A trip to the dentist often leaves your mouth feeling numb and your pockets significantly lighter. Unfortunately, dental procedures are typically very costly. Whether it is a quick filling or a more substantial toothy problem, you might need to come up with hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you don’t have dental insurance to cover the cost, you may need dental financing. Luckily, you have many ways to fund your dental emergency.
We will dive into your many options below.
Bad Credit Dental Financing Options
Dental care is not one size fits all. Likewise, you have various dental financing options to cover your dental procedures and financial situation. Once you have an idea of what the dental care will cost, you’ll need to determine which option is best for you.
Dental loans are a quick and easy way to pay for dental expenses that are not covered by your insurance. Most loans will cover treatment options for the following:
- dental crowns
- dental implants
- emergency procedures
- teeth aligners
- teeth whitening
Long Term Installment Loans for Bad Credit Dental Financing
If you need to fund a major dental emergency, a long-term personal loan can be a good option. Personal loans are installment loans that allow you to finance a large amount of cash for your dental bill. You’ll repay the principal and interest of the dental loan over a set number of months.
Even with bad credit history, many lenders are willing to work with you.
Before you choose a lender for a dental loan, you should shop around and compare rates from several lenders. A slightly lower interest rate can save you a significant amount of money over the course of the loan. So, it pays to do your research!
Here is a closer look at some of our favorite long-term dental loan providers.
PersonalLoans.com can connect you to dental loans that you can use to finance dental work or fund your dental emergency. Even major dental procedures are easily covered by their maximum loan amount of $35,000.
The APR for these loans ranges from 5.99% to 35.99%. If you have a bad credit score, then you should expect to pay a higher APR.
Personalloans.com offers flexible loan terms that range from 6 to 72 months. You can choose how quickly you’d like to repay the installment loan. If you can repay it early, you will not have to pay a prepayment penalty.
The lenders on PersonalLoans.com can fund your dental loan quickly to help your dental care go smoothly.
OneMain Financial provides dental loans to borrowers between $1,500 and $25,000. The limits vary by state, so you should contact your local office to see exactly how much you can apply for.
The company offers both secured and unsecured loans. However, a secured loan might be the better option if you want to score a reasonable interest rate with a bad credit score.
Once you apply, you’ll be offered a loan with an APR ranging from 25.10% to 36% with a loan term of up to 60 months. Origination fees for these loans range from $25 to $40.
Short-Term Loans for Bad Credit Dental Financing
If you have a minor dental issue, a short-term personal loan might be more appropriate. For example, a smaller loan may be able to cover a simple filling or a toothache.
MoneyMutual works to match borrowers to lenders who provide short-term dental loans. Although the company does not provide loans, it allows you to simplify the loan application process.
You’ll be able to apply to multiple lenders at one time. Plus, the company works exclusively with short-term loans, so you’ll likely be approved with a bad credit score.
If you have a minor dental emergency, receiving between $250 to $2,500 from a lender directly to your bank account can help get you through the dental procedure.
BadCreditLoans works with a wide range of lending partners. With their vast network, you’ll have a good chance of finding the short-term dental loan that works best for you.
The loan amount is between $500 and $10,000. Loan terms range between 3 and 36 months which should be plenty of time to repay this smaller sum.
In addition, most of the loans offered through this network are unsecured, so you won’t need to put any collateral up.
CashAdvance.com is another company that works to connect borrowers with lenders. You can apply for a dental loan directly on CashAdvance.com to gain access to an extensive network of lenders.
Within minutes, lenders that are willing to work with you will send you the details of their offer. You’ll have the opportunity to choose the best lender for you at that point.
CashAdvance.com lenders provide loans between $100 and $1,000. So if you need to cover a minor dental emergency, this could be the perfect place to find that cash.
NetCredit is a Chicago-based company that provides bad credit dental loans in most states. The company offers unsecured loans between $1,000 and $10,000 to finance dental procedures. However, the loan’s terms and conditions vary significantly by state and depend on your credit score.
