How credit card use can hurt plaintiffs financially

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When plaintiffs need funding during their lawsuit to help pay for medical bills, home and car payments, and other necessities, many look to credit cards as a fast financial fix while they wait for the case to reach a settlement. But this can only make financial matters worse—behind mortgage and student loans, credit cards are the third leading cause of household debt. Credit cards are tempting because most plaintiffs just have to reach right into their wallet rather than filling out an application, but this comes at a cost.

The interest rates that come with credit cards can be a huge financial blow to plaintiffs. The problem with plaintiffs using a “fast” fix like credit cards is that lawsuit funding is not a short term situation—most lawsuits will last longer than a year, and so relying on credit cards for this length of time leads to massive debt and interest accumulation. When the impact that credit card debt has on borrowers long term—credit debt’s effect on credit can follow an individual for decades—is considered, then credit cards aren’t really a fast funding option at all. And if a lawsuit lasts long enough, the plaintiff may find their whole settlement going to paying off their debt.

Another problem is that credit cards tend to come with a lot of fine print, making this type of funding especially unreliable for the needs of a plaintiff. For example: a borrower may obtain a credit card with a promotional rate, only to find that the lender can change the interest rate after a single late payment. Another option open to plaintiffs is a traditional loan, but that comes with a longer application process, and many plaintiffs can’t wait that long to start making payments—what often leads to credit card use.

So, plaintiffs need the reliability of a traditional loan with the speediness of credit cards. Another option is the lawsuit loan—a settlement cash advance. This type of lawsuit funding allows plaintiffs to use their settlement to help pay life’s necessities until their case concludes. This is not only a funding option designed specifically for the needs of a plaintiff, but also a smart legal strategy: a financially stable plaintiff can focus on their case instead of worrying about their financial situation, and they will feel less pressure to settle sooner than they think is fair. The right lawsuit loan company will have a fast, online application and the plaintiff should be presented with all the right information before anything is signed, meaning no tricky fine print.

About the Author: Steven Medvin is the Executive Director of SMP Advance Funding, LLC, which provides lawsuit funding to individuals who need a lawsuit loan for pending lawsuits. For more information please visit www.smpadvance.com.