4 Clever Ideas for Financing Cosmetic Surgery

Posted on September 23, 2015 by: Dr. Ronald DeMars

Although some patients will come to the office and pay for their surgery with a check, or even cash, that is not the case for most patients.  In today’s world the majority of patients are interested in cash management and looking for convenient ways to finance their plastic surgery procedure.  Surgical offices do not have the expertise or manpower to run a financing program, but there are several good options to look into.

1. Layaway

Occasionally a patient will ask about the possibility of simply making payments. It is the standard in the industry that all cosmetic surgery fees be paid completely in advance, usually 2-4 weeks prior to the surgical date.  So if a patient does want to make payments, they can be made on whatever schedule is convenient, as long as all payments are completed preoperatively.  However,  most offices are just not set up to handle multiple small weekly payments so we do ask when the patients use this plan, they put money away until they can make a payment of at least $1,000 on whatever time frame is comfortable for them.

2. Credit Cards

The majority of patients prefer to use credit cards to get points or miles and for the ability of making payments at an amount convenient to them. Some of the currently popular credit cards give double or triple miles or cash back on purchases and these have become popular ways of paying for cosmetic procedures.

You may have noticed 1 or 2 times a year your credit card company offers checks you may write that are basically a loan from the credit card company but offer this “interest-free” for several months or a year.  This is a great way to finance surgery with an interest free loan as long as you can comfortably repay the loan in the allotted time.  Just remember you don’t get any points or miles with this method.

Some clever patients pay with a credit card from one bank to get miles, then pay that off with one of the balance transfer checks noted above from a different bank, which they then pay off at no interest. The bank does usually charge 1-3% for the balance transfer.

3. Financing Companies

There are now financing companies that specialize in making loans for cosmetic surgery as well as other types of medical expenses, even dental and veterinary care.  We list two plastic surgery financing options here.  Applications can be made online for Prosper Healthcare and Care Credit.  As with any other loan, the terms may vary with your credit score and both require a credit score of 620 or better.

Prosper Healthcare contacts the patient directly with a couple of options on rates and terms after they receive the initial application. They fund up to $35,000 and send the funds directly to the applicant.

Care Credit has plans for 24, 36, or 48 months and the interest rate is currently 14.9%. They send the applicant a credit card which the patient then brings to the surgical office to pay for the surgery.  They will finance up to $15,000.

4. Co-signers

Both of the companies listed above allow co-signers. This is a particularly good way for a younger patient without much credit history to build up their credit. A parent, relative or other individual with a mature credit history signs up with the patient to guarantee payment if necessary.

BONUS! Clever Use of a Credit Card and Financing Company Combined

One clever combination some patients are using involves getting a loan from Prosper Healthcare Lending for the exact amount of the surgery, paying for the surgery with a credit card to get miles or points, and repaying the credit card charge with the money from Prosper.