Can a Credit Card Be Used for Assisted Living Payments?

Author: Lauren Thomas

Reviewed By: Rachel Rose

A credit card can be used for assisted living payments, assuming the residence accepts this form of payment. While some assisted living communities let residents pay for care using credit cards, others require alternative payment methods because of processing fees. The good news is that several options for funding long-term care exist in addition to credit cards.

How Much Does Assisted Living Cost?

In the United States, the monthly median rate for assisted living comes in at $5,350. However, the price you pay varies depending on state regulations and the local cost of living. In Texas, for example, a typical residence charges around $4,915, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars every month over the national norm. On the other hand, assisted living care in Maine costs $8,700.

Aside from location, other things influence your monthly assisted living fee. For example, the community’s size and amenities, along with the size of your room or apartment and whether you share with a roommate. These factors impact the monthly rate you pay by hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Can I Use a Credit Card To Cover Monthly Expenses?

Some assisted living communities accept credit card payments. However, not all facilities let residents or their families use credit cards to pay for services or expenses. Credit card companies charge assisted living communities processing fees between 1.5% to 3.5% of each transaction. This could cost facilities thousands of dollars per month, depending on the number of residents they have.

For some, using a credit card serves as a way to resolve cash flow challenges. For many, however, high interest rates, usage fees and late charges make credit card use for assisted living expenses unsustainable long-term. Fortunately, there are several alternatives available to help you cover care costs.

What Other Options Do I Have for Paying for Care?

Your available options for paying for long-term care depend on your existing assets and the resources available to you. For instance, some life insurance policies have cash-out options you can use for long-term care. Depending on your assets and needs, you may qualify for a Medicaid waiver, Supplemental Security Income or optional state supplementation. Long-term care insurance, reverse mortgages or collective sibling agreements may also give you the money you need for care.