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It can be a good way to control those bills.

Key points

  • Medical debt is forcing Americans to make drastic changes in the way they spend and save.
  • If you’re juggling medical bills, it’s worth considering consolidating that debt with a personal loan.

Health care it can be costly, even if you have health insurance. Between the costs of premiums, copays, deductibles, and non-covered services, it’s pretty easy to fall into medical debt if you get sick or injured out of the blue.

These days, medical debt forces people to make difficult decisions. In a recent poll According to Discover, medical debt has forced 32% of Americans to put a pause on their retirement savings, and forced 36% to put off adding money to their emergency funds. And it also forced 27% of Americans to stop paying other bills.

If you have medical debt, you may find it difficult to keep up with your various payments. And in that sense, a personal loan could help.

The advantage of obtaining a personal loan

A personal loan allows you to borrow a sum of money for any reason. You can take out a personal loan and use the funds to renovate your home, repair your car, or consolidate your credit card balances. Similarly, you can use a personal loan to consolidate your medical bills and make them easier to pay.

Let’s say you’re currently paying seven different health care bills, each with its own due date. Juggling those payments and remembering when bills are due can be a challenge, especially when you have other things in life to focus on. The advantage of obtaining a personal loan is that you will have to make a payment each month. And because personal loans come with fixed interest rates, your payments will be predictable.

Meanwhile, personal loans tend to carry competitive interest rates. Of course, these days, consumer lending rates are up across the board due to recent actions by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. But if you have a strong credit score, you can get a competitive interest rate on a personal loan, which makes your payments reasonably affordable.

Don’t let medical debt change your life

You may need to put certain goals on hold, like saving for a down payment on a house, while you work to pay off your medical debt. But one thing you don’t want to do is fall behind on that debt, as that could hurt your credit score and lead to a world of trouble.

If you take out a personal loan and use it to pay your medical bills, you’ll only have a single monthly payment left to fit your budget. And that could help relieve stress at a time when you’re also trying to recover from whatever injury or illness caused you to rack up medical debt in the first place.

That said, before you take out a personal loan to pay off your medical debt, contact your providers and see if it’s possible to negotiate that debt down. Some may be willing to work with you. But once you have what you think are your final numbers, it’s worth seeing if a personal loan makes your health care debt easier to manage.

The best personal loans from The Ascent for 2022

Our team of independent experts pored over the fine print to find select personal loans that offer competitive rates and low fees. Start by checking out The Ascent’s best personal loans for 2022.