Are you thinking about applying for the CareCredit credit card? If so, there are a few things you should know before you apply.
The CareCredit card, while advantageous for many, has specific criteria, features, and terms that prospective cardholders should be aware of. Before you take the plunge, let’s explore some of the key aspects you should consider.
What Is CareCredit?
CareCredit is a service offered by Synchrony Bank that helps you pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses for you, your family, and your pets. You can use your CareCredit Card at health care and wellness providers that have enrolled in CareCredit.
Some of the providers that accept CareCredit include, but are not limited to:
- Medical specialists, eye doctors, dermatologists, dentists, and cosmetic surgeons.
- Hospitals, medical imaging and lab work, and surgical centers.
- Pharmacies, medical equipment and supply shops.
- Fitness equipment and spa treatment facilities.
- Routine and emergency veterinary clinics.
CareCredit’s Unique Features and Financing Options
Unlike regular credit cards, CareCredit is a healthcare credit card specifically tailored for health and wellness costs. This specialization means it’s geared towards helping you manage medical expenses that aren’t covered by insurance.
Broad Network of Providers
With over 260,000+ enrolled providers nationwide, CareCredit offers an extensive network. Once approved, cardholders can leverage this vast network for various health and wellness needs, without needing to reapply for each service.
Flexible Financing Options
One of CareCredit’s standout features is its array of financing choices:
For purchases amounting to $200 or more, cardholders can opt for interest-free financing over 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. However, it’s crucial to note that to enjoy this benefit, one must make the minimum monthly payments and clear the full amount by the end of the chosen term. Failing to do so means interest will accrue from the date of the initial purchase.
Long-Term Financing with Reduced APR
For those requiring a longer repayment schedule, CareCredit offers terms ranging from 24 to 60 months. However, these come with a Reduced APR and necessitate Fixed Monthly Payments until the balance is cleared. Specific terms and interest rates, as noted, are:
- 24 months at 17.90% APR for purchases of $1,000 or more.
- 36 months at 18.90% APR for the same amount.
- 48 months at 19.90% APR for purchases of $1,000 or more.
- 60 months at 20.90% APR for purchases over $2,500.
Credit Score Requirements for CareCredit
So, what credit score do you need to be approved for a CareCredit credit card? The minimum recommended credit score for this credit card is 600, which is considered a ‘fair’ credit score.
However, be aware that your credit score isn’t the only factor CareCredit evaluates during the application process. They will also examine your income, debt, and any negative marks on your credit report. If you’re uncertain about your credit score or the information on your credit report, it’s wise to review it before applying.
Other Factors That Impact Your CareCredit Card Approval Odds
While a strong credit score indicates financial responsibility, it’s not the sole metric that CareCredit evaluates. Your credit score is important, but it’s only one aspect of your financial profile. CareCredit adopts a more holistic approach to evaluate applicants:
- Income: Just like any other lender, CareCredit wants assurance that you have a steady stream of income, demonstrating your ability to manage and repay your credit obligations.
- Debt: The amount of debt you currently shoulder can be telling. It provides an insight into your borrowing habits and whether you’re stretched too thin to handle an additional line of credit.
- Credit history: Past financial hiccups—be it missed payments, charge-offs, or other derogatory marks—can influence CareCredit’s decision. These blemishes can indicate potential risks, suggesting how you might manage credit in the future.
It’s essential to remember that the approval process for any credit card, including CareCredit, is multifaceted. Ensuring you present a well-rounded and robust financial profile can increase your chances of approval.
How to Increase Your Chances of Getting Approved for a CareCredit credit card
To improve your prospects of securing approval for a CareCredit credit card, you need to understand the criteria that financial institutions often consider. While each lender may have its specific requirements, there are some general guidelines to ensure your financial health is attractive to them.
- Know your credit scores: Before applying, review your credit scores. Many free services allow you to check your score without affecting it. A higher credit score generally increases your chances of approval, as well as the credit limit you will be offered.
- Review your credit report: It’s not just your score that matters. Your credit report, which provides detailed information on your credit history, can influence a lender’s decision. Ensure that there are no errors or discrepancies in your report. If you find any, dispute them to get them rectified.
- Maintain a steady income: Lenders like stability. If you have a steady source of income, it indicates that you’re capable of meeting monthly payments. So, ensure you can provide proof of consistent earnings when applying.
- Keep your credit utilization low: This refers to the percentage of available credit you’re currently using. As a rule of thumb, try to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. A high utilization rate may suggest that you’re heavily reliant on credit and may struggle to handle additional financial obligations.
- Limit recent credit applications: Every time you apply for credit, it results in a hard inquiry on your credit report. Multiple inquiries in a short timeframe can signal desperation to lenders. So, space out your credit applications.
- Ensure a low debt-to-income ratio: This ratio demonstrates your monthly debt obligations compared to your income. A lower ratio indicates that you have a good balance between your earnings and debt, making you a less risky borrower.
- Be consistent with payments: One of the most significant factors affecting your credit score is your payment history. Regularly paying bills and dues on time will establish you as a reliable borrower.
- Don’t close old accounts: The length of your credit history contributes to your credit score. Even if you don’t use an old credit card, keeping it open can help improve this part of your credit profile.
- Consider a cosigner: If you’re unsure about your creditworthiness, consider getting a co-signer with a strong credit score. This adds an extra layer of assurance for the lender, as the co-signer will be responsible if you default.
Need help improving your credit score?
One of the best ways to improve your credit scores is by removing negative items from your credit report. Credit Saint can help you dispute (and possibly remove) the following items:
- late payments
- charge offs
With years of experience at their disposal, these professionals have a proven track record of effectively removing incorrect entries for countless clients. So if you’re struggling with bad credit and want to increase the likelihood of getting approved for new credit, complete the online form on their site to receive a free credit consultation.