Ways to Finance Your Cosmetic Procedures During a Recession


It’s too early to tell how the cosmetic
procedure industry fared in 2010, but if 2009 was any indication, the recession did little to slow the growth of certain types of aesthetic treatments.  While surgical procedures such as breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty and tummy tucks were down 17 percent overall in 2010, non-invasive treatments such as Botox, dermal fillers, chemical peels, laser resurfacing and IPL increased by 2 percent, despite the economic downturn.

Plastic surgery is typically a big ticket item and procedures can range from $4,000 to $25,000 or more.  Many people are forgoing larger discretionary purchases such as the “it” bag or a new luxury car, and plastic surgery often falls into that same category of spending.  However, it seems that most people are not willing to give up the less invasive procedures that help them look and feel their best every day.  In a competitive job market, many professionals see cosmetic maintenance as the key to giving them an edge during a job hunt.  Plus, procedures such as Botox injections, dermal fillers and chemical peels usually cost less than $1,000.

Still, in a continued sluggish economy, there are several ways to budget and stretch your cosmetic dollars.

Financing Options

There were once a plethora of choices when it came to financing cosmetic procedures, but as credit has tightened, those options have diminished.  Doctors and medical spas are less likely to provide in-house financing and major credit card companies, such as Capital One which formerly provided health financing options, have ceased to do so.  The risks in financing a medical procedure are higher for lenders because, unlike tangible goods that can be reclaimed, they cannot repossess your tummy tuck or Botox injections.

The largest and most popular player in the cosmetic procedure financing world is still CareCredit.  Accepted by more than 140,000 providers, CareCredit works like a credit card exclusively for medical needs not commonly covered by insurance such as cosmetic treatments, Lasik and dentistry procedures.



 

CareCredit requires a credit application and approval prior to use and offers financing options from six to 24 months, which is often interest free if the balance is paid off within the promotional period.  Other CareCredit plans offer fixed rate financing for longer terms.

The possible down sides of financing a cosmetic procedure is that the interest rate is assessed from the date of the procedure and even one missed or late payment can revert the rate to a penalty rate of 20% or more.  Plus, defaulting on any loan will negatively affect your credit score.  But financing can be a powerful tool in your financial tool box if you are simply looking for a way to space out payments on smaller procedures to fit within your monthly budget.

Dedicated Savings Account

If you’d rather avoid the pitfalls of financing, you may want to consider a personal savings plan with an account dedicated to cosmetic procedures.  Most financial institutions make it easier to save by allowing you to:

  • Automatically transfer a set amount every month from a checking to a savings account.
  • Automatically dedicate a portion of your direct deposit paycheck to a separate account.

Finding Deals

In the competitive medical aesthetics and cosmetic procedures market, doctors and cosmetic clinics are always offering deals to lure new clients.  There are often significant savings on both retail products and procedures.  Make a list of the providers in your community that you trust and then:

  • Visit each clinic’s website to read about any specials.
  • Sign up for monthly newsletters.
  • Follow your favorite providers on Facebook and Twitter, where they often post discounts and savings.
  • Sign up for loyalty programs that offer increased savings for regular patients.  For example, Allergan’s Brilliant Distinctions program offers discounts for products such as Latisse, Botox and Juvederm.

 

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About Victoria Strander

Writes about the latest beauty procedures. Her articles are available for syndication. Use Contact Page for inquiries.

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