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Credit cards

Coping with cancer

This page tells you about having, or applying for, a credit card if you have cancer. 

You can apply for a credit card from any bank in the UK. The fact that you may have cancer, or have had cancer in the past, does not prejudice your application for a card, nor will it affect your possession of a card. The same applies even if your cancer is incurable. The credit card issuer will not ask about your state of health and you are not obliged to tell them either your diagnosis or the likely outcome (your prognosis).

Payment protection is a type of insurance that covers credit card repayments if you are unable to meet them because of ill health or unemployment. Because it is a form of insurance, you may have to disclose your medical history.

If you have cancer it is possible that you may not be able to get payment protection for your credit card. There are no hard and fast rules concerning this – different card suppliers may be happy to provide payment protection. If you have cancer or have had cancer in the past then getting payment protection may depend on a report from your doctor. Or it may depend on the amount of time that has passed since your last treatment. It is always best to try a number of credit card suppliers.

If you have an existing credit card debt, you could transfer the debt to another credit card. Most companies offer special terms to do this, which may save you money. At the time of writing, many are offering 0% for the first 15 months after you transfer.

Your financial position is the most important thing to consider. Cancer can have a financial impact. Your ability to earn may be affected and you may have additional expenses. This may in turn influence your ability to meet credit card repayments. In any case, it is quite an expensive way to borrow money.

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Updated: 8 August 2013