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Dental Loans With No Credit Check
Get your pearly whites fixed even if you have bad credit!
For most people, visiting the dentist isn’t a favorite activity. However, an astronomical price tag may make the process even more uncomfortable. If you’re finding it difficult to pay for necessary (but costly) dental care, you’re not alone. According to a report by the US Department of Health & Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average yearly cost of dental care increased by approximately 23% from 1996-2015.
To complicate things even further, almost 30% of Americans lacked dental coverage in 2015, and private insurance paid only 43% of the cost for those who did have coverage. If you cannot afford to pay the cost of treatment upfront, you may consider dental loans or other forms of financing. Unfortunately, bad credit may make it tough to get a favorable interest rate and terms, and in some cases, it makes it impossible to get approved at all. Here, we will examine some dental financing options for those with poor credit.
Just What Is Dental Financing?
If you are finding it hard to pay the entire cost of dental care, financing is a worthy consideration. This might mean getting a loan to pay for treatment and making regular payments until the balance is paid off. With most financing options, even those with bad credit, you’ll pay interest and fees on the money borrowed. Below are a few common choices for those looking for dental financing.
- A medical credit card: These cards are sometimes available to pay for care, including dental treatments. Medical credit cards are similar to conventional cards, but they can only be used to pay for healthcare services within a narrow network. If you gain approval for such a card, you may use it to reimburse a qualified dentist for the care they provide. Following that, you’ll make monthly payments to the card issuer.
Some of these cards come with a deferred interest period, which may work to your advantage. If it’s possible to pay the entire balance within that period, you’ll avoid high interest payments. However, if you can’t pay it, or you’re late with a payment, you’ll be on the hook for all the interest that accumulated from the date of the loan. In such a scenario, the accrued interest may mean that the treatment costs more than expected—so be sure it’s the right choice before applying. Though it’s rare, it’s possible to get a medical credit card without a credit check.
- Personal loans: These loans may be used to pay for a variety of expenses, including necessary dental work. These loans are usually unsecured, which means that the lender requires no collateral to back the loan. Because of this, a lender may consider multiple factors to determine your repayment ability. Though you may be able to get a personal loan without a credit check, if you have truly bad credit, you’ll probably end up paying more interest.
- A low introductory APR card: As opposed to a medical credit card, you may want to pay for dental care with a conventional credit card. Some cards, even those for bad credit, offer low introductory APRs (annual percentage rates) for balance transfers and purchases. After this period ends, though, the card’s APR will be based on a range of factors.
If you manage to pay the entire balance within the introductory period, which is usually 12-21 months, your dental care may be interest-free. If you don’t pay the entire balance before time is up, you may lose the low APR. As with medical credit cards and bad credit personal loans, your history does play a role in determining eligibility.
- In-house loans: Some dental practices offer patients the chance to apply for in-house loans and payment plans. Though some are great options for those with bad credit, details and terms vary by provider. While some lenders offer low- and no-deposit loans, and others offer loans with no credit check, it’s important to look out for high fees and annual percentage rates.
What’s Considered “Bad Credit”?
If you’re looking for a dental loan with no credit check, it probably means that you have a low credit score. FICO, one of the top scoring models, has a base score of 850, and anything below 580 is regarded as “poor”. Your dentist may offer loans for bad credit, and in some cases, they may not check your score at all. Ask about these options, the interest you’ll pay, and whether your credit is a factor in an approval decision. Even if you can’t get a no-credit-check loan, it doesn’t mean you can’t get the care you need.
Dental Loan Alternatives
If you believe that you can’t qualify for a loan, or you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford care even with financing, there are other options to consider, such as those listed below.
- Shopping around for less-costly care: If there’s no urgent need for treatment, you may be able to cut costs and reduce the need for a loan by looking for less expensive alternatives. It may be possible to get a second opinion and a quote from another dentist to see if their services are cheaper. If a dental school is nearby, it may offer periodic dental clinics where students offer care under the close scrutiny of experienced dental professionals. Such clinics often bring substantial savings, but it’s important to ensure that the provider accepts your dental insurance (if applicable).
- Negotiating the bill: If even after a bad-credit or no-credit-check dental loan, you can only pay a portion of the bill, it may be possible to negotiate the cost before agreeing to go ahead with a treatment plan. Do a bit of research first to find out the current rate for the dental care you require; the Fair Health Consumer Database is a great place to begin. If your dentist’s cost is above the norm for your area, cite these averages in an attempt to reduce it.
- Asking for discounts: Even with a loan, it may be tough to afford dental care without insurance benefits. If you are uninsured, it’s a good idea to ask about dental care discounts. Some offices provide discounts to help uninsured patients afford the care they need.
- Turning to family and friends for help: It may be a bit uncomfortable to bring up the subject, but if you’re struggling and you’ve exhausted all other options, asking family and friends for help may be an option. This is the easiest way to get funding without a credit check, and if they have great credit, they may be able to co-sign on a credit card or loan, increasing the chances of approval.
- Taking part in a medical study: Many universities and other organizations do research on dental conditions and treatment methods. These clinical trials need volunteers, and if you need help in addition to a loan, you may be able to get the care you need at no cost. It’s important to note that the sort of care you’ll receive depends on the nature of the trial.
- Using an FSA account: Another way to ensure the affordability of dental care is to use an FSA or flexible spending account. FSAs are employer benefits that typically come as part of a coverage package. These accounts are for healthcare costs only, and you get to decide how much goes into the account. To pay for your dental treatments after getting a no-credit-check loan, simply write a check from the account or use the debit card provided by the insurer. As these funds are used, money is deducted from your paychecks throughout the year.
These are just some of the best ways to get the dental care you need without a credit check. By combining several of these methods, it’s possible to make even the costliest care more affordable.
Maximizing Savings With Tax Breaks
If the dental care you need is extremely costly, you may be able to claim it as a tax deduction. Federal law allows taxpayers to take deductions for certain dental expenses, as long as they exceed a certain percentage of the year’s adjusted gross income. To get this break, though, you’ll have to qualify for the deduction and itemize deductions on your tax return. The money saved here could help you pay off a loan sooner. Consult a tax professional for specific information and guidance.
The Bottom Line
Before committing to funding your treatment with such a loan, be sure that it’s really necessary, get a second opinion, and be sure to carefully read the terms and conditions. Though these loans are useful, they may come with high fees and interest rates, and those with bad or no credit may pay even more. Protecting your dental health is crucial, but it’s also expensive—even if you have insurance. If you need to finance your care, a no-credit-check dental loan may be a viable option.
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