Consumer alert: watch out for medical credit cards


Even if you're tight on money and in pain, be wary of medical credit cards and the interest payments that can come with them.

Targeted at patients without insurance, medical credit cards can help you get otherwise unaffordable care. But often times they come with expensive fine print that can leave you worse off than the original medical bill. 

The credit cards are offered through out the country. The attorney general in New York has received hundreds of complaints from consumers. And in Minnesota, Attorney General Lori Swanson says that, "because it's the clinic signing people up they don't always disclose these hidden terms and tripwires. You don't necessarily expect your doctor or your clinic to be basically peddling a credit card."

The federal government has brought suit against one provider of medical credit cards, Care Credit, which settled for $34 million. 

Consumers offered a medical credit card should take their time to shop around and think on the decision. As with any credit card, make sure you can pay the bills on time before you sign up.