One of the top questions readers are asking, how do I go about financing my surgery? Can I finance my surgery or treatment even if it is performed outside the United States?
Funny thing is, financial institutions for the most part, don’t care where or what you are having done. Some of them listed below may come with restrictions, although most will be focused on your ability to pay back the money borrowed, not where you are having the surgery.
Crowdfunding has become one of the newest ways to finance business, dreams and now healthcare. Thus the reason why we felt it needed to be part of the article.
When you are considering surgery or treatment, here are some payment methods to explore:
Regular credit cards
Use an existing low-APR credit card or apply for a new card with a 0% introductory period to pay for the procedure(s).
- – Assuming the card has a reasonable interest rate, this can be an affordable way to pay for the surgery and even build your credit.
- – Don’t go for the points, most credit card companies are trimming the points benefits.
- – Large purchases may use up your credit line and reduce your credit utilization ratio and can lower your credit score while paying it off.
- – If interest rate is more than 10%, we recommend choosing another method.
- – Pay the balance off before the introductory rate expires.
- – As with any credit card don’t charge more than 30% of your available credit.
Credit Union or Bank loan
Personal loan from your local bank or credit union.
- – While the interest rates of an unsecured loan from a financial institution run close to those on credit cards (depending on your creditworthiness and ability to qualify, of course),
- – Credit Union & bank loans have fixed interest rates and a fixed amount of time in which to repay.
- – Credit Unions & banks can boost your credit rating, as long as you make the payments on time until the repayment term is complete.
- – Unlike a credit card, you can’t add more to the balance.
- – Unsecured loan interest rates can vary from bank to bank and credit union to credit union. Personal loan rates
- – Not all credit unions and banks are equal, meet with several starting with one you or a family member are already associated with.
- – Depending on your previous history, you may find it easier to qualify.
- – Secured loans often offer a lower interest rate, although you must offer up collateral against the loan, such as a car or other property.
Home equity loans and lines of credit
Loans against the equity of your house are only accessible to homeowners.
- -Interest based on current mortgage rates.
- – Affordable mortgage rates.
- – Interest is tax-deductible in most cases.
- – Interest rates are low. Although, if they take an unexpected jump, compare rates.
- – Most financial advisers say this should be a last resort.
Most 401(k) accounts allow participants to borrow up to 50% of the vested balance up to a maximum of $50,000.
- – Repayments are automatically deducted from your paycheck.
- – This will have no effect on your credit rating.
- – Low interest rates
- – Modest origination fees.
- – You pay yourself the interest — not a credit card or bank.
- – You repay the loan with taxed money, creating a situation in which you pay double taxes since you will pay taxes when you eventually withdraw the money in retirement.
- – Some plans do not allow you to make contributions while you’re paying off the loan, losing out on tax benefits and asset growth during the repayment period.
- – If you leave your job for any reason before the loan has been repaid, you must repay the 401(k) loan or it is reported as taxable income.
- – If you are younger than 59 1/2 years old and leave your job, you suffer an additional 10% penalty.
Health care or medical credit cards and websites
Medical credit cards have come a long way and have a place in borrowing for surgical procedures. Thanks to doctors’ offices offering these to patients who do not have the cash or savings on hand, the cards have become a growing business. They only cover medical expenses and are often offered as a financing option to surgery patients.
- – Health care credit cards often come with 0% options, and even have reasonable interest rates and payment plans.
- – Medical providers may receive commissions from the card issuers for new customers.
- – Missing a payment can cause the default APR to rise to 30% in some cases.
- – Read the fine print.
- – Do not pay for multiple procedures upfront
Crowd funding has become very popular in the last few year. An example of one individual using crowdfunding to pay for surgical procedures. Saskatoon man, 600 pounds, crowdfunding for weight loss surgery
- – Donation-based funding can be easily setup.
- – Sites like gofundme.com, rockethub, indiegogo and Crowdrise can play on people’s desire to help.
- – You need to be willing to divulge details as to why you need the donation.
- – Sites change rules regularly so see details on each site.
A few things to consider with all of the above options:
– What you can comfortably afford
– Consider saving and financing partial amount
– Shop around for the best financing
– Read the fine print of all financing contracts
– Consider if it is worth the investment
You may also want to read: