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Medical Loan Finder

Tackle the bill from an emergency or an expensive treatment with funding from a lender.

Medical expenses can put a significant strain on your finances. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans spent over $100 billion in 2016 on medical expenses alone. And according to the Kaiser Foundation, almost 30% of people report that they have trouble paying medical bills. A medical loan can help you cover bills from doctors and hospitals or any medical-related expense.

5 best medical loan providers

  • Best for fair credit: LendingClub
  • Best for competitive rates: Lightstream
  • Best for expensive medical procedures: SoFi
  • Best for comparing offers: Monevo
  • Best for high debt-to-income ratios: Prosper

Best for fair credit

LendingClub personal loans

Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5 ★★★★★

LendingClub is a peer-to-peer lending platform that allows you to borrow up to $40,000 to cover a medical procedure. And you only need fair credit to qualify. It works directly with medical providers to give financing to patients, though you'll need to visit a provider that already works with LendingClub to take advantage of its program.
  • Not available in: Idaho, Iowa

Best for competitive rates

LightStream personal loans

Finder Rating: 4.83 / 5 ★★★★★

Lightstream is backed by SunTrust, now Truist, and offers some of the most competitive rates out there with specific loans designed to finance medical procedures. And even if you receive an offer with a lower APR, its Rate Beat program could secure you a better rate. Just be prepared for a hit to your credit when you apply — there's no preapproval process available.
  • Available in all states
*Payment example: Monthly payments for a $10,000 loan at 5.95% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $303.99.

Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust, Truist, LightStream, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

Best for expensive medical procedures

SoFi personal loans

Finder Rating: 4.45 / 5 ★★★★★

SoFi is more than a lender: It offers networking events, career training and more perks to borrowers. Combined with low maximum rates, it can be a good choice if you're looking to pay for an expensive medical procedure or consolidate medical debt. But you'll need a credit score of at least 680 to qualify.
  • Not available in: Mississippi
Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 22.73% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 6/15/22 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, income, and other factors. See APR examples and terms. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

Best for comparing offers

Monevo personal loans

Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

Monevo is a highly-rated connection service that allows you to compare multiple medical loan providers by filling out a single form. It doesn't charge any fees to use its service and there's no impact to your credit score for comparing lenders. Monevo's partners offer rates ranging from 1.99% to 35.99% APR, loan amounts from $1,000 to $500,000 and terms of three months to 12 years.
  • Available in all states

Best for high debt-to-income ratios

Prosper personal loans

Finder Rating: 3.42 / 5 ★★★★★

Prosper offers up to $50,000 in personal loans that can be used to pay for common medical expenses. It also offers financing directly through healthcare providers, but these are limited to four categories: bariatric surgery, cosmetic surgery, dentistry and fertility treatments.
  • Not available in: Iowa, North Dakota, West Virginia

Methodology: How we chose the best medical loans

We analyzed medical loan lenders that accept people with fair credit and a higher debt-to-income ratio. We then weighted five key metrics: maximum loan amount, interest rate, fees, perks and reviews to find the best options to pay for a medical expense or consolidate medical debt.

What can I use a medical loan for?

Medical loans are meant to cover the expenses your insurance doesn’t — either because your copay is too large or the service isn’t included in your package. The most common uses of a medical loan are usually procedures that aren’t considered crucial by insurance providers. They include:

  • Orthodontics, veneers and other dental services
  • Weight loss surgeries
  • Fertility treatments and adoption loans
  • Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
  • Of course, this isn’t the definitive list. Whenever you need to finance a medical procedure, a loan can be useful to cover the amount due to your provider and extend the payment plan to match your budget

How much does a medical loan cost?

Use our calculator below to find out how much a medical loan may cost you.

Medical loan calculator

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Fill out the form and click on “Calculate” to see your estimated monthly payment.

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What is patient financing?

Patient financing is a loan that you get through your medical provider, usually through a third party. Some big providers may have their own in-house financing programs, but not always.