Although the rules in each state vary, you may have the option to choose a short repayment timeline. In a matter of months, you may be able to pay down this debt back quickly.
How Do Dental Loans Work?
Banks, credit unions, and online lenders offer personal loans that can be used for any purpose, including costly dental procedures. As with any loan, the requirements, rates, and loan terms will vary significantly between lenders. It’s a good idea to pre-qualify with multiple lenders and compare all your options.
Qualifying for a personal loan involves lenders considering your credit score, income and existing debts. When approved for your loan, you’ll usually receive the money in a lump sum in your bank account.
You can then use the loan to pay for your dental or orthodontic care. Once you’ve had your dental work done, you’ll make fixed monthly payments to your lender until the loan is completely paid off.
How to Compare Dental Loans for Bad Credit
Knowing how to choose between lenders, especially when you require emergency dental work, can be a big challenge. However, whatever situation you’re facing, there are some key details that you should keep in mind when comparing any loan for dental treatments:
Interest Rate & APR
When you receive a quote for a loan, the most important details are the interest rate and APR percentage. The interest rate on your loan reflects the primary cost of the loan, but not its full life value.
The APR will provide you with a better sense of the overall true cost of any loan. This is because the APR includes the interest rate in addition to any mandatory loan fees.
Make sure to account for all the fees when comparing dental loan offers. Most lenders will charge certain fees as standard, but others will vary depending on the lender.
Here are some of the most common fees:
- Origination fee: A common upfront fee a lender may charge for processing your loan.
- Prepayment penalty: Most lenders will charge a penalty if you pay off your loan before the close of the agreed term.
- Late-payment fee: Fees for missing your monthly payments will vary widely from lender to lender. So, make sure to ask, no matter how certain you are that you can make the payments on time.
The loan term is the agreed upon period during which you’ll make monthly payments to repay the loan. Most lenders offer personal loans that come with short, long or flexible terms. A traditional personal loan typically comes with terms ranging from 12 months to 84 months. However, certain lenders may offer an extended loan period.
It’s a good idea to get an ideal range for your loan term before comparing quotes. Remember that a long-term loan could result in lower monthly payments. However, it will also mean paying more in interest over the course of the loan.
Credit Cards for Dental Financing
Dental loans are not the only way to fund a dental emergency. You can also use medical credit cards to get you through. However, credit card debt is not something to play around with. Unlike installment loans, credit card debt is more difficult to get rid of.
Installment loans offer monthly payments for a set term with manageable interest rates. However, a credit card balance can quickly get out of control due to high APRs.
If you cannot find another way to fund the loan, a credit card might be your last resort. But, of course, there are still some credit cards that offer more favorable terms to borrowers with bad credit history. We’ve outlined a few good options below.
CareCredit is a medical credit card offered by Synchrony Bank. It is specifically designed for healthcare expenses, including dental financing. Using this card, you can cover various dental work, from cleanings to cosmetic dentistry. After the dental work is completed, you’ll be able to slowly pay it back over time.
Other Alternative Dental Financing Options
There might be various reasons why taking out a loan for dental care isn’t the right option for you. The good thing is there are many alternatives, including medical credit as we’ve discussed. Below are some other options you could take to fund expensive dental procedures:
Consider asking your dentist if they offer in-house payment plans. This can help you avoid a big bill after your treatment. Direct financing plans from your dentist may not represent the most competitive deal. However, they can be a great option if you don’t have dental insurance or would rather avoid dealing with a third party.
You might also be able to negotiate a better plan with your provider if you’re on good terms.
Dental schools can offer common dental procedures at reduced rates, as they are performed by students under the supervision of experienced dentists. The American Dental Association has a list of dental school programs that you can use to check if there’s a school in your area.
0% Credit Card
If your credit score is good or excellent (690 or above), you may be able to qualify for a 0% APR credit card. These credit cards usually have an introductory period of 15 to 18 months, wherein you won’t pay any interest on your purchases.
