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Options When You Must Pay for Medical Care

Obtaining quality medical care sometimes comes with a high price that you must pay. Whether for an elective procedure such as cosmetic, bariatric or laser eye surgery, or medically necessary surgery that is out-of-network or exceeds your coverage limit, you may face thousands of dollars of medical debt. Although the thought of coming up with a pile of cash to pay off medical bills may seem daunting, you have choices when it comes to financing medical debt. There’s no need for you to postpone or refuse important medical care because of high costs. Here are a few financing options to consider: Medical Loan   A medical loan is a personal loan you apply toward healthcare expenses. You can consolidate your existing medical debt or to cover an emergency or planned procedure or pay for charges your insurance doesn’t cover. Here are key factors to consider in shopping for a medical…

Questions to Ask When Financing a New Car

If you’re like most Americans, you don’t have $36,270 (the average new car price) saved up and burning a hole in your pocket. However much or little you have saved toward the purchase price, you’ll need to finance the rest. Once you reach a deal, it’s time to talk financing. Knowing what to ask will determine how much or how little will be added to that purchase price. Where Will You Get Your Financing: Bank or Dealer? There are pros and cons to either option, and lots of exceptions. You can’t beat dealer financing for convenience. But sometimes a bank or credit union can beat a dealer’s interest rate, especially if you’re an existing customer. Check your bank’s auto loan rates before you visit the dealer. How Much Will You Put Down? This is another question to ask yourself before you start car shopping. Dealers prey on the unprepared. Put…

Credit Cards: Fantastic Plastic or Financial Folly?

Credit cards. Are they good? Or are they evil? Are they an effective way to track and manage your spending? Or are they a road to a mountain of unmanageable debt? Throw those questions into a roomful of armchair money managers and you’ll have the makings of a lively discussion. The truth, as with so many things, rests somewhere in the middle. There are times when using a credit card is a great idea and there are times when you should probably keep the cards in your wallet and wait until you can pay cash. And actually, a credit card may not be right for you at all; perhaps your preferred plastic should be a debit card. There is only one situation in which you should always avoid using credit cards—if you aren’t in a position to pay your entire credit card balance each month. Carrying a balance on your…

Seven Deadly Debts

While the very act of borrowing money can be a risky business in and of itself, not all debt is created equal. Certain credit decisions – which we call debt traps – are more likely to lead to a downward spiral of indebtedness than others. The good news is that most borrowing mistakes are preventable, and having an understanding of them will help you get closer to living debt-free. Here are seven of the most common debt traps people fall into – and how to avoid them. Overspending on a New Home Most financial advisers suggest spending less than 30 percent of your gross income on housing expenses. When buying a new home, putting 20 percent down is a good way to avoid paying private mortgage insurance (PMI). And don’t forget to factor in closing fees, real estate taxes, homeowners insurance, and the cost of decorating and remodeling. If you…

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