Medical loans help cover doctors bills, surgery, hospital stays and other medical-related costs. If you are needing treatment but don’t have insurance or the funds to cover it, compare your options and find the right loan for you.
Medical expenses, either planned or unplanned, can put a significant strain on your finances. While costs vary, some procedures can set you back tens of thousands of dollars, not to mention the cost of staying in the hospital and taking time off work.
Medical loans can cover the costs of both elective and essential medical requirements and procedures. Even with private health insurance, you may have to pay an excess, or your provider may not include cover for the procedure. If you don’t have the ready money, you can take out a loan to get the treatment you need.
What types of loans can you use?
You can consider a few different types of financing if you require medical treatment:
Unsecured personal loan. You can use an unsecured personal loan for any purpose, including medical expenses. Lenders will typically let you borrow between $1,000 and $50,000, depending on what you can afford to repay. Interest rates vary between 9.95-29.95% p.a.
Short-term loan. If you only require a small amount and are not eligible for a standard personal loan, you can consider a short-term loan. You can apply for a loan from $100 and repay within a few months. Bear in mind that interest rates and fees will be much higher with a short-term loan.
Credit card. If you have a credit card or are eligible to apply for one, this is another finance option to consider. A credit card may be suitable if you don’t know how much money you need to borrow, or you want to take advantage of interest-free periods and reward offers. Credit cards work differently than other loans, as you only need to make a minimum repayment each month and can redraw the credit up to your limit. Make sure you have the means to repay the money you use and that you won’t fall into further debt.
How should I compare medical loans?
Medical loans offer many of the same features as other personal loans, but some of the features are more specific:
Fees. Most loans come with costs, and medical loans are no different. Depending on the lender, you may have to pay a loan establishment fee and monthly account maintenance fees. Early repayment or redraw costs should also be taken into consideration.
Repayments. Lenders may differ in how flexible they are with repayments. Most offer you the option of making your repayments weekly, fortnightly or monthly, but some may allow you to make additional repayments to help save you money in the long term.
Loan amount. As medical costs can be quite steep, medical loans are usually for higher amounts than other loans. Some medical loans have quite high minimums, so make sure you don’t borrow more than you need.
Loan terms As the loan amounts are typically higher with medical loans, the provider may offer you a more extended period to pay it back. Check to see if you can manage the repayments with the loan term the lender sets.
Matt Corke is Finder's head of publishing for rest of world and New Zealand. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time, he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
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