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You can borrow money for many purposes: A mortgage for a home, student loans for college, even a loan to finance your wedding. But what about plastic surgery?
In 2020, Americans spent more than $9 billion on surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
The cost of cosmetic procedures can vary greatly depending on the work you get done, and it’s not always covered by your medical insurance. Fillers or laser hair removal could set you back less than $1,000, but liposuction, tummy tucks and face-lifts could cost thousands. If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, you might be looking for options to help cover the cost, such as a medical credit card, personal loan or medical loan. Here’s our roundup of the best plastic surgery financing options and the features that make them stand out.
- Best for excellent credit: LightStream
- Best for flexible terms and loan amounts: Upgrade
- Best for member benefits: SoFi
- Best for fair credit: Avant
- Best for promotional financing: CareCredit
- What to watch out for with plastic surgery financing
- How we picked these loans
Best for excellent credit: LightStream
Why LightStream stands out: LightStream rewards borrowers who have above-average credit with personal loans that have no fees and low interest rates. For the lowest rates, LightStream requires excellent credit. In general, LightStream says it considers borrowers with excellent credit as those who have a stable income, money stashed in savings and at least five years of credit history with an excellent payment record.
- Loans up to $100,000: LightStream loan amounts range from $5,000 to $100,000, making the lender a potential option if you need to borrow a large sum.
- Extended loan terms: LightStream offers loan terms of up to 84 months, which could give you ample time to pay off your loan.
- No fees: LightStream doesn’t charge origination or prepayment penalty fees.
- Rate guarantees: If you’re able to get a better rate elsewhere, LightStream may offer to beat that rate through its “Rate Beat” program, but conditions might apply.
- No way to prequalify: LightStream doesn’t offer a prequalification process, so a hard credit inquiry is necessary to check your rates with the lender.
Best for flexible terms and loan amounts: Upgrade
Why Upgrade stands out: Upgrade gives borrowers multiple loan terms to choose from, and if you only need to borrow a small amount, Upgrade offers loans for as little as $1,000. Plus, you can check your rates without affecting your credit scores — though note that prequalification doesn’t guarantee approval and your final terms may vary.
- Multiple loan term options: Loan terms range from 24 to 84 months.
- Quick funding: Loan funds could hit your bank account as soon as the next business day after approval.
- Origination fee: Upgrade charges an origination fee that’s taken from your loan before it’s deposited into your account. But there’s no prepayment penalty fee, so you don’t have to worry about getting penalized if you’re able to pay the loan off early.
Best for member benefits: SoFi
Why SoFi stands out: SoFi offers loans with member perks, such as financial planning advice from advisors, referral bonuses and potential adjustments to your payments if you lose your job. Loan terms range from 24 to 84 months.
- No fees: SoFi personal loans have no origination, prepayment or late fees.
- Large loan amounts: SoFi offers loans of $5,000 to $100,000.
- Low rates: SoFi offers low interest rates for borrowers who qualify, and there’s a 0.25% rate discount if you sign up for autopay.
- Unemployment protection: If you lose your job through no fault of your own while repaying a personal loan from SoFi, you may be able to adjust your monthly payments, while receiving career assistance to help you get back on your feet.
Best for fair credit: Avant
Why Avant stands out: If you have a fair credit score, Avant may be worth considering since Avant says its typical borrower has a score between 600 and 700. Not sure if you qualify? You can check to see if you’re eligible on the Avant website without a hard inquiry — but keep in mind that you may see different terms after submitting a formal application.
- Long and short loan terms: Avant offers loan terms ranging from 24 to 60 months.
- Flexible loan amounts: Loans range from $2,000 to $35,000.
- Quick application and funding: Avant says it has an easy application process that can take minutes. After the loan is approved, you may get access to cash as soon as the next business day. Depending on your bank, however, you may have to wait before you can get your money.
- Origination fee: Avant charges an origination fee that’s taken from your loan balance before it’s deposited into your account, so keep that in mind when deciding how much to borrow.
Best for promotional financing: CareCredit
Why CareCredit stands out: CareCredit is a healthcare credit card for medical expenses that may offer promotional financing where you pay no interest for six, 12, 18 or 24 months. At the end of the promotional period, the accumulated interest gets added to your account unless you pay off the entire balance before the special ends. If you pay on time each month and pay off the balance during the promotional financing period, this could be a way to finance cosmetic procedures without incurring interest charges.
- Apply at the doctor’s office or online: CareCredit is a credit card with a revolving credit line that you can apply for online or at a participating plastic surgeon’s office.
- Prequalification available: You can check to see if you qualify for a CareCredit card online without a hard credit inquiry.
- No activation fee or annual fee: If you choose to sign up for the card, there’s no activation fee, and the terms and conditions disclosure lists no annual fees.
- Longer-term financing available: If you want to pay the balance off over more than 24 months, CareCredit offers 36-, 48- and 60-month fixed-payment options with reduced APR.
- Interest may be deferred, not waived: If you qualify for a zero-interest promotional period, keep in mind that interest is still calculated and added to your balance if you don’t pay off the card entirely by the end of the promotion period. While special financing options can be a great deal for borrowers who are able to pay off the balance, it could be a debt trap for those who can’t since standard interest can be high.
What to watch out for with plastic surgery financing
Borrowing money for plastic surgery is a decision to make carefully. If you’re able to qualify for a competitive rate and the loan has affordable monthly payments, financing the procedure could help you enjoy the results of a costly procedure sooner rather than later.
But there are negatives, too: It’s one more payment to add to your budget each month, and there are financing-related costs to factor into the equation. You may have to pay interest and other fees on the amount you borrow. It also may be harder to qualify for a loan for surgery if you have bad credit.
Saving up for a procedure may be a better (and cheaper) option, even if means you’ll have to wait a few months to get work done. You could start by setting up an automatic transfer of cash from your bank account to a “saving for surgery” account each month.
Saving small amounts consistently can add up and could help you pay for all or at least a portion of your procedure. If you do decide to borrow, be sure to weigh multiple options since this will help you find the best loans available to you.
How we picked these loans
We compared interest rates, fees, perks and promotional financing options across personal loans and medical credit cards. Then we selected the ones that offer competitive rates, flexible terms and member benefits.