So many of us want to get our dental work done. We go to our local family or cosmetic dentist eager to get our teeth back to health, and then we see the bill from the finance coordinator. Thousands of dollars on dental treatment, and you just don’t have the money to get it done. How can you afford such high prices? Is there any way you can get your dental work completed? Does the dental office have any finance options that can help me? These are just a few of the questions that run through our head when they foot us the bill. Below I will answer some commonly asked questions in regards to dental financing that might be able to help you with your payment plan options.
Can I Get Dental Financing With Bad Credit?
This is a great question, and the answer is yes you can, as there are many options to get dental financing these days.
The most common route to achieve dental financing in the past has been through third party finance companies like Care Credit, Lending Club, Wells Fargo, and Green Sky. Unfortunately, many of these companies have tightened up on who they will loan money to, and many patients are often denied credit from one or all of the companies mentioned. So when these parties reject you, who else is there to turn to?
The answer is your own dentist. Dentists are now realizing that it’s good business to offer payment plan options within their own clinics. Many dentists are now offering Dental Savings Plans, which is similar to their own version of dental insurance. For a low cost, you can get up to 25% off all your dental treatment. At our office, we charge an annual fee of $199 for this plan, and it has increased the number of our patients who are able to receive treatment by 30%!
So, when you are looking for a local dentist, make sure you ask if they offer an in office plan that can help you reduce your costs, and ultimately, help you afford the dental treatment that you desperately need.
How Does Dental Financing Work?
Dental financing is a loosely based term that basically means that you are borrowing money from someone that you have to pay back.
Third Party Financing
Financing with third party companies means that they have paid your dentist the amount that you owe, and it is up to you to pay that amount back to the third party company. But how does the third party company make their money?
They make their money in two ways: They will charge the dental office anywhere between 5-20% of the total value of the treatment. So let’s say your treatment costs are $5,000. The third party company may charge the dentist 10% of that treatment any pay them only $4,500. The loan that you have to pay back, however, is still $5,000. Also, if you do not pay the loan back on time, stiff interest penalties will be added to your original amount sometimes reaching close to 30%!
Dental Office Financing
Dental financing through your own dentist is a smart and prudent way to go if they offer such plans. Pay as you go options may exist if certain treatments take multiple visits to complete. Treatments such as dental implants, root canals, dental crowns and bridges fall into this category. The payments are broken up into parts where you pay your dentist as different phases of the treatment are completed.
As mentioned earlier, some dentists are also offer an in-office dental savings plan that slashes the price on all dental procedures to help you finance your much needed treatment. Some dentists offer up to 25% off all your treatment needs for a small annual payment.
How Do I Apply For Dental Financing?
There are two ways you can do this. You can go online yourself to the third party companies websites. They offer options to see if you qualify for financing. Some of the earlier mentioned third party companies are mentioned here, and they can certainly be of great help if you do get approved for financing.
Once you see that you are approved, you can see what type of plans are available to you based on the terms sited. Most terms are either 6, 12 or 18 months at zero interest with monthly payments stated. Pick the plan that suits your financial situation. Then you will visit a dentist of your choice, and see exactly what they are recommending, and how much the treatment costs. If your treatment is at, or less, than the amount that you qualified for, then you will have no out of pocket expenses, just month to month payments.
If you qualified for an amount that is less than what your treatment costs are, you will have to pay the difference out of pocket. Speak your dentists financial coordinator to see how they can help you with any additional payments that you may have.
You also have the option of applying for a third party loan at your local dentists office as they will have all the paperwork necessary to run the applications for you if you choose to do it this way.
Dentalfirst Financing Options
Some dental clinics offer an optional finance option with Dentalfirst. It is usually for those with bad to mediocre credit. Our office was planning on using their services to help our patients until we read the number of consumer complaints in regards to their services. At the end, we decided it was not worth the risk as many patients get ripped off with astronomical interest rates, and poor customer service.
Dental Financing and Payment Plan Options are at your fingertip. You just have to choose the right dentist to make sure that they offer the plans that you need to get your mouth back to health.