Paying Medical Bills
Debt Collections
Credit Scores
Utility Bills
True or False. Legally, medical bills cannot be sent to collections if you fail to pay them because you cannot afford them.
False - Medical bills can and will be sent to collections!
True or False - Debt Collectors are allowed to call you any time of day.
False - Debt collectors are not allowed to call you before 8:00am or after 9:00pm
True or False - Apartment Leasing Offices usually check your credit score for eligibility to lease a unit.
False - Apartment Leasing Office typically verify that your income meets their standards (i.e. that your income is at least 3 times the monthly rent) and your renter's history.
Which is generally more expensive, Heat or A/C?
Heat is generally more expensive
True or False. If you pay more than the minimum amount on a loan every month, it will shorten the life of the loan, and therefore how much you pay.
True or False - You can ask a hospital to put your bill on hold from collections.
True - You can ask a hospital to put your bill on hold from collections and your account status updated to pending until you are able to look through your itemized bill and set up a payment plan.
True or False - You can get debt collectors to stop calling you by sending them a letter.
True - A debt collector must cease contact with you if you send a letter requesting that the debt collector do so. If you believe that you do not owe the money, may may state this in your letter. But beware that a legitimate debt will not go away simply because the collection calls stop.
Credit scores help predict how creditworthy you are. In other words, how likely it is that you will repay a loan and make the payments when they are due. Points are awarded for numerous credit experiences. Which of the following does NOT help build credit? a) Having several credit cards b) Paying all of your bills on time c) Having several inquiries on your credit report (how many times it has been checked by lenders) d) Using your credit card to the limit e) All except A f) None of the above g) Both c & d
e) All except A
True or False - When using the Budget Billing system, you may end up having a high bill at the end of the year or receiving a refund.
True - Typically, companies review a customer's bill every 4 months to see if the usage is higher or lower than the set amount. If it increases or decreases by at least $3 during one of these reviews, the utility will get adjusted to keep the customer's payments evened out. However, if the amount is still more or less than you paid at the end of the year, it will affect your last bill.
True or False. Debt collectors do not have the right to garnish your bank account or wages.
False - Debt collectors CAN sue you. If they win, the judgement will state that the collector can garnish your bank account money or wages in the amount that you owe.
Surprisingly, medical bills DO have errors. What percentage of medical bills have errors? a) 15-20% b) 5-10% c) 50-80% d) 30-45%
c) Anywhere from 50-80% of medical bills have errors. A recent analysis found that 49% of Medicare claims had errors. Medical billing advocates will tell you 80% of the claims they analyze have errors.
True or False - You can get a discount for paying your bill in full.
True - Often, you can negotiate and get a discount for paying your outstanding bill in full. -Likewise, debt collectors may reduce your bill due to financial hardship (depending on the type of bill). Why would they do that? Balance reduction offers are sometimes the best opportunity they have to get paid. - If you do not have the means to pay your balance in full, you can ask to be set up on an interest-free payment plan
Late payments negatively affect your credit score. How long will one late payment affect your credit score? a) 7 years b) 4 years c) 1 year d) 6 months
a) 7 years
What is a typical monthly bill for internet? a) $40 b) $30 c) $20
a) $40 **Based on Charter's rates, which are typically the lowest**
How long does a bankruptcy claim stay on your Credit Record? a) 1 year b) 5 years c) 10 years d 15 years
c) 10 years
True or False - If you choose to set up a payment plan with the hospital instead of paying a bill in full, the hospital will charge you interest.
False - Medical bills do not accumulate interest if you are on a payment plan through the hospital.
True or False - A bill in debt collections accumulates interest.
False - A debt collector may not demand more money from you than you actually owe
If you have a credit card with a 22.8% APR and you spend $50 on it, how much will you end up paying if you take 2 years to pay it off? a) $62 b) $324 c) $245 d) $153
b) $324 Equation to calculate interest is Principle x Rate x Time.........then add the original amount 50 x .228 x 24 months = 273.6 + 50 = $323.60
What is a typical monthly bill for cable TV? a) $35 b) $45 c) $50 d) $60
d) $60 **Based on Charter's rates which are typically the lowest**
Which of the following can be garnished if you fail to pay your debt with a collections company? a) Social Security Benefits b) Supplemental Security Benefits (SSI) c) Veteran's Benefits d) Civil Service and Federal Retirement and Disability benefits e) All of the above f) None of the above
f) None of the above - all of are typically exempt from garnishment. However, federal benefits MAY be garnished under certain circumstances, including to pay delinquent taxes, alimony, child support, or student loans.
What can you do if you cannot afford to pay your medical bill? a) Apply for financial assistance from the hospital b) Negotiate your bill c) Legally you don't have to pay it because it is for medical services d) Set up a payment plan e) Both b & d are correct f) All except for a g) All except for c
g) All except for c - If you cannot afford your medical bill, you can apply for financial assistance from the hospital, government, or charity organizations; negotiate the rate of your services; or set up a payment plan with a designated amount to pay monthly.
What two things happen if you fail to pay a legitimate bill that is in collections?
- It will negatively affect your credit score - The collections company will most likely sue you
Credit Scores range from 300-850. What is typically considered to be "good" credit?
720-750 is typically considered "good" credit. 300-580 = Very poor 580-640 = Poor 640-720 = Fair 720-750 = Good 750-850 = Excellent
Utilities are what type of expense? (Fixed or Variable)
Fixed, meaning they are typically around the same amount each month, and they are a regularly occurring expense.
True or False. Filing for bankruptcy removes all of your debt.
False - Taxes, child support, alimony, and student loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
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