Do all doctors accept Care Credit? What other types of financing are available for cosmetic surgery?
Do All Doctors Accept Care Credit?
Doctor Answers 5
Accepting Care Credit.
Care Credit is a national firm that loans money. At time of this writing, they are a division of GE capital, and have been around since 1987. Some offices use other national firms. Some offices will do in house financing. Other offices will not offer any financing at all. Ask your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's office if they have any financing options. Make sure that you can afford elective surgery, and the money is not a big stretch...
In my practice we do accept Care Credit, as it is a great method for patients to make monthly payments. Not all doctors take Care Credit, so it is best to take to an office manager who can go over different financing options for you.
Many do Not
You would be wise to check first since many physicians do not take Care Credit.
It almost seems quaint considering the way medicine has transformed itself from a callling to a profession to a business, but there was a time, not so far in the past, when it was considered unprofessional to accept credit cards. In fact, in the 1960's the AMA denounced the concept of credit cards saying that the care of patients should be separate from the conduct of business.
Not all doctors accept Care Credit and there are many options. Your best option is to find a doctor you are considering and then ask about the financing options they offer.
Financing plastic surgery
I am strongly against plastic surgery financing programs, and I have never offered them in my practice. Most, if not all, plastic surgery financing plans are not only a bad idea but also a bad deal for many patients - in some ways that are easily apparent but in other ways that are not as obvious. The most obvious way in which these plans are unfavorable and therefore undesirable is their terms, which often are interest-free for as long as a year, but that revert to an interest rate comparable to a high interest rate credit card (i.e. an APR of 20% or more) if a patient misses or is late on a single payment.
A high interest rate is, in fact, almost a necessity for a credit product that finances a service instead of a tangible asset like a home or an automobile. A creditor can repossess a home or a car, but they can’t repossess your tummy tuck. So a high interest rate helps them hedge the risk of having no collateral.
If you are considering one of these financing arrangements in order to schedule a plastic surgery procedure, do your due diligence before signing on the dotted line. Make sure that you are fully informed of the consequences of missing a payment or making a late payment. Make an honest assessment of your ability to meet the terms of the contract. Look into whether or not you can obtain better financing terms with an existing credit card account or with the bank with which you have a personal banking relationship and a credit history. And give great consideration to the way in which the concept of financing is presented to you by a surgery practice – is it an option that you can explore further on your own, or is the practice trying to ‘pull you in’ by making the financial part ‘easy’ for you?