Medical Loan and Plastic Surgery Financing


Beth Longware Duff, Medical Editor

Beth Longware Duff is an experienced writer and reporter whose work on a wide variety of topics has been published in numerous newspapers and magazines. Her health and medical writing credits include nationally distributed videos for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and she is the recipient of numerous awards including an American Cancer Society Media Award and a New England Press Association Award for Health Reporting. She holds a degree in Communications from Ithaca College.

May 16 2008

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Plastic Surgery Financing: Should You or Shouldn't You?

Plastic surgery may be something you never, ever, thought you'd be considering – but hey, life is unpredictable! Whether you're in need of reconstructive surgery to make you whole again after an accident or serious illness, or your intentions are strictly cosmetic, plastic surgery may be the answer.

Unless your plastic surgery needs are medically necessary and your medical insurer agrees to cover them, you'll probably end up footing the bill yourself. That could add up to thousands of dollars you haven't budgeted for. You may be interested in cosmetic surgery financing, or a medical loan.

A medical loan is used to finance the cost of your surgery upfront, providing the flexibility to make payments on it over time, just like a home mortgage or auto loan. Interest rates on medical loans are generally reasonable for borrowers with good credit scores, making them an attractive alternative to high-interest credit cards.

Unlike home or car loans, however, loans for plastic surgery are unsecured personal loans. This means that you don't put up any collateral to guarantee the loan. As a result, there's nothing for the bank or finance company to repossess if you default (stop making payments). Consequently, they rely heavily on the information you provide on your loan application and your credit report to predict how likely you are to repay the loan and to set your interest rate. The better you look to the lender, the better the risk, the lower the rate.

The Benefits of Financing Your Plastic Surgery Procedure

The advantages of cosmetic surgery financing are many. First, it makes your dream of plastic surgery a reality by breaking down its costs into affordable, convenient monthly payments. Loans are readily available, since most plastic surgeons and many plastic surgery websites offer financing. Rates are generally lower than a credit card and based on your treatment fee, repayment term, and credit score. (Your FICO score, as it's known, will fall somewhere in the range of 300 to 900, the higher the better.) And there are many finance options out there, often at fixed interest rates that don't change over the life of the loan. Once your application is approved, you can schedule your surgery and have it right away instead of waiting to save up enough money to pay cash.

On the other hand, medical loans are just that – loans that must be paid back in a timely fashion (usually over 24 to 60 months). If you default on the loan, your credit rating will take a major hit. If your credit is already less than stellar because of a history of late payments or bankruptcy, your interest rate may be higher than you can afford or you may not qualify for the full amount you've requested. If you have poor credit, you may be asked to have someone cosign the loan for you, which makes them liable along with you if you don't pay. It's crucial that you completely understand the terms of your loan before signing anything. If the monthly payments are budget busters, you may be able to find a better deal elsewhere.

Medical loans can be a godsend for many people. Before you take out a plastic surgery loan, consider all your options and their pros and cons as they relate to your individual situation. If you're comfortable taking on the financial and legal responsibility of the loan, think of it as an investment in yourself, your self-image, and your self-esteem.