Dental implants financing

Since dental implants are generally not covered by traditional forms of insurance, finding a way to pay for them can be tricky. This doesn’t mean you have to scour the internet in search of your answers. We have compiled multiple ways on how to finance dental implants right here. Some of the methods described below don’t even require a credit check.

Apply for a dental loan

Dental implant loans, also referred to as signature loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t have to put up any collateral. The payoff period is typically 2-3 years or longer. 

You can find dental loans online or at local lending institutions. Typically, anyone can apply. The whole thing is arranged by a third party, like a medical professional or a loan broker.

Pros: Dental loans are a way to finance dental implants with bad credit. Only a soft inquiry is done, so it doesn’t carry any risks at this stage. If you have very bad credit, you can ask someone to co-sign it with you. Interest rates are fixed and money is usually available the day a patient is approved.

Cons: The biggest disadvantage is the high interest rates and high charges when payments are not met on time. Your credit will take a big hit if you fail to pay it off. You have to analyze the fine print, as there are often a lot of catches.

Look into dental credit cards

Dental credit cards may be a solution if you find a good deal. Many providers offer 0% APR for a period of 6 to 24 months.

You can apply for a dental credit card at your dentist’s office or online. The former will ensure your specialist accepts this form of payment. Finding credit cards on the internet requires that you check whether you’ll be able to use them at the chosen office. There may also be additional requirements, for example, a minimum age of 18.

It’s worth noting that you will need a good or very good credit score. It can be paid off as if it was a regular credit card, except payments may be higher after a promotional period.

Pros: You are likely to get preferable terms during a promotional period and the credit is interest-free. There are rarely any waiting periods, so you can often start working on your mouth straight away.

Cons: On the other hand, interest rates can become very steep if you miss a repayment deadline. You will also need a good or very good credit score and your dentist has to accept this form of payment. Some providers have been accused of predatory lending. This means you must read the fine print very carefully.

See whether your dentist offers payment plans

In-house financing of dental implants is great if you have bad credit. Many offices conduct no inquiry or just a soft one. The cost can be spread over a long period of time, which allows for small monthly payments. Interest rates are low to zero.

A lot of flexibility is another key point. The dentist will know exactly what kind of procedures need to be done in the process, and all can be paid off over time. Eligibility is determined by clinics individually, you have a good chance if you are an established patient. You can apply at the office or through the office website.

Pros: Payment plans often have beneficial terms such as low interest rates. Sometimes, there is no interest at all. What’s more, only a soft inquiry is done into your credit. If it is bad, this is often not a deal-breaker, either.

Cons: If you go with an in-house payment plan, you may have to have all work done in one office. This makes it impossible to save on additional procedures such as X-rays elsewhere. Many dental practices will refer patients to other companies if the payoff period is long.

Ask your employer about your Flexible Spending Account

Flexible Spending Accounts are a benefit some employers provide in the insurance package. If you want to sign up, you have to do it through your employer. Savings are generally dedicated to healthcare costs, including dental implant financing.

You as the patient get to decide how much is to be deducted from your pay to go into your FSA account. When paying the dentist, you simply write a check or use a debit card provided by the insurer. This might not be an option if your implants are not medically necessary.

Pros: The money in the account is before taxes and tax-deductible. Bad credit is not a problem, since you are borrowing from your own savings.

Cons: There is up to a $2,700 annual limit. If any funds remain after the end of the year, they are lost. Dental work must be completed within the use-it-or-lose-it date, meaning you may not be able to finance the entire dental implants process.

Check if you qualify for a Health Savings Account

FSA and HSA are often confused. They are a similar idea, but still have some key differences. Your HSA allows rollover, which means that if you don’t use the funds by the end of the year, they are transferred. This makes it a good option for financing dental implants since the process usually takes more than a year.

What’s more, both you and your employer can set up such an account, as long as you have insurance. Your HR department is the place to ask about setting one up and paying for dental implants this way. If you change jobs, the account comes with you. 

Pros: The money in your HSA account is both tax-free and tax-deductible. Rollover is possible, so you can fund your dental implants over several years. Change of employment is not a problem either. Financing dental implants with a HSA account is an option for those with bad credit.

Cons: There is a $3,500 per year limit on spending. HSA requires a high deductible plan, with $1,350 or more.

Tap into your retirement savings

Some retirement savings plans (otherwise known as 401(k) and 403(b)) provide patients with the option of hardship withdrawals or loans on medical bills. You are borrowing from yourself, so this is another option to finance dental implants with bad credit.

At any time, patients can borrow up to 50% of their savings, but the amount cannot exceed $50,000. This means you can pay for a whole mouth of implants this way. Repaying this loan can take up to 5 years. If your medical expenses are higher than 10% of your adjusted income, you avoid double taxation and an additional 10% tax.

When it comes to eligibility, the only requirement is that you have a retirement plan with your employer.

Pros: There is no credit check. Origination fees are low with retirement savings. The interest is likely to be minimal and what’s more, it all goes back into your account.

Cons: There is some risk to using your retirement fund. You must also pay back the loan within 60 days if you lose your job. This repayment is taxed, so you end up with double taxation in such a scenario. And lastly, it may be impossible for you to further contribute to your retirement fund until this loan is paid off completely.

Explore borrowing money from friends or family

You can also finance dental implants by borrowing money from friends and family who have savings available. Just let them know what kind of dental work you are looking to have done and they may help you.

Suggest writing down an agreement, so your friends or family can be sure funds will be returned.

Pros: This method is incredibly flexible and there is no credit score check. There is likely to be no interest, depending on your relationship with the lender.

Cons: Some people feel awkward asking their friends and family for money. The relationship might also be negatively affected if you fail to make payments on time.

Fundraise your dental bill

Platforms like GoFundMe and FundLy allow raising money for any purpose. This could cover your bill for dental implants, at least in part. It’s helpful to lay down why you need them and perhaps even make a video. There are many sponsors out there willing to help those with a low income or who are in any way underserved.

Registries are easy to make online and anyone can do it. There are no limitations or requirements for eligibility. Sometimes you can even set up a fundraiser in which the money goes directly to your dental professional. Such a solution can make your cause seem more legitimate.

Pros: No credit score check is needed and you won’t need to pay the sum back. 

Cons: Some platforms take a percentage of the money you make. It may be difficult to convince strangers to give you money. Some patients also don’t feel comfortable putting their name and face out there to fundraise. 

Research dental implant grants

Dental implant grants are tricky. There are a lot of companies out there baiting patients for personal data that they later sell. Others use this method to supply their associated specialists with patients. There is no problem if you are actually saving money, but this is not always the case.

Some organizations will provide you with an inflated estimate and later “cover” this surplus. That way your implants aren’t cheaper but, at the same time, you become tied to a certain specialist. 

Legitimate dental implants grants programs usually dedicate funding to non-profit organizations. If you find a tempting opportunity that is mean to individual patients, do a double, or maybe even triple check.

Pros: Dental implant grants can fund your work without making you pay any of it back.

Cons: You will have to provide personal data and might become tied to one specialist or office. Worst of all, it could be a scam.

Bottom line

Of course, one method might be great for a person while completely unacceptable to another. But it is always prudent to weigh all your options and compare different strategies. Especially when it comes to loans and credit cards, make sure not to go with the first offer you find. There is a lot of competition out there and it is possible for patients to benefit from this greatly.