Best Personal Loans For Medical Expenses, Bills, Procedures, and Surgery
It’s no secret that the American healthcare system is broken, and patients often get the short end of the stick when it comes to medical bills. Indeed, many Americans are up to their eyeballs in medical expenses and aren’t sure where to turn for support. Fortunately, several major lending institutions offer loans for medical expenses, which can help individuals pay down their debt and eventually escape it once and for all.
Whether you’re facing an enormous hospital bill for a recent surgery, or if you’re wondering how to pay for an operation you need but can’t afford, a loan for medical bills can literally save your life. But not all loans for medical procedures are alike, and one lender might be a much better match for you than another. To help you distinguish the difference, here’s some insight into what medical loans can be used for and how to determine which lender is best for you.
What Is a Medical Loan?
Medical loans are personal loans designated for medical expenses. They’re often unsecured, and their interest rates generally range from 5% up to 36%. Medical loans are largely used by people whose insurance doesn’t cover the full cost of a medical bill. For instance, you might need a medical loan if your copay is more than you can afford, or if your insurance carrier doesn’t consider a particular procedure necessary with regard to your overall well-being.
While many healthcare providers do offer in-house financing for patients who can’t pay their entire balance at once, such programs often include high-interest rates and stiff penalties for late payments. Medical loans, on the other hand, frequently have fixed low-interest rates and include other benefits that aren’t found in financing plans from healthcare providers.
Medical loans, however, aren’t always the most economical way to cover hospital expenses, and they usually require stellar credit to qualify for the best rates and longest terms. But, for some individuals, medical loans are the perfect solution to a stack of bills.
What Can You Use a Medical Loan For?
There are virtually no restrictions on what a medical loan can or cannot be applied toward, though some lenders reserve the right to impose their own conditions. Generally speaking, medical loans can be used for the following purposes:
- To consolidate existing medical debt
- To cover the cost of an emergency or unplanned medical procedure
- Dental services including veneers and orthodontics
- Weight-loss procedures and cosmetic surgeries
- Adoption costs and fertility treatments
- Breast augmentation financing
Compare Loans For Medical Expenses
|Avant||$2,000 — $35,000|
|LightStream||$5,000 — $100,000|
|SoFi||$5,000 — $100,000|
|Upstart||$1,000 — $50,000|
|Click to compare estimated rates on PrimeRates.|
Medical Loan Options
Here’s a closer look at four leading lenders when it comes to medical loans.
Avant: Avant is a popular option for aspiring borrowers with less-than-perfect credit. Loan amounts with Avant range from $2,000 to $35,000, and APRs start at 9.95% and go up to 35.99%. Repayment terms range from two years to five years, and Avant charges an administration fee of up to 4.75%.
|APR||9.95% — 35.99%|
|Loan Amount||$2,000 — $35,000|
|Time to Funding||As early as next business day|
|Credit Score||580; typical credit score is 600 — 700|
|Click “Check Rates” to apply to Avant|
LightStream: Great for individuals who need to borrow a large amount, LightStream offers fixed-rate loans from $5,000 to $100,000 with APRs from 4.99% to 17.49%. Loans can be repaid over the course of up to seven years, and LightStream never charges any fees.
|APR||4.99% — 16.99% (with AutoPay)*|
|Loan Amount||$5,000 — $100,000|
|Time to Funding||As early as same day|
|Click “Check Rates” to apply to LightStream|
SoFi: Like LightStream, SoFi is another solid option for people who need to borrow a large sum. Additionally, SoFi offers both fixed and variable interest rates that range from 6.99% to 14.99%, and they don’t charge any fees.
|APR||6.99% — 15.115%|
|Loan Amount||$5,000 — $100,000|
|Time to Funding||About 7 days|
|Click “Check Rates” to apply to SoFi|
Upstart: Ideal for aspiring borrowers with little credit history, Upstart accounts for factors such as employment and education when determining an individual’s creditworthiness. Upstart’s APRs and loan terms differ depending on what state you live in, so your actual experience may vary.
|APR||5.99% – 35.89%|
|Loan Amount||$1,000 — $50,000|
|Time to Funding||1 business day|
|Click “Check Rates” to apply to Upstart|
What Should You Look for When Shopping for Medical Loans?
Whether you need a medical emergency loan to cover the cost of an accident. or if you’re one of the countless Americans who need medical loans for surgery, there are some common factors you should consider before committing to any particular lender. Here are a few items to keep in mind if you’re looking into getting a loan.
- Origination Fees: Though more and more lenders are eschewing this practice, quite a few institutions charge one-time origination fees to cover the hard costs of processing a loan. These fees range from 1% to 6% and are included in the APR.
- Annual Percentage Rate: This number, which generally ranges from 6% to 36%, accounts for interest and fees and represents the annual cost of a loan. These rates vary by lender and are largely calculated based upon an applicant’s credit score. Only people with near spotless credit reports will qualify for the best rates available.
- Fixed vs Variable Rates: Most types of loans come in two flavors: fixed and variable. Fixed loans make budgeting and forecasting easy because your bill never fluctuates. Variable rates, on the other hand, can change based on market rates, which could translate into higher payments and more unpredictability.
- Speed: How quickly a lender is able to fulfill a loan is also a consideration for many applicants. Many online lenders now offer same-day funding, but transfers can still take up to a week with more traditional institutions.
- Loan Term: It makes sense that many borrowers want the most amount of time possible for repayment, but this usually means they’ll pay more interest in the end. Choose a loan term based on the payment you can afford, not just the maximum time for repayment.
Pros and Cons of Medical Loans
When weighing medical loans against other financing options, here are a few benefits and drawbacks to consider.
- Loans have lower fees and better rates.
- Unsecured loans require no collateral.
- Applications can be approved in an instant.
- Fixed payments make it easy to forecast your finances.
- Only applicants with excellent credit get great rates.
- APRs can be high for average borrowers.
- Loans aren’t always the most economical option.
Do You Need a Medical Loan?
If you have a stack of medical bills waiting to be paid, and you’re wondering “Should I consolidate?” there’s never been a better time to explore your options as a borrower. Hopefully, one of these lenders will be ideal for you.