Updated on March 7, 2024
6 min read

Is Dental Financing Possible with Bad Credit?

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Bad credit can limit different aspects of your finances. If you have bad credit and need dental work immediately, it can be difficult to apply for a loan.

But don’t worry. There are other ways to secure enough financing for your dental procedure.

How Can You Finance Dental Work with Bad Credit?

Even if your credit isn’t great, there are still a couple of ways to make paying for dental work more affordable. These include:

1. Payment Plans

If you need extensive dental work done, payment plans can be helpful. This type of financing allows you to pay for your treatment over several months or even years. So, even if you can’t afford the full treatment cost yet, you can already have the procedure.

The details of payment plans vary per dentist. For instance, some payment plans require a downpayment upfront. The interest rates will also be different for each dental practice.

2. Personal Loans

While people with bad credit may find it challenging to secure personal loans, it’s not impossible. 

Fair credit lenders can still grant loans to people with bad credit. 

You can use personal loans as a dental loan to pay for your procedures. The loans may come with higher interest rates, but they’re suitable for those who need dental work immediately.

3. Dental Insurance

You can use your dental insurance to finance your dental work. However, remember that dental insurance works differently than other dental financing plans. 

Dental insurance will only cover a part of the treatment compared to other financing options. You’ll pay a monthly premium for your dental insurance, which will help cover some of your treatment costs.

4. Dental Savings Plan

A dental savings plan can help you finance dental work even with bad credit. Dental savings plans work by paying an annual fee. This annual fee helps you receive discounts on different dental services. 

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Where Can You Seek Help If Denied Dental Financing?

If you’re denied dental financing, you can turn to the following for help:

  • Your dentist ⁠— Negotiating with your dentist can help you get a discount on your procedure. 
  • Dental schools In some cases, you can go to dental schools and get your procedure done there. Dental students can perform the procedure for a cheaper price under the supervision of experienced dentists.
  • Community help centers — Federally funded health centers may offer dental services on a sliding scale based on your income.
  • Government program — Government programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid can provide some dental coverage for people with bad credit. 

Why Is It Important to Address Dental Health Financially?

Securing financing for dental procedures ensures you can undergo treatment immediately. When you put off treatment for important dental issues, it can lead to more serious conditions.

The more severe a dental condition is, the likelier it will cost more. Some dental issues can also lead to malnutrition and other physical ailments. These will increase your expenses considerably.

What Qualifies as “Bad Credit” in Dental Financing?

Bad credit means a person’s credit score is low. Lenders often see this as indicating that someone can’t make their payments on time.

For reference, most lenders will use the following ranges to determine whether or not you have good credit:

  • Excellent Credit — Scores 720 and above
  • Good Credit — Scores between 690 and 719
  • Fair Credit — Scores between 630 and 689
  • Bad Credit — Scores below 630

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What to Look For In a Dental Financing Plan

When looking for a dental financing plan, you must consider the following:

Coverage 

Some plans may not cover all your treatment costs, so you must check this to avoid any confusion. Other dental financing plans also only cater to a network of providers. 

This means that you can only use the plan with specific dentists or dental clinics. Make sure to choose a plan that offers coverage for the services you need and allows you to visit the dentist of your choice.

Interest rates 

Some dental financing plans have higher interest rates than others. While this usually depends on your creditworthiness, checking the interest rates of different plans can help you find the most affordable option.

Repayment Terms 

The repayment terms of the loan determine the frequency of payments as well as the duration of the repayment period. You must consider the repayment terms to ensure it fits your monthly budget.

Other Terms and Conditions

Other terms and conditions of your dental financing plan that you should consider include:

  • Flexibility
  • Additional benefits
  • Credit requirements
  • Other fees

Applying for Dental Financing with Bad Credit

This is the step-by-step process for applying for dental financing with bad credit. The process is not much different than that of someone with good credit—you just need to explore more options: 

  1. Understand your options ⁠— Traditional lenders require good credit, but bad credit dental financing is more flexible. Research and compare all your options.
  2. Access your credit  Access your credit score before applying for your loan. If you still have time, consider improving your credit score. 
  3. Pre-qualify for a loan  Estimate rates and terms without impacting your score. Choose a lender that considers factors beyond just credit.
  4. Secure financing   Apply for a loan and/or explore alternatives. Carefully review and accept an offer that fits your budget. 
  5. Repay responsibly  Once you sign your loan and receive treatment, remember to repay responsibly. Timely payments avoid fees and build a positive credit history for future opportunities. 

What Documentation Is Required for Dental Financing Applications?

Most dental financing applications ask for the following documents:

  • Personal identification 
  • Proof of income 
  • Employment verification
  • Credit score and credit history
  • Information and documentation of other assets

Preparing these documents beforehand can make the application process go more smoothly. 

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How to Manage Dental Financing Repayments

Managing your monthly payments is essential to avoid further credit damage. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Create a budget — After signing your financing agreement, you should create a monthly budget incorporating your monthly payments for your dental financing plan. 
  • Prioritize payments When you get your monthly payment bill, you must prioritize paying for it so it doesn’t affect your credit score.
  • Avoid unnecessary debt Avoid additional credit cards or loans that may increase your financial burden while paying for your dental financing plan. 
  • Communicate with the lender — If you struggle to make dental financing payments, it is important to communicate with your lender as soon as possible.

Summary

Dental financing allows you to have access to necessary dental care. Despite their credit situation, people with bad credit still have different options for paying their dental bills. 

Learning about different dental financing options can help you decide and find the most affordable option for your needs. Always prioritize paying your bills on time and reducing your debt to avoid further damage to your credit score. 

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Last updated on March 7, 2024
6 Sources Cited
Last updated on March 7, 2024
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
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