Financial difficulties can be overwhelming, but strategies and solutions exist to overcome them. One such method is to seek professional financial advice.
Participants identified various barriers to care that impact older adults’ oral health, including financial, behavioral, and physical obstacles. This final article in the series suggests ways to overcome these barriers.
Create a Budget
Building a budget to save money and cover unexpected expenses is essential. This is especially true when it comes to dental care. Unexpected costs can build up quickly, and if you’re not careful, you could find yourself with a hefty bill you can’t afford. One way to avoid this is to take steps to reduce your dental expenses in the first place.
One common way to do this is to get dental insurance. This will typically cost you a monthly fee, covering many of your treatments. However, make sure you understand what your coverage limits are before you sign up for a plan.
Another option is to use a credit card with low or no interest. These cards usually have an introductory period, meaning you won’t have to pay any interest on your purchases for a certain amount of time. However, keep in mind that you will need to be able to pay off the balance before the introductory period ends.
Finally, you can also consider a personal loan. This is an excellent option for people who want to reduce their debt-to-income ratio and improve their credit score. Various dental lenders, such as Payspyre and other online platforms, offer personal loans. You can also ask your bank or credit union about lending options.
Look for Lenders
Many dental offices have in-house financing options that patients can use to pay for dental care. While this may not be a solution for everyone, it can make specific treatments more affordable and accessible to patients with limited resources.
Most lenders will check a person’s credit when they apply for a loan. This is why it’s essential to have a good credit score before applying for a dental loan. Missed payments or defaults on a debt can damage a person’s credit and limit their borrowing options. The key to getting approved for a dental loan is to find one with a reasonable interest rate and repayment period.
Generally speaking, personal loans are a better option than credit cards for paying for dental treatment. Most personal loans have a three to five-year term, which allows you to pay back your debt promptly. In addition, most personal loan rates are much lower than the average credit card interest rate.
Alternatively, you can look for lenders specializing in dental or business loans for dentists. These loans typically have a shorter term and higher loan amounts than other personal loans. In addition, they are often more flexible regarding credit scores and offer a variety of other features that can help you manage your debt.
Look for Dental Offices with Financing Options
Many dental practices offer patient financing to increase the ease of accessing quality care. This also helps reduce the number of patients who postpone treatment due to financial concerns. This patient finance option can also benefit the practice since it can offset lost revenue from delayed payments through interest charges.
A personal loan or credit card is often the best option for covering expensive dental work. However, shopping around for the lowest possible interest rate is essential. Additionally, it would help if you tried to borrow for the shortest time possible to avoid spending years paying off your debt.
In addition to traditional financing options, some dental offices offer in-house patient payment plans. This can be an excellent alternative to third-party financing providers because it allows the practice to set its terms and conditions, creating a more personalized patient experience. However, it can also pose challenges since the office will take on more credit risk and may be subject to additional compliance requirements.
Another option for financing dental care is a medical or dental credit card, such as the Credit card. These cards have a low-interest rate and can be used for all healthcare needs, including dentistry. These cards are handy for patients who don’t have insurance or whose coverage is inadequate. They can also be used with flexible spending or health savings accounts (FSAs/HSAs) to receive tax benefits.
Apply for a Loan
If you aren’t eligible for dental insurance or can’t get a medical credit card with a low interest rate, options are still available to help cover your dental care costs. You can apply for a personal loan from a local bank or lender and explore individual finance sites to find a loan with the best interest rates. It’s important to borrow only what you can comfortably repay and to choose a loan with a repayment term that will not overextend your budget.
Some dentists offer in-house financing for patients, making it easier to access treatment without needing to go outside the office. Many of these lenders offer loans to individuals with bad credit, making it easier for borrowers to receive financing. Choosing a lender specializing in lending to dental offices can also improve the efficiency of the borrowing process by eliminating the need to work with a third-party company to find an appropriate loan.
While it’s best to avoid using a credit card to pay for dental care, some people find no choice after they exhaust their savings or loans. In such cases, they may borrow from family members or take out a payday loan to cover the cost of needed procedures. However, this can result in late or missed payments on the debt, which can hurt credit scores and limit financial options in the future.