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Many Americans already have dental anxiety for obvious reasons, but another factor to consider is the cost.

According to research findings from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the average annual expense for a dental visit has increased by 86% since 1996 and continues to increase as time progresses.

This leaves many people at a disadvantage, particularly those who are unable to make a payment of that magnitude in a single installment.

The good news is that dental financing for patients is available from a multitude of sources. However, many do take your credit score into account.

The necessary credit score is dependent upon the source of dental financing.

Dental financing with a personal loan

Personal loans prove helpful to pay for necessary expenses, which can include emergency dental treatment. When it comes to dental loans, there are two types: secured and unsecured personal loans.

Secured personal loans require collateral that the loan servicer has the right to repossess if the loan is not repaid in full. For this reason, secured personal loans generally have lower interest rates than unsecured personal loans. Furthermore, because collateral is involved, patients with low credit scores are oftentimes accepted.

Unsecured personal loans have higher interest rates than secured personal loans. This is due to the fact that collateral is not required for unsecured personal loans. However, the approval rate is slimmer, and low credit could be a disqualifying factor. 

Dental financing with a credit card

You can obtain a medical credit card to pay for healthcare procedures, inclusive of dental treatments. Medical credit cards are similar to standard credit cards, but they can only be used for healthcare procedures.

Some medical credit cards offer deferred interest for a designated time frame, which would be the most ideal. This will keep you from paying any interest if you pay off the entire procedure within the time frame—almost like an interest-free loan.

Like a standard credit card, medical credit card issuers typically look at your credit history to determine approval. Some credit card companies even approve patients with low credit scores, oftentimes with high-interest rates over extended loan periods.

Dental financing through your dental provider

If you already know which dentist you are going to, you can check in with them directly to see if they have an in-house financing option for their patients, and what the credit score requirements are.

If you don’t meet the credit score requirements for your preferred dentist, you can shop around with other dentists to find one that will accept your credit score. For this option, you will also need to keep an eye on what the interest rates are, even if they do approve you for financing.

Dental payment plans with Denefits

The most stress-free option for patients looking to get dental payment plan is Denefits protected customer payment plans. Patients are instantly approved regardless of their credit score and are given the option to select a monthly payment amount and time frame to complete the contract.

Many dentists use the Denefits software, so you can either contact Denefits to find a provider near you or refer your preferred provider to the Denefits system so that you can take full advantage of complete payment solutions.

Which financing option should you choose based on your credit score?

Credit Score 600 and above

Dental financing with an unsecured personal loan

If your credit score is above 600, then you will likely be approved for an unsecured personal loan, and you would not need to provide collateral. However, with this option still, you will likely have to deal with high-interest rates over extended periods of time. Furthermore, financing is not flexible in any way without penalty.

Dental financing with a credit card

With a credit score above 600, you have more options for financing, as more sources will trust your ability to repay the issued sum that you receive. You can find a medical credit card that best suits your needs at an affordable rate. The downside is that it is still a credit card, where changes in payment dates are not always flexible based on your needs.

Dental financing through your dental provider

Higher credit scores often bode well with dental providers, as credit score requirements are usually above 600. You can use in-house financing with your dental provider, or shop around and find a dental provider that offers interest rates and terms that you approve of.

Dental payment plans with Denefits

Even with fair or good credit, you can benefit from using Denefits complete payment solutions for your dental payment plans. You can select the plan that best fits your needs and budget, with a monthly payment that you are comfortable with. You can also reschedule your payment date as needed, depending on your contract.

Denefits also offers social payments, where you can enlist the assistance of your friends and family to make payments on your payment plan contract.

Credit Score 500-600

Dental financing with a personal loan (secured)

With a credit score between 500 and 600, you may be approved for a secured loan with collateral, but you run the risk of dealing with a high-interest rate. Furthermore, if the loan is not repaid, the collateral can be repossessed by the loan servicer.

Dental payment plans with Denefits

If your credit score is between 500 and 600, you can get dental payment plans with the Denefits platform and use them to rebuild your credit score. Denefits reports all payments to the major credit bureaus, and you will be automatically approved for payment plans.

Credit Score Below 500

Dental payment plans with Denefits

The only option that is secure regardless of one’s credit score is dental payment plans with Denefits. If you are concerned about covering your emergency dental treatment due to cost, Denefits is your Protected dental payment plans provider that takes the risk of payment plans for patients with low credit scores, so that everyone can have access to necessary services.