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3 Ways to Finance Weight Loss Surgery

Financing Options for Weight Loss Surgery
Emily Greenhill Pierce
Emily Greenhill PierceUpdated February 24, 2023
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
If you’re planning to have weight loss surgery and health insurance won’t cover the cost, there are a variety of methods you can consider to help finance weight loss surgery. Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery, can be expensive. Read on to learn about the costs, weight loss surgery financing, and what you need to know about each option.

Cost of Weight Loss Surgery 

There are several types of weight loss surgery: gastric bypass, sleeve gastrectomy, gastric band, and duodenal switch. The cost of these procedures can run from $15,000 to $25,000.Factors that influence the price of weight loss surgery include:
  • Type of weight loss surgery
  • Type of health insurance
  • Where you live
  • Method of payment

Are There Any Guaranteed Financing Options Available for Weight Loss Surgery? 

If you have a low credit score, guaranteed financing for weight loss surgery may be possible through third-party lenders such as CareCredit. These types of medical loan vendors may offer 0% APR (annual percentage rate) promotional deals. If you pay off your debt within a certain timeframe, you won’t owe interest. If you don’t pay back the debt within that time, however, the interest rates can rise significantly.  Another option is a personal loan. These loans are flexible and can be used for almost any purpose, including weight loss surgery. By following helpful tips for getting a personal loan, you may be able to find one with a good interest rate and payback terms.You can also look into a payment plan through your medical provider to help with weight loss surgery financing. Or you could put the expense on your credit cards, if you have a credit limit that’s high enough.

Financing Options for Weight Loss Surgery

The prospect of having bariatric surgery can be stressful. Finding financing for weight loss surgery doesn’t have to be. Understanding personal loans and the way they work, as well as other options like medical provider loans, and credit cards, may provide financial support and peace of mind.Here are the weight loss surgery financing options to consider:

Personal Loans

A personal loan from a bank, credit union, or online lender provides you with a sum of money. You may be able to borrow up to $100,000 with some personal loans. You pay back the money with interest in fixed installments over time. Benefits of obtaining personal loans include flexibility — borrowers can use the funds for any purpose, including weight loss surgery. While there are interest charges and processing fees, you can search for a personal loan with a low interest rate and reasonable payback terms. If you have a good credit score, you may qualify for an unsecured personal loan to finance weight loss surgery. An unsecured loan doesn’t require collateral, and may offer lower interest rates than a credit card. If you have bad credit, you may be able to get a secured personal loan. This type of loan requires collateral, such as your car. Having collateral reduces the lender’s risk and may result in a lower interest rate for you. However, if you fail to repay the loan, the lender can seize your collateral.

Credit Cards 

It’s possible to use a credit card to finance your weight loss surgery. If you have good credit, you may be eligible for a card with a promotional 0% APR. But you’ll need to pay off the balance of your surgery costs within 12 to 18 months, or you may have to pay a high interest rate on what you owe, and possibly deferred interest. 

Loans From the Service Provider 

Some weight loss surgery centers partner with independent medical lenders for funding. They may be able to assist you in finding a loan you can repay over time.If your procedure is done at a hospital, you may be able to qualify for a hospital payment plan. These plans can offer low interest rates and allow you to spread weight loss surgery costs over months or years.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Financing Option 

With all the choices of financing for weight loss surgery, here are some things to consider carefully:
  • Your credit score can affect what financing options are available, and what interest rate you are eligible for. 
  • Your current debt situation. How much more debt can you realistically take on?
  • Your financial situation. Do you have the means to pay off the surgical costs within a reasonable time? If not, some options, such as a credit card, may not be the best for you.

Pros of Financing Weight Loss Surgery 

Having options for financing weight loss surgery means that even if you don’t have health insurance, you may be able to get a procedure that could benefit your health. You don’t have to come up with the whole amount upfront, giving yourself some breathing room to pay back what you owe over time. 

Cons of Financing Weight Loss Surgery 

The downside of financing weight loss surgery is, depending on your interest rate and loan arrangement, you could end up paying a lot more for the surgery over time. And any missed or late payments could damage your credit.

Financing Weight Loss Surgery

You’ll get the funds you need so you can have the surgery as soon as possible.You may end up paying more for the surgery over time.
Securing financing will help spread out the expensive surgical cost and make it more manageable.Depending on your interest rate, the monthly payments could be high.

Process of Getting Financing for Weight Loss Surgery

Acquiring financing for weight loss surgery generally involves filling out a personal loan application, either online or in person. You will typically need:
  • Proof of identity — passport, driver’s license, birth certificate
  • Social security number
  • Proof of address
  • Proof of gross annual income (such as tax returns). 
  • Proof of employment (W-2s or 1099s, bank statements, tax returns)

Requirements for Weight Loss Surgery Financing

Some types of loans and credit cards may require good to excellent credit. If you have a bad credit score, you may have the option to receive a secured personal loan. This would require you to offer collateral, such as your vehicle, to back the loan.The good news is that if you need weight loss surgery, there are a range of financing opportunities out there. As long as you do your due diligence to find the most affordable payment options, you’ll likely be able to care for your health and your pocketbook. 

Personal Loans With Lantern

If you’re considering a personal loan to finance your weight loss surgery, Lantern by SoFi can help make the process easier. By filling out one simple form, you can compare personal loan interest rates from multiple lenders in our marketplace and even get prequalified. Check your rate today with Lantern and see if you prequalify.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you finance weight loss surgery?
Can you use personal loans to finance weight loss surgery?
What should you consider when financing a weight loss surgery?
Photo credit: iStock/puhimec

About the Author

Emily Greenhill Pierce

Emily Greenhill Pierce

Emily Greenhill Pierce has been a writer in the areas of finance, lifestyle, travel, and health for over 15 years, contributing online content to Lantern, Google, and Frommer’s Travel Guides. She holds degrees from Emerson College and Fairleigh Dickinson University, including an MFA in Creative Writing for Young Adults and Children. She has authored two middle grade books.
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