3 Ways to Pay Medical Bills Without Spiraling into Debt

An illustration of medical bills.

Key takeaways

  • Owing on medical bills is extremely common. There are many methods for dealing with it that you might consider.

  • Interest-free payment arrangements could help make payments more affordable.

  • Most hospitals and medical groups have financial aid programs that could be worth applying for.

  • You may be able to access the equity in your home to help pay your medical bills (and debt).

There are few things more shocking than the numbers on the bills as they start rolling in after a major medical event. They can be vision-blurring numbers and can feel overwhelming.

If you're experiencing this now, you are one of many who have at some point wondered if they need help in paying medical bills.

Nearly half of all Americans owe at least some medical expenses.

There are several methods and options for taking control of medical bills, from payment plans to financial aid to leveraging the value of your home.

We've compiled some information and solutions that can help you figure out how to pay medical bills, including how to unlock a portion of your home's future equity in the form of interest-free cash funds from an Unlock Technologies home equity agreement.

Take a deep breath, then take stock of your medical debt

The first thing to do in this situation is to find out exactly what you owe and to whom. Understand that “medical debt” is defined as money you owe directly to medical providers (doctors, labs, hospitals, physical therapists, etc.). Once you put a medical bill on a credit card, it becomes “credit card debt,” and you lose the ability to deal directly with providers to pay.

This means gathering your bills into one pile and sorting them out. This step of organization can be more therapeutic than it sounds: visually representing the problem to yourself can help you believe in its manageability.

Once you've grasped the scope of what you owe, consider which of them you could pay off quickly without accruing any interest or late fees. Taking out these small targets will also remind you that you're in control of the situation.

If some of your bills have already gone to collections, it may be possible to negotiate a settlement with the collection agency.

For larger bills that aren't yet in collections, you could deal with them in one of the following ways:

1. Make payment arrangements

Medical debt is a difficult burden for most debtors who accrue these costs unexpectedly. Of course, this means it's challenging to pay off, but the other side of this coin, it’s also difficult to collect.

You may be able to use this fact to your advantage when paying down medical debt.

Examples of Medical Debt

A medical provider will get more money if they don't have to share their profit with a debt collector, so they are often very willing to set up payment plans with patients.

Contacting these providers as soon as possible may help avoid some costly run-ins with debt collectors down the road.

2. Apply for financial aid

Most hospitals and medical groups have financial aid programs for patients who can't afford their medical bills. These are free to apply for, and your income and insurance status often determine how much you must pay every month.

You can also try contacting your state's social services agency to see if there are any healthcare programs in your area you may qualify for.

There is usually no downside to applying for these programs. The worst case is that you aren't approved, and nothing has changed. In the best case, you may be lifting a huge burden off your shoulders.

3. Unlock your home's future value today

Another way to obtain funds to pay off medical debt is through a home equity agreement (HEA).

Screenshot of unlock.com, explaining how a home equity agreement works.

Why an HEA is distinct from other home equity products

The Unlock Technologies product is simple: we offer you cash now for a percentage of your home's future value.

You keep control

With the Unlock Technologies home equity agreement you’ll find an easier process than with traditional financial loans.

If you're approved, the more equity you're willing to sell us, the more cash in your hand today. Get a free estimate in seconds using our calculator.

During the term of the HEA, you remain in full control of your home. You will still be responsible for your regular mortgage payments, any HOA fees, property taxes and any upkeep on the home.

Ends on your schedule

The HEA agreement ends once you've bought back the equity Unlock Technologies purchased. You can do this at any time during the term, which is 10 years. An HEA is not a loan, so there are never any monthly payments or interest.

You're at the wheel. We can help you navigate.

Medical bills flooding in can compound your stress after an unexpected medical event.

The best way to deal with these burdens is to face them head on. Whether you choose to take care of your debt through negotiation, helpful programs in your area, or an HEA, the most important thing is to take control.

We hope this guide empowers you to take care of those medical expenses while focusing on your recovery.

Get started with our free estimate and unlock your home's equity today.

The blog articles published by Unlock Technologies are available for informational purposes only and not considered legal or financial advice on any subject matter. The blogs should not be used as a substitute for legal or financial advice from a licensed attorney or finance professional. Links in our blogs to third-party websites are provided as a convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement of any products, services, or opinions of the corporation, organization, or individual. Unlock Technologies bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links.