Dental work can be expensive, but doing so can save you money in the long run. If you’re on a budget, consider taking out a dental loan – a personal loan that covers all dental expenses. This type of financing provides quick access to cash, and the average interest rate is usually lower than that of a credit card.
However, before you apply for a dental loan, weigh the pros and cons to see if it is a good idea to take your financial situation into account. If this is not the case, you should consider other financing options.
What is a dental loan?
A dental loan is just another name for a personal loan used to pay for dental expenses. Like other personal loans, they usually have fixed monthly payments and interest rates. Also, they are usually unsecured loans, which means you don’t have to put up any collateral like a car loan.
You can apply for a dental loan through a bank, credit union, or online lender. Credit terms and interest rates vary by creditworthiness. If you’re not sure about using a personal loan this way, it might be worth taking a look at the medical loan guide to see why this route makes sense for so many people.
How to Get a Loan
If you want to get a dental loan, you can do it in five easy steps:
Loan Prequalification: To compare personal loan rates and terms, prequalify with as many lenders as possible. If you meet the lender’s eligibility requirements, you will receive an estimate of the loan amount and interest rate.
Formally apply to a lender: After you’ve determined which lender offers a loan that meets your needs, the next step is to complete a loan application online or in person. Most lenders will ask you to provide personal and financial information, such as your name, social security number (SSN), employer, and income.
Select loan term and loan amount: In the app, enter the amount you want to borrow and select the desired loan term.
Pending Approval: Once you apply, the lender will review your application and decide whether to lend you money. Although approval times vary, sometimes they can be approved within the same business day.
Review and sign the loan agreement: If you are approved, the lender will send you a loan agreement. Check documents carefully before signing. After that, the lender will release the funds to you. Although funding times vary, some lenders will deposit your funds in your bank account the same business day.
How to Compare Dental Loans
When comparing your dental loan options, consider the following:
Eligibility Requirements: Minimum credit and income requirements vary by lender. Please review the lender’s eligibility requirements before applying. If the lender does not publish their requirements, ask if prequalification is an option.
Loan Amount: Some lenders require you to borrow a certain amount of money. Because minimum amounts vary, choose a lender that can provide you with the amount you need to pay your dental bills.
Loan Terms: Terms vary by lender. While choosing a longer term can lower your monthly payment, it can also increase the interest you pay over the life of the loan.
Fees: Some lenders charge processing fees, late fees, repayment fees, and application fees. These fees can significantly increase your borrowing costs or reduce your loan amount. Also, some charge a prepayment penalty to punish you for paying off your loan early.
Annual Interest Rate (APR): The APR of a loan indicates how much interest you will pay over the life of the loan; this is a better measure than the interest rate because it also takes into account all loan fees.
Alternatives to Dental Loans
When determining how to pay for dental work, it is necessary to consider how to reduce or mitigate costs before seeking financing.
Some dental offices may offer special rates depending on your situation. So check with your dental office to see if they offer home financing for expensive procedures. These installment loans often have no or very low interest rates and can save you a lot of money.
Medical credit card
Another way to save on interest is to apply for a medical credit card. Medical credit cards pay for medical and dental bills, and in many cases, medical providers even offer special financing terms such as: B. 0% interest for a period of time. To learn more about medical credit cards, read about paying for medical bills with a credit card.
Many dental schools offer dental care to the public at low prices, but it may take a while for you to gain access as most of these schools have high demand for dental work. Check to see if a dental school near you offers these services.
It takes longer to get treatment, but if the dental procedure you need is elective or can be delayed for a while, it may be wise to save for treatment rather than fund it. When you save for an advance, you don’t pay interest on a loan or credit card.
Not all dental offices offer the same prices for the same procedures, so shop around for a reputable dentist you trust who can get the job done for a lower price. You can also try haggling with a dentist, but there’s no guarantee they’ll get your work done at a discount. But it never hurts to ask.
Bad Credit Dental Financing
It can be difficult to get financing if you don’t have enough credit, but with a little effort, it’s possible to find a lender that can provide you with financing. Here are three steps you can take to improve your chances of getting bad credit dental financing.
Check your credit report
Your credit report may contain errors that affect your credit score, so it’s a good idea to check it at least once a year. Generally, federal law allows you to view reports from all three major credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax, and Transunion, once a year by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com. However, due to Covid-19, you can view each report for free once a week until December 2022.
As you review your report, be aware of discrepancies or incorrect overdue or defaulted accounts. If you find an error on your credit report, report it to any credit bureau or creditor reporting information that listed the error on your report. If the bug is fixed, it could increase your credit score.
Take steps to improve your credit score
If the dental work is not urgent, you can invest some time and effort to improve your credit score before purchasing a dental loan. Make sure to pay all your bills on time and, if possible, pay off current debts. A better credit rating can increase your chances of getting better interest rates and lower your borrowing costs.
Find the right lender
Trying to find a dental loan when you have bad credit can be frustrating, but you have options if you know where to look. Some lenders, like LendingClub and Avant, are willing to work with borrowers with below-average credit ratings, even though their rates may be higher.
Tips for saving on dental treatment
You can avoid high dental bills in other ways:
Prevention: Prevention is the number one way to save on dental work. Take good care of your teeth and have regular annual checkups to catch potential problems before they get worse.
Discount Programs: Some dental offices offer dental discount programs for patients with lower incomes or in need, and you may qualify based on your circumstances. By using the Health Resources and Services Management search tool, you can find nearby health centers that offer low-cost or free dental care.
Dental Insurance: You can get dental insurance through your employer, private insurance company, or the health insurance marketplace. These plans are much less expensive than medical plans and cover some or all of the cost of routine dental procedures.
Discounts: Some dental offices allow discounts if you pay cash on the day of surgery. You’ll need to consult your specific dentist, but it’s worth asking.
Dental School: As mentioned earlier, one of the best ways to save on dental work is to find a dental school that provides dental care to the public. These schools allow students to perform dental work under the supervision of a tutor.
Dental work can be daunting, especially if you don’t have cash to pay. A personal loan is the solution to getting the financing you need. But before you apply, you should consider other funding options such as: B. Internal financing and medical credit cards with 0% APR. Also, consider taking the steps above to reduce your dental bills.
If you think paying for your dental expenses with a personal loan is the right move for you, compare rates and terms of multiple lenders to get the best deal.
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