Here are some of the different patient financing programs available:

  • Term loan financing. Many patient financing options work a lot like other personal loans. They typically start at around $2,000 with rates ranging from around 6% to 36% APR. But according to experts, you usually need a credit score of at least 760 and meet income requirements to qualify for the lowest rate offered.
  • Promotional 0% APR financing. Some providers offer a promotional 0% APR period, which can last from six months to a few years. But the APR that kicks in after the period ends is higher than what you’d pay with other types of financing — around 25%. It’s best for smaller bills.
  • Flat-rate financing. Some providers offer the same rates and terms to all borrowers, regardless of credit or income. This can clock in at around 15% APR — a good deal if you have bad credit, but expensive if you can qualify for a lower rate.
  • No credit check 0% interest financing. Some plans advertise 0% interest and no credit check — but charge a flat fee. This can result in an APR over 36% depending on the fee in relation to the cost of the procedure and how long you have to pay it off.

What types of treatment can it cover?

Unlike insurance, healthcare financing is available for nearly all medical treatments. You can use it to cover everything from bariatric surgery to buying a hearing aid when your insurance coverage falls short. Even to pay for what insurance companies consider elective procedures, like cosmetic surgery or LASIK eye surgery.

You can also finance other costs your policy leaves behind, like that $2,000 ambulance ride or prescriptions for expensive medications.

Patient financing vs. personal loans

Your specific patient financing options will likely come down to what your doctor’s office offers. Here’s how in-house patient financing and general-use personal loans differ.

Patient financing

When you need funds to pay for a specific procedure or hospital stay, healthcare providers often offer financing with partner lenders. It’s a tempting option because there isn’t much you have to do — if you’re approved, the money goes directly to the hospital or doctor’s office.

But your choices are limited to what your medical provider offers. And it can also be more expensive than a general-use personal loan, especially if you don’t have good or excellent credit.

Loan with private lender

Generally, you can use a personal loan for any legitimate expense, including medical treatment. You can typically borrow from $2,000 to $50,000 and pay it back over a fixed term, usually between one and five years.

After you’re approved and receive your funds, you have the freedom to spend it on paying off hospital bills, picking up prescriptions or covering unexpected ambulance rides. You can also use a personal loan to consolidate your medical costs into one bill so that it’s easier on the wallet and mind.

8 options for low-cost or free medical care

These won’t cover the medical bills that have already come due, but they can help make a dent in future expenses. Many are free of charge, available to people without insurance or both.

  • Community health centers. No matter your insurance coverage and income, you won’t be turned away from a community health center. These operate on a sliding pay scale so you won’t be charged more than you can reasonably afford.
  • Nurse practitioners. Seeing a nurse practitioner can cut the cost of a doctor visit. And they’re often qualified to perform many of the services done by your general practitioner so you won’t miss out on the care you need.
  • Medical bill advocates. Negotiating with your provider and insurance company is hard enough when you’re well, but if you suffer from chronic illness or don’t want to jump through hoops, hiring a medical bill advocate may increase your chances of lowering your payment or convincing your insurance company to shell out for a procedure.
  • Health fairs. Many counties and cities run health fairs semiregularly to treat people who may not have access to medical care. Often, you can receive an overall wellness checkup with some even providing basic dental services — and during flu season, you may be able to snag a cheap shot.
  • National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics (NAFC). Formed to help the working poor, underinsured and uninsured find low-cost alternatives to health care, the NAFC has clinics all over the US.
  • Medicaid and other county healthcare services. If you’re struggling to pay for your healthcare or don’t receive insurance through an employer, Medicaid and other equivalent county services are a good option. Your copays will be reasonable, and you won’t have to worry about huge costs when you stay in-network.
  • Crowdfunding websites. Using crowdfunding to finance a medical procedure is becoming more common. If you know you’ll be struggling to pay for an important health issue, looking to your peers is a good place to ease the financial burden.
  • Partnership for Prescription Assistance (PPA). Not every struggle is with a procedure. If you have an ongoing condition that needs medication, the PPA can help you find programs to assist you.

