Paying for contacts, new glasses and yearly visits to the optometrist — all adds up. Getting laser eye surgery can save you a pile of money in the long run. But getting together the money to cover the immediate cost isn’t always that easy. Almost all insurance providers consider it an elective procedure so it mostly isn’t covered by insurance. Even if it is, it’s usually only partial coverage
If you’re looking to finance your eye surgery, read our guide. We break down your financing options and the costs of LASIK eye surgery so you can create a manageable payment schedule and get 20/20 vision.
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Can I pay for LASIK eye surgery with a personal loan?
Yes. A common reason borrowers take out personal loans is to pay for cosmetic or elective procedures that aren’t covered, or are only partially covered, by insurance.
Some personal loan providers also offer financing specifically designed to cover the cost of cosmetic procedures. Often healthcare providers have partnerships with lenders to offer financing packages to patients. When looking for a loan, check with your LASIK center or eye doctor to see what types of financing they offer in addition to other personal loans.
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Representative example: Lisa gets LASIK
Lisa has worn glasses and contacts for over 20 years and has finally decided to take the plunge and get LASIK eye surgery. Since it’s an elective surgery, she will have to pay out of pocket – with the total procedure costing $3,000.00 ($1,500.00 per eye). She has $500.00 saved up, but will need to take out a loan to cover the remaining $2,500. She has a fair credit rating and some unpaid student debt, which doesn’t make her the best candidate for a loan from her bank. Instead, she heads online to compare lenders and finds one that offers her a competitive personal loan offer.
Cost of LASIK eye surgery
Origination fee of 3% ($75.00)
Total loan cost
*The information in this example, including rates, fees and terms, is provided as a representative transaction. The actual cost of the product may vary depending on the retailer, the product specs and other factors.
How much does laser eye surgery cost?
Typical LASIK procedures can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars per eye, though the average cost sits around $2,000 per eye.
Costs will vary depending on the type of procedure you have and the surgeon you choose. Costs in Canada range from as low as $500 per eye to as high as $5,000 per eye.
How else can I pay for LASIK eye surgery?
You don’t necessarily need to take out a personal loan to cover your LASIK costs. Here are some of your other options:
A credit card.If you qualify for a credit card that has a low monthly APR, you might want to consider getting one to cover at least part of your LASIK costs — as long as you’re able to pay off your balance relatively quickly and the APR is lower than what you would get from a personal loan.
Save up. LASIK usually doesn’t cost more than $5,000 for both eyes and it’s not an urgent procedure. If you can deal with glasses and contacts for a little while longer, consider opening up a high-interest savings account and making monthly deposits toward your LASIK surgery periodically. Before you know it, you’ll have enough saved up.
Use your tax refund. Your tax refund might not be enough to cover the entire cost of the surgery, but it could put a big dent in it.
Discounts through your employer. Some LASIK companies have deals with large employers to provide discounted procedures. If you work for a large company, ask your HR department if a discount is available.
Ask friends and family. LASIK isn’t an incredibly expensive procedure, so your friends and family might be willing to lend you the money you need without interest. Keep in mind borrowing money and failing to pay it back from friends and family can cause relationship issues. Set repayment guidelines just as you would with a lender.
Find a promotion. Some LASIK centers have promotions year round offering discounted laser eye surgery. Just make sure it’s with a reputable surgeon.
5 tips for choosing a LASIK surgeon
The last thing anyone wants is to have their LASIK procedure botched by a surgeon with a poor track record — or no track record at all. Before choosing a surgeon, consider these key factors:
Technology. Does your surgeon use up-to-date technology? You can usually find this information by calling or visiting their practice’s website.
Experience. Look for a surgeon who specializes in laser eye surgery and has a long track record of successful surgeries.
Certification and licensing. Check to make sure your surgeon is licensed to practice in your province or territory.
Staff. Is the staff easy to reach and able to answer questions? Are they willing to put you in touch with your surgeon if needed?
Reviews. What do past patients have to say? One bad review doesn’t mean anything, but consistent complaints could mean you should stay away.
Did you know LASIK stands for “laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis”? That’s the medical name for this vision-correcting eye surgery procedure.
LASIK eye surgery doesn’t need to break the bank. Personal loans and financing from your eye doctor or employer can make paying for your eye surgery a lot more manageable. While you might spend a little extra in interest, the amount you save on contacts and glasses might make it worth it.
Check with your eye surgeon to get a medical opinion on what to expect with this procedure. Generally speaking, LASIK can temporarily cause dry eyes for the first six months after surgery. For the first few days or weeks after surgery, you might also have trouble seeing at night, get double vision or see halos around bright lights. You might also have trouble seeing things in dim light. It is also common to have bloodshot eyes for a week or two.
No, but it’s not common for people younger than 18 or older than 80 to get LASIK. You might want to wait until you’re at least 21 to get the procedure because that’s when your eyes have completed most of their normal growth, according to medical professionals.
Yes, performing eye surgery on a sleeping patient can be risky. Surgeons typically give you anesthetic eye drops and a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure, which typically takes less than 10 minutes per eye.
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 950 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
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