Guide to Financing Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

Last Updated: February 12, 2013

Whether you're trying to get a beauty tune-up, whether you need to reverse the effects of a harmful event or disease or whether you need plastic or cosmetic surgery for any reason, the monetary cost is always something you have to consider.

What Do I Need to Know Before Financing My Surgery?

Financing plans are available for individuals seeking to improve their appearance through plastic and cosmetic surgery, but these plans are often difficult to understand and even more difficult to analyze for benefits and risks. Medical financing can mean the difference between getting that important procedure and not having the funds; however, you should read on before you make the purchase.

How Does Medical Financing Work?

Medical financing for plastic and cosmetic surgery is what is known as an unsecured loan, meaning that you don't put up any collateral in the event that you default on the loan. Unsecured loans typically have higher interest rates due to the increased risk for the lender, and are dependent upon your credit score.

There are a number of medical financing companies that may or may not offer financing for plastic and cosmetic surgery. Additionally, because many medical financing companies do not offer it, there are several plastic surgery financing companies that focus on providing that service.

Medical financing is like financing for a car, an expensive appliance, or even a house. You are approved for a certain amount of money, usually between $2,000 and $20,000, which you then use for a plastic surgery procedure. You then spend the next 24 to 60 months paying it off with interest.

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Medical financing for plastic and cosmetic surgery is what is known as an unsecured loan, meaning that you don't put up any collateral in the event that you default on the loan. Unsecured loans typically have higher interest rates due to the increased risk for the lender, and are dependent upon your credit score.

Do I Qualify for a Cosmetic Surgery Loan?

A credit score of sufficient standing is usually the major requirement to financing any plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure. This means that you have to have all of your credit accounts in good standing, a low debt to income ratio and a sufficiently small (usually under $15,000) amount of credit card debt. Additionally, you need to meet age and citizenship requirements. You are generally required to be a legal resident of the state in which you apply.

What to Consider - Payment Options, Variables and Real Effective Cost

Not all doctors accept financing for their plastic surgery procedures, so if you are thinking about using this option to pay for your cosmetic surgery you should look for a doctor that will. The only reason a doctor doesn't accept financing is if he or she won't accept the fees taken by the financing company - it is not because financing companies are somehow immoral or shady, as they might be depicted by some. Plastic surgery financing is like financing for a piece of jewelry - you have to do your research.

Indeed, there are a number of variables that are important to note. Interest rates for plastic surgery financing can go anywhere from 5.99% to 27.99%. To put that in perspective, a $5,000 procedure would cost an additional $800 in total with 6% financing for a 5 year term, whereas it would cost over $4,300 in interest at 28%. In addition, some payment plans require you to pay additional fees, so the real effective cost of the financing and the procedure might be much higher than advertised.

Finally, while most loans are unsecured, there are a few companies that offer secured loans, meaning that you have to use your property as collateral. This can help you get access to a greater line of credit or better rates, but if you default, your property will be at risk.

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Obviously, you have to make your own judgment call on whether your plastic surgery is important enough to you to take on additional debt, with all the risks that carries. For many, it is a price worth paying to look and feel better, while others prefer to save up money and make the payment all at once.

What Procedures are Covered?

Certain procedures are not covered by medical finance companies. Typically, unless you can show that you need cosmetic surgery for a medically acceptable reason (facial reconstruction, burn rehabilitation, etc.), you will not be able to receive finance from a standard company. However, most cosmetic surgery finance companies cover all major procedures including; cosmetic dentistry, breast reduction/augmentation, liposuction, radial keratomy, rhinoplasty, hair replacement, facial realignments and more. Therefore, make sure you apply with a company who offers cosmetic or plastic surgery loans. Visit our financing page for more information.

Pros and Cons of Financing Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

When you want to get plastic surgery, you have two choices: pay for it now or pay for it later. The pros of paying for it later, which is what financing is all about, include:

  • Get your procedure done immediately, without having to wait to save up money. E.g. reconstructive surgery procedures often are life changing and you could start to enjoy them sooner rather than later.
  • If you need or have planned cosmetic surgery for a very special important event happening in the near future medical financing is a good option.
  • A majority of surgeons/doctors accept and might even prefer the payment option since they often work close with plastic surgery financing companies.
  • Interest rates aren't so astronomical (from some financing companies) that you have to worry about losing a lot of money.
  • If you have a stable economical situation and run little risk of having your income change in the near future medical financing have little risk.
  • If you make the payments as scheduled it can help build your credit profile.

However, there are certain risks and costs associated with taking out any loan, including a cosmetic surgery loan. These include:

  • Your income may change and you may not be able to pay off your loan.
  • Certain doctors may not accept plastic surgery financing.
  • Adds to your debt-to-income ratio, which may affect your credit score and subsequent credit-worthiness to make big ticket purchases in the future.

Obviously, you have to make your own judgment call on whether your plastic surgery is important enough to you to take on additional debt, with all the risks that carries. For many, it is a price worth paying to look and feel better, while others prefer to save up money and make the payment all at once.

For additional information on financing a procedure and actually applying with a credible agency, United Medical Credit, make sure to visit our financing page.

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