As long as you make sure to pay off the balance within the loan term, you’ll have an interest free loan to cover your dental care costs.
Dental Savings Plan
Dental savings plans can be bought through many insurance companies. This can make future dental treatment a much more affordable option. They allow you to pay an annual fee to receive discounts from dentists in the plan’s network.
Dental Loans vs. Credit Cards
When considering finance options for dental treatment, many people have trouble deciding between a personal loan and a credit card. Below we’ve shared a look at the benefits of both loans and credit cards to help you make your choice.
The benefits of dental loans:
- A personal unsecured dental loan will often come with lower rates than a credit card, and the payment terms can be more flexible.
- Regular monthly payments can help with long-term budgeting and financial management.
- Potential to improve your credit score with loan repayment.
The benefits of credit cards:
- Easier approval even with poor credit.
- Greater financial regulation and safety.
Possibility of earning bonuses or credit points for air miles, for example.
How to Limit the Cost of Dental Care
Although taking out a dental loan to fund dental work is an option, it will come at a cost. Besides the dental procedure itself, you’ll also have to pay interest and fees.
Here are a few tips to limit dental costs and save money over time.
Ask Your Dentist for a Payment Plan
Some dentists offer in-house dental financing to their patients. Instead of paying for the entire procedure upfront, you can pay for it over several months. If you require ongoing treatment such as braces or dental implants, you can spread the cost over the entire treatment plan.
The benefit of an in-house payment plan is that there is often no interest associated with it. As a result, you’ll be more able to budget out a monthly payment than a lump sum. However, you won’t be saddled with the interest that comes along with a traditional loan. It’s a win-win!
Not all dentists have dental payment plans, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Of course, the worst thing they can say is no.
Take Care of Your Teeth
Brushing and flossing can go a long way when it comes to taking care of your teeth. Preventative maintenance like regular cleanings can also help to reduce the likelihood of problems down the road.
Make it your business to take care of your teeth. The best visit to the dentist is one that does not end in an expensive procedure.
Build an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund can be a cushion in your life against unexpected dental expenses along the way. At some point, an emergency will happen. Whether it is dental work or a flat tire, life will throw some unexpected expenses your way.
Take action and start saving to prepare for these minor emergencies along the way. Learn how to save $1,000 in 90 days here.
Dental Loans for Bad Credit FAQs
How does dental financing work?
Dental financing typically works by taking out an unsecured personal loan to cover the costs of your dental treatment before it happens, or using a credit card. With a bad credit score, it might be easier to cover your dental finance with a credit card. However, it can be riskier if you get into debt.
In addition to loans and credit cards, your dentist might also offer dental financing with options that work best for you.
Can you get a dental loan with bad credit?
Getting approval for a dental loan depends primarily on your credit score and your financial situation in general. With bad credit, or a high debt-to-income ratio, acquiring a loan for dental financing can be hard, but far from impossible.
The good news is, even if you struggle to find loan approval, there are several ways you can try to finance dental procedures. Check out our section above on alternative dental financing.
Can I get a loan to fix my teeth?
Absolutely. Unsecured personal loans can be used to finance dental work. You can also ask your dentist about payment plans to help you manage the cost. Many dental providers today can provide either third-party financing, direct payment plans or both.
What credit score do you need for braces?
Most dental financing will require a credit score of at least 580. However, minimum credit score requirements will vary depending on your financing, lender and dentist. Typically, financing dental work with a credit card will require a higher credit score compared to taking out a personal loan.
Can you pay for dental work in installments?
Yes, dental work can be paid for in installments. If you want to avoid paying for your dental care upfront, you have several options, including taking out a loan, or opting for an installment plan.
A dental emergency is not a pleasant experience. If you don’t have the money to fund the procedure, it can be even more stressful. Take advantage of these resources and find a way to fund your emergency today.