What's the difference between cosmetic and plastic surgery?
It’s common to use cosmetic and plastic surgery interchangeably, however there’s actually a slight difference that may affect your financing options.
Cosmetic surgery is an elective procedure you undergo to improve your appearance.
Plastic surgery is a restorative procedure: It repairs damage or defects and helps your body function normally.
Many insurance companies will provide some type of coverage for plastic surgery, but not cosmetic surgery. Want breast implants? That’s probably not covered. Need breast reduction for health reasons? That might be covered.
A personal loan can be used to pay for cosmetic surgery, since it’s a legitimate purpose. Personal loans usually come in two forms: secured and unsecured. Taking out a secured loan means you offer up collateral, like your home equity or car, and you will usually be offered a slightly lower interest rate. An unsecured loan does not have any of your assets attached to it, however it will likely come with higher interest rates since there’s more risk with this type of loan. You can sometimes choose a variable or fixed rate option when taking out a personal loan. Depending on the loan you choose, you may be able to borrow between $3,000 and $35,000, for a term of between one and seven years.
This is one option that you probably have available to you if you already have a credit card. Depending on your credit limit and the cost of your surgery, you may be able to finance part of your procedure, or even the entire thing. If you plan on using an existing card, confirm the interest rate you will be charged and whether you’ll be able to manage the repayments without incurring a large amount of interest. If you decide to get a new card, you may want to opt for one with a low interest rate on new purchases, so it can save you money on interest.
Putting your home up for collateral can often get you a more competitive interest rate on a personal loan than if you go with an unsecured option. However, this is a risky option considering if you don’t make your repayments you could lose a portion, and eventually all, of your home. With a home equity loan, you can usually borrow up to around 80% of your home’s value.
How to compare loan options
Loan terms. Determine a realistic length of time that you may need to pay back the loan in full, then check that these terms are offered by the lender. The length of time you borrow the loan for will affect the amount of interest you pay as well as the cost of your repayments each month.
Loan amount. Some lenders have set minimum and maximum borrow amounts, while others may only approve you for a certain amount based on your credit history and income. Only borrow as much as you need since you’ll pay interest on the entire amount.
Fixed or variable rate. Fixed rate loans have a set interest rate for the life of the loan, allowing you to plan your repayments and know exactly how much is due each month. Variable rate loans may have a fluctuating rate, but you may also be able to take advantage of good market conditions that afford you a lower rate.
Repayment options. Most personal loans will come with monthly repayments. You may be able to align the repayment dates with your budget, but some lenders may be more restrictive. You should also see if you are able to make early repayments without incurring any additional fees, as this option can help you save money on interest.
Can I get a cosmetic surgery loan with bad credit?
There are a few different types of loans available for those people who have bad credit. Before comparing your options, you can ask yourself the following questions:
Are you sure you want the procedure? Cosmetic surgery is a serious medical procedure that can be irreversible. Before you apply for financing, make sure you’re certain you want the procedure.
Have you researched the risks? There are various risks associated with different surgeries. Research these risks before you apply for a loan to ensure you understand exactly what you’re getting into.
How much will the surgery cost? Total up the entire amount of the surgery, including the surgery itself, travel costs and any unpaid time you may have to take off from work. Calculate your monthly repayments and budget them in with your income and expenses to make sure you’ll be able to afford the loan.
Can you save up the money or wait until your credit has improved? With bad credit, your options for a personal loan may be limited and more expensive. If you can wait until your credit score has improved, you may be able to qualify for a lender who can provide the financing needed for your cosmetic surgery. If not, there are lenders who offer installment loans and short-term loans to those with bad credit.
What to consider when looking for a loan
Fees. Before you take out a loan, you should be aware of all the fees that you might incur. Look for fees that you’ll be charged for the loan to be set up, ongoing loan administration fees, plus fees you may be charged for paying off the loan early or for making additional repayments.
Interest rate. The interest rate may be fixed or variable. Although the rate contributes significantly to the cost of the loan, you need to consider this alongside other costs, such as fees, to get an idea of the real cost of the loan.
Restrictions. Depending on the lender you go with, there may be certain restrictions placed on the loan. For instance, you may not be able to make additional repayments or be able to pay back the loan early. Make sure you are familiar with all aspects of the loan before you sign the contract.
How to apply for a cosmetic surgery loan
To apply for a personal loan, thoroughly research your options and then head to the lender’s website to apply online. You may also be able to apply in person at a store if the lender has physical branch locations. Some lenders also allow you to apply over the telephone. If applying online, you will be taken to a secure online application form. Before applying, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and have the necessary documents on hand.