LATEST MEDICAL LOAN GUIDES

5 ways to protect your finances when you’re sick

Here are a few ways you can manage your money and keep up with bills while receiving medical treatment:

  1. Reach out to your lenders. If you’re out of work because of illness or simply struggling to handle both your medical payments and normal bills, get in touch with your lenders. They may be able to help if you’re unable to meet your full monthly payment.
  2. Use a credit counselor. A credit counselor can help you create a budget and structure your bills to make managing your finances easier. Some will even help you negotiate with your creditors.
  3. Check local and state programs. There are several programs available to people who need assistance with bills, housing costs and other expenses. Reach out to local and state agencies to see if you qualify for an assistance program and what you’ll need to apply.
  4. Check your credit report. When you set up alternate payments or enter forbearance on a loan, check your credit report regularly. This will help you spot incorrect information and ensure everything is accurate.
  5. Work with debt collectors. If a loan or bill has gone to collections, don’t avoid the calls. Instead, work with the debt collector to create a repayment plan that suits your budget. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has a step-by-step guide to contacting and negotiating with debt collectors.

How can I find competitive financing?

When you’re facing a large bill from past surgeries or multiple upcoming doctor visits, good interest rates and loan terms may be the last thing on your mind. But understanding your loan could help you save.

Start by checking out the loan options available from your local bank or credit union. These usually have the lowest interest rates and accept people with a variety of credit scores. After you’ve exhausted this avenue, compare your rates for online lenders. You can usually apply completely online without having to fax any documents.

Once you’ve found a few loan options that suit you, compare these five main factors:

  1. Preapproval. You don’t want to waste time filling out a bunch of paperwork just to be rejected. Many lenders have quick online forms to submit for preapproval before your credit is run.
  2. Credit score requirements. Lenders typically list a minimum score for eligibility. If your credit score doesn’t meet the minimum, consider a different lender.
  3. Interest rate. Lenders determine what rate to charge you based on your creditworthiness. If you have bad credit, finding the lowest rate should be at the top of your priority list since lenders will charge more.
  4. Fees. Some lenders charge an origination fee. This affects your loan’s APR and affect how much money is ultimately deposited into your account.
  5. Loan term. How long you have to repay the loan affects your monthly payments and the total amount you’ll pay in interest. A longer term means lower payments but more spent on interest. Choose a loan term that doesn’t break your budget but won’t cost you too much in interest.

What information will I need to provide my lender?

Medical loans work like other personal loans. Lenders will request that you supply both information about yourself and your income in order to determine if you meet eligibility criteria.

  • Personal information. Your name, date of birth, address, contact information and Social Security number.
  • Employment information. Your employer, how long you’ve been employed and your income.
  • Bank account information. Your bank’s routing number and your account number. This is only required for loans that will be deposited directly into your checking account.

If you plan on using your loan to consolidate your debt, you may need to provide information about these accounts so the lender can send funds to pay off your accounts for you.

Is a medical loan the right choice?

Medical loans are good solutions for many situations, but that doesn’t mean they’re always the right choice. When browsing your financing options, keep in mind that medical loans are meant to be used to pay for upcoming or past medical procedures and surgeries.

If you find yourself with quite a bit of medical debt already accrued, a medical loan won’t be your best choice. Rather, you may want to seek out debt consolidation services to combine multiple monthly payments into one.

If you have more than just a medical expense you need to pay for, then a personal loan or line of credit might suit your needs better. Many of these also allow for cosigners, which could potentially help you qualify for more money or a lower rate than you would if you applied as an individual.

No matter your decision, proceed with caution. Every loan, whether it’s medical or not, comes with fees and interest. Be sure to create a solid budget for payments when determining how to handle your medical debt.

Alternatives to taking out a medical loan

Not everyone has the extra income to spend on making loan payments, and people without good credit will likely find the interest they’re being charged too much to handle. Instead, use these three methods to handle your medical expenses without a loan.

