking for a quick-fix solution for your medical loan, then debt consolidation is definitely not for you. Consolidating your debts work because the service provider is willing to bring down the scheduled payments to the minimum by extending the period for much longer. That's the only drawback. Of course, you go choose consolidation in the hope that the tide will turn around for you. Your situation may be bad now, what with the slowdown in the economy and high unemployment rate, but it wouldn't always be like this 10-20 years down the line. If you have extra money, you can settle the consolidated debts anytime.
There are two kinds of debt consolidation for medical bills:
Unsecured loan - Essentially, you avail of the another loan to pay your medical bills. The amount to be released by the crediting agency will depend on your credit history, household income, or extra finances. You can then use that amount to settle your medical loan. The screening process is very strict but only because of the distinct advantages. In case you default, for example, it will not impact on your credit score since you are only answerable to your service provider.
Debt management - The company that you hire will assign a loan manager who will be responsible in contacting your hospital, doctor or insurance company to negotiate for discounts on medical loan or offer you a more affordable payment term. Unlike unsecured loan, under this scheme you lay your credit score on the line although some prefer debt management to the former because there's no money involved between the consolidation company and the one who hired its services. The company, meanwhile, earns either a fixed amount or a percentage of the money saved as a result of the negotiation.
If you still have some assets left that you can sell or if you have a rich relative who can lend you money to pay off your medical loan, better hold on debt consolidation for a while.
When medical loan proves to be much of a burden, however, why not consider Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy to get some reprieve? Don't think of it as running away from your responsibility. Times are hard so you need some help in getting back on your feet. Bankruptcy has its advantages and disadvantages so you better talk to a bankruptcy attorney because he should be able to explain to you what to expect when you seek legal protection from your creditors.
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