Does this make any sense: pay off hosp w/ CC then transfer to 0%?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Does this make any sense: pay off hosp w/ CC then transfer to 0%?
6
Thu, 09-20-2012 - 8:00pm

I have a balance owed to the hosp. for $4587.87.  I hate this debt and want it to go away.  Some of the charges are from over 2 years ago when my son was admitted for one week.  Emotionally, I hate this bill.  The hosp requires a min. payment of $200/month.  They will not lower it, and in fact it used to be $100/month but they called and told me they needed more per month because my balance was too high.  Anyway, I have a Visa card with nothing on it, and a Discover card with nothing on it.  My Discover card has a 0% interest for 12 months balance transfer offer.  Does it make any sense to pay the hospital off with the Visa, then transfer it to the Discover?  It would lower the monthly minimum payment, but obviously I would still need to pay it off or transfer it again after a year.  And I'd have to pay a 3% transfer fee.  I am really tempted to do this, so please tell me why it is a stupid move.  I am a master at transferring balances, but a loser at paying balances off.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
I would check with your tax preparer as the entire amount might put you over the medical minimum threshold to be able to deduct medical expenses from your taxes, which then would make sense to make the switch and possibly pay off with the credit card - ONLY if you earmark that tax refund to pay off the credit card!!
Otherwise, get tough and keep paying the $200, then after a few months, You might try to call them and ask them to lower to $150 and I bet they might help you. You are not paying interest on the medical debt, right?
Issue is to try to pay off the debts, all of them, cheapest way you can.

What if you made it a goal to pay the $200 each month? Use ebay sales, consignment income and other income you can get outside of regular pay and make it kind of a game. It could help to inspire you into paying it off!

Good luck
#Marie
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006

You are right to be cautious here.  Some people can do the math and have the self-discipline to follow through.  Some of us are not so good at it.

My first answer, based on advice given to me, was to keep it as it is.  I also hate, hate, dragging out medical bills.  I am currently paying 6 providers each a small amount every month.  But like another poster already said - they are not charging interest.  The only time I did any such things was when the surgery center transferred the balance to one of those high interest loans.  Great they offer that, but expensive.  But it was only $500, so I did use the card to get rid of that one. All the others though, still paying on. 

I personally have found that when something like that means doing this, and that, and this, and that, and the result depends on a, b and c happening just a certain way, I end up shooting myself in the foot.  It is one thing to screw up with a few dollars, different when you are talking thousands. 

So, although I have to admit I am considering putting one small medical bill on my card just to be done with it, it is only $112. 

Just my two cents. 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Thanks all for your input. I knew it was a bad idea, I just had to hear it from others. I am not getting charged interest, and I have never been late on a payment. I just hate the bill. I will just keep on keeping on for now. The depressing thing is that I know we will add to the balance next year when our deductible starts over. I feel like we will always owe the hospital.....forever.....because of the nature of my son's health conditions. Blah.
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
I feel your pain. My new insurance schedule and $1,000 deductible is killing me.

I have just came to the conclusion that medical expenses will just need to be a larger amount in my budget. Well, that would be if I had one. :smileyhappy:

And with only me and my DD on the policy, the family maximum is useless.

For me it is the dermatoligist. I don't know if I will ever have a zero balance with them. Surgery again the first week of October. Still paying for the biopsies 6 months ago. Ugh!

Anywho, you are not alone. It is what it is and I just keep making small payments to everyone and trying not to use my CC.
Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
p.s. Another reason I don't use the card is just what you said. If chances are high you will always owe the hospital something, you will then have a CC payment AND monthly payments to the hospital again.

Just one idea: put $200 a month in your budget for the hospital. Just accept it. And focus on the credit cards that are charging you interest.

Maybe another way to look at it.
Serenity