  • Negotiate medical bills. Providers have discounts you may not know about unless you ask, and there’s nothing shameful about haggling prices when it comes to your bill. The trick to negotiating is staying firm and knowing what you’re after — having a good idea of how much other providers charge for your procedure is a good place to start.
  • Request a payment plan. As long as you paying on a medical bill, it won’t go into collections. Requesting a payment plan with your provider can help you make a difference in what you owe. Since many billing departments are willing to start a payment plan without interest, you may be able to save more money than you expected.
  • Check for clerical errors. It’s important to go over your bill carefully and make sure everything has been coded correctly. A generic medication may have been listed under a name brand or a procedure may have been incorrectly labelled. These mistakes mean your insurance can’t process the bill properly and may charge you for something you didn’t receive.
  • Nonprofit debt relief. Nonprofit credit counseling and debt relief agencies can help negotiate your medical bills and create a budget. Just remember that a nonprofit status doesn’t mean it won’t cost money. Some may charge small fees for their services.
  • Employer compensation. Using accrued sick leave and vacation time isn’t your only option. Some employers offer compensation for time off, and some states have programs for paid leave if you have a medical issue. Check with your employer and state government for more information on their programs.

8 common medical bill terms you should know

You’ll likely run into these terms quite a bit as you navigate medical debt.

1. Coinsurance

Coinsurance is the amount you’re required to provide for a medical service or prescription. It’s calculated as a percentage of the final amount. Some insurance companies may require you to meet your deductible before coinsurance takes effect.

2. Copay

Copay is a set number you’re required to pay for a medical service or prescription. Like coinsurance, it can take effect either before or after you’ve met your deductible.

3. Collections

When you fail to repay a medical bill, it can be sent to collections. Many hospitals and private providers have their own collections process before it’s sold to an official company. Once this happens, your bill will be noted on your credit report and may reduce your score.

4. Deductible

A deductible is the amount you must meet in order for your copay or coinsurance to start. Many insurance companies offer high deductible plans and low deductible plans, and certain services like yearly wellness checkups are covered before you meet your deductible.

5. Explanation of benefits (EOB)

This is a document sent by your insurance company that explains what services were and were not paid for. It is not a bill. Your bill will be sent by your provider and may be different from your EOB.

6. Flexible Savings Arrangement (FSA)

FSAs are offered by some employers. The money you contribute isn’t taxed, and you choose how much you’ll be contributing during the year. However, if you don’t use everything in the account, it may not roll over. This makes estimating for emergencies. difficult.

7. Health Savings Account (HSA)

An HSA is attached to you, not a job, but you must have a high-deductible plan in order to qualify. You won’t pay taxes on the money you draw for medical expenses.

8. Out of pocket maximum

This is the maximum amount you’ll be required to spend by your insurance company and often includes your deductible. For instance, if your out-of-pocket maximum is $7,000 and your procedure costs $8,000, you would only be required to pay that $7,000.

Bottom line

Medical loans can be a life-saver, but they don’t come cheap. By comparing your options and using multiple sources of funding, you can lower your expenses and pay for whatever procedure you need done. Since many medical loans are personal loans, you should read our guide to personal loans and find the terms that work for you and your financial situation.

Frequently asked questions

Read more about medical loans with these answers to common questions.

What will the interest rate be on my medical loan?

Interest rates vary depending on the lender and your credit profile. You can explore the starting rates of the lenders in our comparison table above. After applying for the loan, you’ll receive a more accurate estimate of the interest rate the lender will charge. which usually ranges from 6% to 36%.

Will a medical loan cover my specific procedure?

Most likely, yes. Lenders don’t usually exclude certain procedures as long as the procedure was performed by a reputable medical professional. You can check the lender’s website before applying or call their customer service line to be sure.

Can I use a medical loan to pay for a medical bill that’s in collections?

Medical loans are usually meant to pay the facility or medical profession that’s owed. If your bill has been sent to collections, a debt consolidation loan may be more appropriate. However, if you’re applying for a personal loan to use for medical expenses, its specific purpose likely won’t matter.

Can I apply with a cosigner?

It depends on your lender, but many lenders allow you to have a cosigner if you believe it will increase your chances of qualifying for the loan.

Can a medical bill go into default?

Yes. If you don’t pay your medical bill in full or don’t set up a payment plan with your physician, your bill may go into default and sent to collections.

Read more on this topic

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