Using crowdfunding to pay off medical bills

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Crowdfunding has evolved into sites specifically for raising money through large groups of people to help pay for things like medical bills or funeral expenses. (WTVD)

Unpaid medical bills can be devastating. In fact, it's a leading cause of personal bankruptcy according to a study by NerdwalletHealth.com

But now, outside of insurance, there is a growing option consumers are turning to when it comes to raising money for things like medical bills: crowdfunding.

Crowdfunding grew in popularity after the economic downturn as a way to raise money for projects or business ventures from large groups of people using sites like Kickstarter.com or Indiegogo.com rather than banks.

It's now evolved into sites for people who need to raise money for things like medical care, medical bills, or even to cross something off their bucket list while battling a terminal illness.

Here's a list of a few crowdfunding websites focused on raising money for medical bills:

Giveforward.com

Gofundme.com

Healthline.com

Fundrazr

All the sites are created specifically for personal crowdfunding. You start an account, write your story or the story of a friend of family member in need and share it through social media and email to help reach your goal.

In many cases, with these sites, you don't have to hit your goal to get the funds which is different than project or business based sites.

For many of the medical crowdfunding sites, you will get whatever money you raise even if you don't hit the target goal.

But, you should pay attention to and compare the fees these sites charge.

For example, in the case of Giveforward.com, the site clearly states the fee is 7.9% plus 50 cents per transaction.
It states, 2.9% plus the $0.50 fee goes to the online payment service provider with the rest to maintain the staff of fundraising coaches and developers.

Giveforward.com also points out more than $158 million has been raised to date to help those in need find a new way to raise money to pay for things like medical bills or funeral expenses.

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