Although posting bail will not negatively affect your credit score, obtaining a bail bond may pose some difficulties if you have bad credit or low cash availability. Continue reading to learn how to post bail when you do not have enough cash nor credit limit to pay for the bail premium.
The actual act of posting bail for someone will not negatively impact your credit score. It is the form of payment you choose, as well as, failure to obey the terms and conditions of bail, than can affect your credit. For example, if you pay the bail premium with cash, your credit score is not effected. However, if you take out a loan to pay for the bail premium, and then fail to pay the loan back, your credit score will likely be effected.
Low Credit Limits and Cash Reserves
But what about those who do not have enough credit or cash to pay for the full bail premium set by the presiding judge? The answer is a bail bond. When a person does not have the cash to pay for the full bail premium, they have the fortunate option of using a bail bond company.
Bail premiums are generally very high, usually in the thousands. For example: if a person’s bail is set at $10,000 for a drunk driving charge, they would have to fork up that amount in cash and pay it to the courts to get out of jail. But who has that kind of cash laying around? Not many people do.
So what’s the alternative?
An Indianapolis bail bond company will charge a 10 to 15 percent fee of the total bail premium, and cover the rest with their own assets. So long as the defendant appears for all scheduled court hearings, they will get their money back. Although the fee you pay out of pocket is not refundable, it is significantly less than having to pay the entire amount. In the case that your loved one’s bail is set at $10,000, you can expect a bail bond to cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500.
Using a Credit Card to Pay a Bail Premium
Even if you have enough credit limit on your credit card to cover the entire bail premium, doing so can really cost you. Many credit card companies will treat this charge as a credit card cash advance, which can be extremely expensive. In fact, some will charge a 3% fee plus interest that is higher than your typical interest fee. And on top of all that, the fees begin accruing immediately without any grace period.
So what starts as a $10,000 charge could quickly turn into an additional $12,000 within 6 months. That comes out to $22,000 for a $10,000 bail. Although you get the original $10,000 back if the defendant appears for all scheduled court hearings, you still end up pay more than that amount just to cover it on a credit card. And to think: a bail bond would have only cost a one-time fee of $1,000 to $1,500.