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Credit Cards vs. Personal Loans for Cosmetic Surgery

Credit Cards vs Personal Loans for Cosmetic Surgery
Susan Guillory
Susan GuilloryUpdated March 2, 2023
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Considering cosmetic surgery? In addition to thinking about how the surgery will change your physical appearance, you also have to think about the cost. Cosmetic surgery doesn’t come cheap, and unless you have cash to cover the cost, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery financing options to help you get your new look.

 The Cost of Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery runs the gamut from lip augmentation to breast reconstruction, and costs vary, depending on what you’re having done. A lip reduction may cost around $2,500, while a breast reconstruction can cost over $15,000. The good news is that even if you don’t have this cash on hand, there are options you can explore to finance this expense. 

 Cosmetic Surgery Loan Options

So what are those financing options? You’ve got four primary solutions to explore. Which you choose will depend on what you qualify for, as well as which offers the lowest fees or interest.

 Personal Savings 

If you aren’t keen to add interest or fees to the already-high cost of cosmetic surgery, you can try to pay for the procedure out of pocket. Don’t have thousands in your bank account? Get a plan to gradually set aside a little money each month so that in a few months, you’ve got enough to cover it.If you don’t feel like you can afford to save this kind of money, look at what you’re spending money on. Likely you have a few expenses that you can cut out, at least until you reach your savings goal. You could cancel your cable subscription, get a lower data plan for your phone, or cut back on eating out and coffee runs. You’d be surprised how quickly this money adds up!

Medical Credit Cards 

While you can pay for your cosmetic surgery with any credit card, there are specific cards like those offered by Care Credit that are specifically used for medical expenses. This includes cosmetic surgery.These cards often have introductory 0% interest for anywhere from 6 to 24 months, so if you are able to pay off the balance before this offer expires, you won’t pay any interest on what you borrow. However, if you do not pay the balance before the offer expires, you will be charged interest on the initial purchase amount, not just the remaining balance, so keep that in mind.Other credit cards may offer extra cash-back rewards for purchases made in the medical category, so if you have a rewards card, this could be a good option.

Personal Loans for Cosmetic Surgery 

Personal loans can generally be used for all manner of personal expenses, from vacations to moves to cars, and of course, for cosmetic surgery. With personal loans, cosmetic surgery costs are covered directly with the funds you get once approved for the loan.Not clear on how personal loans work? Here’s an article on personal loan fundamentals to explore first. Once you find a lender you want to work with (be sure to read what’s required to qualify for a loan), you can apply for a loan. If approved, the funds will be deposited into your bank account, and you can use that money for your cosmetic procedure. A few weeks after you receive the loan, you will start making monthly payments, with interest and fees included. You’ll repay the loan over a designated period, which could be anywhere from a few months to three to five years. 

 Payment Plans With the Surgeon

Another financing option to consider is arranging a payment plan with the surgeon. Cosmetic surgeons, of course, want to make it easy for you to have a procedure done, and many offices will allow you to negotiate medical bills or make plans to pay your balance over several months.Keep in mind: it’s at the surgeon’s discretion whether to charge interest or fees for the payment plan. It may be worth it to compare what that cost would be against what a personal loan with interest and fees would be.

APR, Interest Rates, and Fees for Cosmetic Surgery Financing

Unless you score a 0% APR offer for a credit card, you likely will be paying some form of fee to finance your cosmetic surgery.If you use medical credit cards or personal loans for cosmetic surgery, you may see the terms “APR” and “interest rate.” What’s the difference?Interest rate refers to the percentage of the total amount you borrow that you will pay for the privilege of borrowing the money. If you take out a $10,000 loan with 6% interest, you will pay $600 in interest over the life of the loan. This amount is usually spread across the entire repayment period.APR stands for annual percentage rate. It can include both the interest rate and any additional fees you pay to borrow money or use a credit card.Some loans, credit cards, and payment plans may also have fees you’ll have to pay. These fees may be to cover administrative costs to process the financing or may be charged when you make a late payment.If you have several cosmetic surgery or medical bills that you’re paying, you might want to consolidate medical bills with a personal consolidation loan. That way, you make one monthly payment with one interest rate, and you don’t have to worry about missing a payment since they’re all wrapped up into one.

Qualifying for Cosmetic Surgery Financing

Before applying for a personal loan, check to see what requirements the lender has for cosmetic surgery loans. As part of the requirements for personal loans, you may need to have a certain credit score or income level. There may also be requirements if you opt for a payment plan with your surgeon. They may also ask for proof of income or your credit report to assess how likely you are to make your payments on time.Keep in mind that sometimes, a personal loan that is conditionally approved may not be approved in the end. If you provide the required information to the lender, but then the underwriter finds a discrepancy in the information, you may be denied the loan. That’s why it’s very important to provide accurate and honest information in the application process.

 The Takeaway 

When it comes to cosmetic surgery loans, you have options. Whether you take out a personal loan, open a medical credit card, pay out of pocket, or work with the surgeon to create a payment plan, that procedure you’ve been dreaming about is just around the corner.Need financing for your cosmetic surgery? Within seconds, get preapproved offers from multiple lenders using Lantern’s quick and easy application:

Frequently Asked Questions

Are cosmetic surgery loans a good option?
What credit score is needed for a cosmetic surgery loan?
Photo credit: iStock/Group4 Studio

About the Author

Susan Guillory

Susan Guillory

Su Guillory is a freelance business writer and expat coach. She’s written several business books and has been published on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, and SoFi. She writes about business and personal credit, financial strategies, loans, and credit cards.
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