Do you or someone in your family have a current medical need? Perhaps, your finances were stable until you or a loved one experienced adverse health symptoms. Repeated medical visits or surgery can throw finances out of whack, even if you have health care insurance.

Many California residents are using online venues to raise funds when they can’t afford medical bills. Crowdfunding is gaining in popularity. One of the most common websites people use to appeal to the generosity of others is GoFundMe. It’s definitely a controversial topic.

How does it work?

If you’re faced with medical expenses that you weren’t prepared to meet, you’re certainly not alone in your struggle. In fact, most California households experience financial challenges at some point, and many of those involve unpaid medical bills. Crowdfunding is a way for people to access the internet and ask other people for money.

Many people who use crowdfunding sites say they would rather share details about their personal financial struggles than lose their homes to foreclosure or not be able to pay their medical bills. Others say they believe there are serious ethical issues with asking strangers for money to help pay bills.

Is crowdfunding the only option available?

Years ago, and even still today, it was common for people to host yard sales, bake sales or other sale events to raise funds when needed. If you’re a parent, you’ve likely sold your share of specialty sandwiches or other products to help your kids raise monies for sports teams or other activities.

Not being able to pay medical bills is a lot more serious than raising money for a football team. The good news is that crowdfunding is not the only way to help pay debt or get finances back on track when a serious crisis hits home.

Bankruptcy can be a helpful tool

There’s always been a negative stigma attached to filing for bankruptcy. However, it is usually prompted by misunderstanding or misguided information. Once people understand the process and learn about the various types of bankruptcy available, they tend to realize what a valuable financial tool it can be. 

There are eligibility requirements you must fulfill if you plan to file for bankruptcy. For instance, some types are income based. If you earn more than a certain amount compared to California’s median income, you may not qualify. If you’re currently faced with medical bills you can’t pay, you can begin to explore debt relief options by discussing your situation with someone well-versed in such issues.