CareCredit is a medical financing service operated by the folks at GE Capital. For almost all of its 4 million customers, CareCredit is a deferred interest loan, meaning cardholders who don’t pay off their balances in full by the end of the initial promotional period are hit with all of the interest that had been accruing during those months. That would be fine (and is quite common in retail credit cards), if the company hadn’t misled consumers into thinking CareCredit was an entirely interest-free product. [More]
Pets provide us with much-needed companionship, cuddles, and photos to illustrate Consumerist posts with. But they’re not cheap to have around. Food, toys, litter, collars, leashes, routine vet care…those are all of the things you consider and budget for when you start cruising Petfinder to look for a new buddy. Only there are larger expenses that are large, sudden, and impossible to plan for. After one illness, having a pet could cost as much as a decent used car. That’s what happened to Carolyn Kylstra, whose cat Hooligan (great name) has cost her $5,550 over three years. That’s an average of $150/month…money that could go far in an otherwise frugal lifestyle.
If you were to subtract the cost of health care expenses from family incomes, an additional 10 million more Americans would be considered in poverty by official measures, the U.S. Census Bureau said this week in a new report.
Just because someone else helps you with paying an expense doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t legally itemize that expense on your 1040 come tax time.
Kiplinger has advice on on how to maximize your medical expense deductions at tax time. You can only deduct out-of-pocket expenses that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income, so you should try to bundle medical procedures in the same year if possible.
Staying in a hospital can feel like the song in Les Miserables where they charge you if the window sash is down, and charge you if it’s up. Luckily, FiveCentNickle’s got a good writeup on avoiding getting nicked and dimed on your medical expenses.