Medical bills can be a thorn in anyone’s side – even those that have medical coverage through their employer. The increasing prices of insurance and the always high cost of medical care makes it impossible to afford without a loan.
If you have bad credit, though, how are you supposed to get a medical loan? Will lenders turn you away in your time of need?
We share the secrets to securing the funds you need fast.
Determine if you Need a Medical Loan
First, decide if you need a medical loan. