Dental Loans for Bad Credit

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Dental Loans for Bad Credit

Visiting the dentist is a necessity — not a luxury. Yet 1 in 4 Americans have dental debts that they are unable to pay. Financing is available, but what do you do if your credit isn’t the greatest? Here are some of today’s best dental loans for bad credit, providing options you’re sure to smile about.

If you need funds, MoneyLion offers a service to help you find personal loan offers based on the info you provide. You can get matched with offers for up to $50,000 from our top providers. You can compare rates, terms, and fees from different lenders and choose the best offer for you. You can also use the loan funds to pay off other existing debts.

Can you get a dental loan if you have bad credit?

While some loan options admittedly favor those with strong credit, you can still secure a dental loan regardless of your financial situation. Personal loans are always an option, and some lenders offer interest rates that outpace those of consumer credit cards.

3 dental loan options for bad credit

Even if you have health insurance, your provider may not cover dental procedures. Here are 3 dental loans for bad credit.

Option 1: Personal loans

Personal loans are unsecured and can be used for almost any purpose. Interest rates range from 4% to 36%, but many lenders will work with those with credit scores as low as the 500s. 


Positively, personal loans offer advantages that include:

  • The ability to use personal loans for a variety of purposes
  • Potentially low interest rates
  • No collateral required


At the same time, personal loans come with drawbacks such as:

  • High interest rates from some lenders
  • Potential origination fees
  • Damaged credit from late payments

Option 2: Financing through your dentist

Your dentist may already offer a payment plan, dental insurance, or other financing option. You may pay little to no interest and gain access to treatment immediately. However, you’ll still have to go through your dentist’s application process and receive a credit check. Some dentists will work with you even if you have low credit, though.


Financing through your dentist offers advantages, including:

  • Flexible payment plans
  • Little or no interest payments
  • Coverage that adapts to a range of treatments


In-house financing has drawbacks such as:

  • The potential for interest and fees
  • Possibly slow and difficult application processes
  • Patients may feel pressured to invest in costly elective treatments

Option 3: Credit card

Consumer credit cards are always an option, too, since you’ll repay your balance over time. And using your credit card for a major purchase can help you rack up reward points and other perks. 


Using a credit card at the dentist offers the following benefits:

  • Commonality of credit cards among consumers
  • Credit built from consistent payments
  • Potential for reward points and perks


On the other hand, credit cards come with drawbacks such as:

  • High interest rates
  • Missed or late payments, which can damage your credit further
  • The potential to exceed your credit limit

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6 Alternative dental financing options for bad credit

With low credit, you might worry that you face limited options for dental care. However, there are several alternative financing options and dental loans for bad credit available. Here are some of today’s best options.

Option 1: Earned wage access (EWA)

Some employers offer earned wage access (EWA), allowing employees to receive an advance on their next paycheck. This provides you with access to cash without the risk associated with payday loans. EWA funds are not dental loans for bad credit but can still provide emergency cash for unexpected dental work.


EWA provides several benefits, including:

  • Fast access to earned wages
  • No risk of predatory lenders because this is not a loan
  • No-interest payments


On the other hand, there are some cons to EWA plans:

  • Your next paycheck will be lower since the advance is taken out of it
  • A cash advance may not be enough money to cover high-cost procedures
  • Some EWA offers have fees associated with them.

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Option 2: Dental savings plan

A dental savings plan (sometimes called a dental discount plan) is a membership-based financial plan offering discounts on dental procedures. Not to be confused with insurance, a savings plan provides discounts on procedures in exchange for a membership fee.


Advantages of a dental savings plan include:

  • Membership fees, which are lower than insurance premiums
  • Access to a network of participating dentists
  • Can be used for cosmetic and elective dental procedures


On the other hand, dental savings plans offer disadvantages such as:

  • Discounts aren’t always enough to make procedures affordable
  • Don’t typically cover services usually covered by insurance (e.g., cleanings)
  • Membership fees, which may be costly to some patients

Option 3: Dental school

If you live near a dental school, you may be able to receive cheaper dental procedures performed by students under supervision. Some dental schools may even offer access to cosmetic dentistry at an affordable price.


The pros of visiting a dental school for care include:

  • Accessing affordable dental procedures
  • Accessing cosmetic dentistry options
  • Helping the dentists performing your care


However, there can be drawbacks to relying on dental schools:

  • Not developing continuity or rapport with your dentist
  • Procedures performed by less experienced students
  • Limited access to emergency dental care

Option 4: Health savings account

A health savings account (HSA) is a specialized savings account that can pay for healthcare-related expenses. To be eligible, you must be concurrently enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Your HSA can pay for dental visits, procedures, and other expenses (though not insurance premiums).


An HSA can be great for those with low credit. Its advantages include:

  • Tax-deductible contributions
  • Offers flexible options that cover a wide range of procedures
  • Often included as part of your employee benefit package


An HSA also carries drawbacks such as:

  • Must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan 
  • Must keep careful records to make tax deductions
  • Some providers require a minimum balance in the HSA

Option 5: FSA benefits

A flexible spending account (FSA) allows individuals to set aside a portion of their income to cover medical and dental procedures. You can use your FSA to cover dental work, but keep in mind that all contributions to an FSA must be used within one year (though some providers offer a small grace period).


Advantages of an FSA include:

  • Tax-deductible
  • Can cover a wide range of dental procedures
  • No high-deductible health plan required


Drawbacks of FSAs include:

  • Lose account balance if unused within one year
  • Cannot be used with a marketplace health plan
  • Only reimbursed if claims are submitted

Option 6: Paying cash

When all else fails, why not just pay in cash? Paying in cash will eliminate the need for any sort of payment plan or dental loans for bad credit. Some dental offices will even offer a discount if you agree to pay in cash for your procedure.


Positively, cash payments:

  • Eliminate the need to apply for payment plans or loans
  • May make you eligible for a discount 
  • Carry no risk of hurting your credit


The downsides of paying cash include:

  • Not having sufficient cash to cover complex procedures
  • Won’t help you build credit
  • May make you rack up debt elsewhere

Get the Smile You Deserve

You deserve the best smile you can get. Thankfully, dental payment plans and loans can help you maintain your oral health regardless of credit history. Tapping into one of the plans above can provide the balance between your medical needs and budget.


How do dental loans for bad credit work?

Dental loans for bad credit provide funds that you can use for dental procedures. Personal loans, for example, offer a lump-sum payment applicable to almost any personal need. Then, you repay the loan along with interest.

What is the interest rate on a dental loan for bad credit?

Interest rates vary by lender and your financial situation. Personal loans can run as high as 36% or higher, though other providers can offer fast cash with little to no interest.

Do I need to provide collateral for a dental loan with bad credit?

Most dental loans don’t require any collateral. That means you won’t risk losing your assets if you can’t repay the loan.

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