Now you have no excuse for skipping your next dentist appointment.
Dental work can be costly. Whether you’re just going for a check-up or for more comprehensive reconstructive or cosmetic surgery, the bill may be out of your means. But whether the dental work is necessary or elective, you should know that there are financing options available to you. Take a look at your options for dental loans, what’s involved and whether they might work for you.
Personal loans that you could use for dental work
How do dental loans work?
Dental loans work by a bank or lender letting you borrow money to cover the costs of dental surgery or other dental costs. Depending on the type of loan you choose, you may be able to borrow as little as $100 or as much as $50,000.
Generally, the higher your loan amount, the longer you have to pay it back. Loan terms vary from between 16 days to around seven years. Or, if you opt for a credit card, you can take as long as you like to pay it back.
How much does dental work cost?
Most people know dental work can be expensive, but just how much can a visit to the dentist cost? For diagnostic a preventative work, that is, where you visit the dentist for an oral exam, fluoride, or sealing, the costs can be between about $30 to $100, although calculus removal can cost as much as $150.
For surgery, such as extraction, you’re looking closer to $300. For restorative work, including fillings and cusp capping, you should be expecting to pay closer to $400. When you get into full surgical and restorative work, the bill could be anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000. Braces can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000. If you have three kids that need braces, well - you do the math.
What types of loan options do I have for dental work?
Before applying for a dental loan, it's important to know what type of loans are available to you. If you’re looking at getting dental loans then you have a few options open to consider:
- Secured loan. A secured personal loan is usually used to finance a car purchase, but there are lenders who will let you make other purchases with this type of loan. You will need to attach an asset that is of equal or greater value than the loan amount to the loan that the lender will repossess in case you default. Secured loans often come with lower rates because the lender is taking less of a risk.
- Unsecured loan. This type of loan does not require you to use any type of asset as a guarantee, but as such may come with higher rates because the lender is taking on a bigger risk. With unsecured loans you can usually borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 and can use the loan amount for any purpose you want.
- Short-term loan. These loans, also called payday loans, are usually for amounts between $100 and $5,000 and may be an option if you need finance for emergency dental surgery. Payday lenders usually offer quick turnaround time, with some lenders able to send you your loan amount within 60 minutes. Keep in mind that the the repayment period is quite short, usually between 60 days and one year.
- Line of credit or overdraft. A line of credit or overdraft is where the bank allows you to overdraw your account up to a certain limit. You are able to redraw anywhere up to and including this limit and then repay it over time at a fixed rate of interest.
- Credit card. You also have the option of using your credit card to pay for dental work. Depending on the limit of your card you may be able to cover the costs of surgery or any other visits or check-ups. Just keep in mind that the rate of interest on your credit card is likely to be higher than the rate of interest offered by other personal loans, and with no set repayment period you may fall into debt if you do not keep on top of your payments.
- Specialist dental loan. There are some lenders that offer loans tailored to dentistry and can help you finance a range of procedures. Specialist loans include payment plans through your dentist as well as third-party providers.
How you can compare your dental loan options
When comparing your payday dental loan options, you want to make sure you find the best loan product for you. Here are some questions to ask yourself that will help you come to a decision:
- What repayments can I afford? Depending on whether the rate being offered is fixed or variable, you should be able to work out a rough idea of what your repayments will be based on the loan’s interest rate and ongoing fees. See if this repayment will work with your budget.
- How much do I need to borrow? Lenders place restrictions on how much you can borrow with certain loan products, so check to see their minimum and maximum loan amounts before you apply. Keep in mind you may not be approved for the full amount you want, regardless of whether it’s below their maximum amount offered, as this will depend on your income and credit history.
- When do I need the money? Different lenders will offer different turnaround times, so it might be worth talking to the lender to find out when could expect to be approved before you apply. If you need money quickly, you might want to consider a payday loan, or check to see if your bank offers same-day loans for existing customers.
- What is my credit history like? If you have any negative marks on your credit file, you will be restricted as to what kind of finance you can access. Check the eligibility criteria offered by lenders, or you may want to consider a payday lender.
Can I withdraw my super to pay for emergency dental work?
While you're normally not able to access your super until you reach preservation age, there are certain situations that will allow you to access your super early. Under "compassionate grounds" you can apply with the Department of Human Services to access your super early to pay for medical costs, which includes dental work.
Before you access your super, consider the other options you have available.
How you can apply for a dental loan
The application process will differ depending on the lender you apply with, as will the eligibility criteria. Click through to review pages on finder.com.au to find out what eligibility criteria is set by the lender and what documents you need to apply. If you've found a loan you want to apply for, click "Go to Site" to start your application.