You will usually need to meet the following requirements:
Be 18 years of age or the age of majority in your province or territory
Be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident with a valid Canadian address
Have proof of an income
Have a working bank account
Meet the income and credit score requirements
You will also need to provide the following details when you apply:
Personal details including your name, age and proof of your identification
Financial details including your assets, debts and liabilities
Your income and pay frequency, which may require paycheques or bank statements
Your employment information
Cost and recovery time estimates of different cosmetic surgery procedures
Here are some general estimates of how much different cosmetic surgery procedures cost and typical recovery times. Be sure to discuss your personal situation with the surgeon you’re considering before undergoing any procedure.
There are a number of cosmetic issues that can be resolved with general cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic enhancements include procedures such as a face lift or breast lift. The cost of these types of cosmetic surgeries varies widely based on your geographic location and the surgeon’s reputation but can range from $3,000 to over $15,000. The procedures can require one or two weeks off from work depending on which body part you are enhancing and the extent of the surgery.
Many people, especially men, turn to surgery to replace lost hair. This involves removing hair bearing skin from one area of the body and transplanting it onto the scalp. Afterwards, the patient may feel pain or throbbing in the area, making it necessary to take a few days off from work until fully recovered. How much the procedure costs will vary depending on the extent of hair loss, but can range from $5,000 to over $15,000.
Bariatric surgery is used as a weight loss method that helps the patient to control their appetite. This is done using a variety of methods including having a band placed around the upper portion of the stomach. These types of procedures can cost between $5,000 and $16,000. Many of these procedures are now done with laser treatments, making recovery time around ten to 14 days.
Dental surgery requires the removal of teeth and/or the reconstruction of the jaw bone to position them better. Dental implants can cost between $1,000 to $3,000 for a single tooth and range from $24,000 to a whopping $100,000 if you want your entire mouth cosmetically enhanced. You may be in pain for a few days following the procedure, so be prepared to take a week off from work.
Cosmetic dentistry is used to repair what is considered to be an abnormality with the mouth or teeth. Teeth whitening is a common procedure that averages about $650 a visit, and should not require any time off from work. Veneers, which are placed over the teeth to improve their appearance, will be anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 per tooth. Again, you likely won’t need time off after getting veneers.
Laser eye surgery corrects a person’s vision without the use of glasses or contact lenses. Instead, a laser is used to restore vision to the ideal 20/20. These types of laser treatments average around $2,000, but can reach as high as $5,000 or more. Since this is an outpatient procedure, you will need someone to bring you home afterwards. Expect that your vision will not be fully restored for up to five days following the procedure.
For couples who are struggling to have a baby, IVF programs are often the only solution. These types of fertility treatments assist the couple with getting pregnant by using donor and implantation techniques. These procedures are costly and usually sit around $10,000 to $15,000 per cycle, but since they don’t always work the first time, it can become very costly for the couple.
ENT stands for ear, nose and throat treatments. One of the most common procedures related to ENT surgery is rhinoplasty, which is a reshaping of the nose. These cosmetic procedures usually cost between $3,000 to $12,000, and you’ll also need ten to 14 days afterwards to recover before being able to return to work.
Getting cosmetic surgery overseas
To save money, some people go overseas to places like Mexico and Europe, where cosmetic procedures are cheaper. It’s important to fully research the surgeons before having them perform any procedure on you. Although you may save some money in the short term, you could expose yourself to some serious health risks.
Surgeons in other countries may not be as regulated as they are in Canada. As a result, some procedures conducted abroad aren’t always as hygienic or safe. If you’re considering an overseas procedure, you may want to seek professional advice in order to understand the risks involved.
Frequently asked questions about cosmetic surgery loans
Monthly payments will depend on the amount of money you borrow, the loan term and what interest rate you’re charged.
Most likely, yes. Lenders may have different criteria when it comes to approving loans for cosmetic procedures, however as long as you use the loan for a legitimate purpose, you should be ok. Be sure to check with the specific lender before you apply for the loan.
Many surgeons and medical facilities accept credit cards as a form of payment. You may be charged a small percentage of the transaction as a processing fee. Be sure to understand the interest that’ll be charged on your balance if you don’t plan on paying the credit card balance in full right away.
Aliyyah Camp is a publisher helping folks compare personal, student, car and business loans. Prior to joining Finder, she ran her own personal finance blog and wrote for numerous finance sites. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania. She regularly attends industry conferences to stay in the know about market changes that can affect consumers. When she's not helping people with their personal finances, you can find her at the movies or going for a run outdoors.
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