Those of us who have medical debt may see student debt relief through jealous eyes. There are some experts who believe that medical debt could be next.
Student debt relief
While recently, there have been some modifications to the student debt forgiveness program, the promise is to forgive up to $20,000. This is expected to eliminate student loan debt for about 20 million Americans. And, for many more, it will take a huge chunk of their debt away, which hopefully will make repayment much easier and cheaper.
Medical debt is also a national issue
Medical and student debt have startling similarities. Like student debt, medical debt affects a large percentage of Americans. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there is about $200 billion in outstanding medical debt in the United States with at least 23 million of us having at least $250 outstanding. And, both debt classifications are rife with unfair practices as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found nearly half of that medical debt is inaccurately reported on our credit reports.
Medical and student debt can be a one-two punch that can cause a debt collapse for those in Williamsville, New York. Your debts make day-to-day life unaffordable. This, in turn, can cause debtors to face lawsuits, make finding an apartment much harder or lose their homes. This is why many experts call the medical debt crisis a parallel crisis.
The choice between student debt and no student debt is often framed as destitution versus a chance at a leg up. Medical debt is entirely unavoidable. The choice with taking on medical debt is a choice between life and debt. It can feel like financial health versus actual health, which is another reason why some experts believe medical debt may be the next forgiveness policy.
We have all heard of the racial inequalities associated with student debt, and that same inequality pervades medical debt as well. Just as African American graduates are more likely to graduate with debt than their white counterparts, medical debt is much more pervasive among African Americans as well.
Unfortunately, medical debt forgiveness, at this point, is just a dream. And, until it comes, if it comes, for now, the only real relief we have is Williamsville, New York, bankruptcy. Luckily, unlike student debt, medical debt forgiveness through bankruptcy can be straightforward.