So you want to have a cosmetic treatment but you’re finding your budget is on the lean side. Before you give up on the idea of the “new and enhanced you,” you might want to explore the options available to be able to afford or finance it. All you need is some research and creativity.
When it comes to cosmetic procedures, shopping for the best price should never be the most important consideration. What you need is a qualified professional. Just because a doctor charges more than other providers does NOT mean that he is the more skilled one – a lot of factors, including your geographical location, affect how much a doctor charges for a procedure. Where you need to focus your attention is where and how to get the money to pay for it. Here are some tips that may be useful:
Fees and Location
Your geographical location largely determines how much you will pay for a cosmetic procedure. If you live in a major city like New York and Los Angeles where office space is more expensive and the cost of living is higher, you can expect to pay more.
Fees vary a lot in the USA. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the national averages for plastic surgeon fees in 2009 ranged from the $127 of a simple microdermabrasion to the $ 2,424 of an ablative laser skin resurfacing (both non-surgical procedures); and then from the $2,017 of a lip augmentation procedure to the $7,809 of a lower body lift (both surgical procedures).
There is currently a booming growth in the Medical Tourism industry. It is not for everybody, especially if you have time constraints and are afraid to travel. For others, especially for people who have traveled extensively and are comfortable in other cultures, it is perfect, as this is like “killing two birds with one stone” – a cosmetic enhancement and a sort of vacation rolled into one. If you do your research smartly, even after the travel and lodging expenses, you may find that it still is more economical to travel outside of your area than having the cosmetic procedure done locally.
Your health and your safety should ALWAYS take importance over the savings you hope to realize. DO YOUR RESEARCH THOROUGHLY – this means getting recommendations from people you personally know who have had positive results with an out-of-area provider, and combining this with thorough research. Just as there are good vs. badly qualified doctors in the United States, the same goes in other countries – some doctors are better than others.
1. Insurance – Your insurance company should always be your starting point. It is true that most cosmetic procedures are not covered by health insurance, but if you have a serious condition (e.g., scar, burn, deformity, reconstruction needed) that impairs you in any way, you and doctor can make a good explanatory case to the insurance company. In such cases, the costs are more likely to be reimbursed. But apart from that, elective surgery is usually not covered.
2. In-house finance program – Some providers will let you make staggered payments to them interest-free as long as you pay the loan within 3 to 6 months.
3. Outside financing – Currently, the only finance company that still gives out loans for cosmetic purposes is CareCredit. Capital One, once a major player, has stopped offering loans of this nature.
Tips On Applying For the Loan
Be alert because this is not such a straightforward process. Assuming that you have good credit, Care Credit will finance your cosmetic treatments up to $ 25,000 but there are a few key things you need to bear in mind. Such a company will give you an unsecured loan and would not be able to repossess your physical assets after cosmetic surgery, should you default. So it’s only natural that they look for the best candidates, the ones most likely to pay them back.
1. Do your homework – Start with a thorough research of credit report companies and loan firms. Make sure you read all their available information, even the small print!
2. Application – Filling in the loan application form should be taken as seriously as if you were applying for a mortgage or a car loan. The way you fill it out can affect your chances of being approved. Consider the folllowing to make a strong application:
• No blank spaces – Make sure you answer all the questions in the application form and complete all the fields. If the question does not apply to you, write N/A. Blank spaces can compromise your application.
• Address and Name – Make sure to use the same name and address you have on your credit report. Avoid using a PO Box.
• Employment Questions – Carefully answer them. Writing CEO or President is better than writing Owner, in case you run your own business. If you work as a freelancer, state your years of service at the companies you’ve worked for or your years of experience as a professional.
• Income – List all your sources of income, even smaller or secondary ones, and state your assets (such as property), because these will reassure the company of your ability to repay the loan and their likelihood of recouping their loss.
3. Apply to one finance company at a time – Companies consider how many times you’ve applied for financing in a certain amount of time and they may lower your credit score with each inquiry you’ve previously made. So carefully choose the companies you think are worthy of your application and avoid submitting more than two applications every six months.
Your chances of getting a low interest rate, as well as the amount of loan you will be given is greatly determined by your credit standing. If you have good credit, you may be given up to a $25,000 loan. Most financing options include plans with 1 to 7 years to pay and some even allow deferred payments – 90 and sometimes 180 days.
Interesting information – In some cases, people are more qualified for a cosmetic procedure loan than for a car loan!
Do bear in mind that if you already have bad credit, adding debt to your list of financial obligations can only be harmful.
A Last Tip
As you can see, there are options you can avail of when you’re looking at ways to finance your cosmetic surgery and procedures. But here’s the most important thing to consider: a cosmetic procedure, no matter how simple it is, always involves risks. So cover all your bases and make sure you have enough money to pay for both the treatment and after-procedure costs: post-op medication and possible follow-up treatments.
Learn About Financing Cosmetic Procedures During a Recession
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