Credit Card Debt Causes People to Forgo Medical Care

May 21, 2013
CreditCards.com 
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New research out of the University of Michigan suggests that credit card debt prevents ill borrowers from seeking treatment. More than 64 percent of study participants who were sick but had not visited a healthcare provider because of the cost were buried under credit card debt, and almost 58 percent of sick people who declined to seek medical attention were already burdened with medical bills. "We found that having credit card debt or medical debt was associated with forgoing medical care, as opposed to having student loans, housing loans or car loans," reports study co-author Lucie Kalousova, PhD. "The odds of forgone medical care for a person with credit card debt were 1.89 times those of the odds of a person without credit card debt, and the likelihood of forgoing care increased with the magnitude of the credit card debt." The researchers speculate that credit card debt and medical debt, often accumulated during times of distress and bearing high interest rates, are considered "bad" while the other forms of debt are viewed as "good" because they carry lower rates, are more socially accepted, and generally improve living standards.
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