On average, Americans spend over $10,000 a year on health care.
If you’ve inadequate or no insurance at all, your only option is to pay out-of-pocket.
The question is, can you afford to settle a hefty medical bill? In a country where medical expenses are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies, it’s safe to say the answer is no.
You do have options, though. For instance, you can secure a medical loan.
But what if you have bad or no credit?
Well, that does make the situation harder, but not impossible. Continue reading to learn how to get a medical loan with bad credit.
What’s a Medical Loan?
A medical loan is a credit facility designed for people who need money to pay for healthcare expenses.
You could use this loan to pay for a wide range of treatments and procedures, from dental work to infertility treatment, weight loss surgeries and hair loss replacement. If you already have multiple medical loans, you can take out a bigger loan for consolidation purposes.
It’s essential to note that lending policies vary from lender to lender. Some lenders might reject your application if you’re taking out a quick medical loan to pay for a cosmetic procedure or treatment while others have no issue.
What’s the maximum amount of money you can borrow when going in for a medical loan?
On average, you can secure anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. However, this will depend on your credit status.
Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean lenders won’t consider it in their decision-making. If your bad score is closer to good, for example, you might secure a higher loan than if it were closer to poor. And if you have no credit, meaning you have no previous loan payment record, most lenders will only approve you for smaller amounts.
How Can I Qualify for a Medical Loan?
Now that you have a clearer picture of medical loans, let’s focus on the steps you should take to enhance your chances of getting approved.
Examine Your Credit Report
If you have no credit, you can skip this step.
But if you already know that you have bad credit, it’s important to get an up-to-date copy of your credit report and examine it. Considering that recent research shows that one in five people have errors on their credit reports, there’s a chance you could find an error on yours.
If you do, don’t hesitate to raise a complaint with the bureau that issued it. Some errors can weigh down on your credit score, meaning your credit score could improve after they’re fixed.
A slight improvement in your score can mean getting approved for a higher amount or a slightly better interest rate.
Identify Potential Lenders
There are several lenders, from local banks and credit unions to online companies, offering medical loans. Each lender has unique qualification requirements, so you have to do some research and find your potential lenders.
If you already have an account with a local or community bank, walk in or make a call and inquire whether they offer medical loans. If yes, ask about the requirements.
With credit unions, you typically must be a member to access credit services. If you are, do the inquiries. If you don’t belong to any credit union, now isn’t the time to start considering them potential lenders. You should, however, make a point to join one and start saving.
Personal loan no credit check lending companies are by far the biggest providers of medical loans. This is because, unlike traditional banks, they don’t lock out people with bad or no credit.
To find a suitable online lending company, log on to the internet and search for the top-rated companies. You’ll find several companies, which means you have to do further research in order to find a suitable one.
Read online reviews and see what existing customers are saying about each company’s services. You don’t want to borrow money from a company that takes ages to approve applications and disburse the funds.
Do a Loan Comparison
After zeroing in on potential lenders, the next step is to compare their loans. Here are important factors to consider.
Some bad credit loan lenders charge origination fees on medical loans. Others don’t.
Ideally, you don’t want to borrow from a lender who charges this fee because it reduces the total amount of money you’ll get, but it shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, especially if the fee is small.
That said, avoid lenders who ask you to pay an origination fee upfront.
Interest rates can vary from as low as 5% to over 35% annually. Your preference should be to find a low-interest loan, but these lenders might have stricter requirements.
You should also consider whether the interest is variable or fixed. Variable rates will vary from month to month throughout the term of the loan, while fixed rates will remain constant.
A short-term guaranteed approval loan (shorter than one year) will typically have a better interest rate, but monthly repayments will be higher. On the other hand, a long-term loan will have a higher rate with lower monthly repayments, but you’ll end up paying a lot more.
Whether you go short or long depends on your financial situation. If you’re in a financial pinch, go for a long-term loan.
Provide Proof of Your Medical Expenses
Most lenders will require you to provide proof of your medical debt. As such, get a certified copy of your medical bill from the healthcare facility.
If you’re taking out a loan to consolidate existing medical loans, simply state that your reason is medical debt consolidation.
Provide Proof of Income/Provide Loan Collateral
When you’ve bad or no credit, no credit check loan lenders pay more attention to your income. This could be a salary from a regular job, profits you earn from a business or even your social security checks.
After verifying your income, they’ll determine how much money you can be able to borrow.
Although most medical loans are unsecured, it’s possible to find secured loans. These require you to provide collateral, such as a car or house title. If you’re going for a secured loan, ensure the ownership documentation of the asset you’re putting up as collateral is clear and accurate.
You Can Get a Medical Loan with Bad or No Credit
Having bad or no credit makes your life a tad harder when you’re looking to get a medical loan, but the bottom line is you can get approved. With the tips fleshed out in this article, you’re now in a stronger position to find a suitable lender and submit a solid application.
All the best and keep reading our personal finance blog for more helpful tips.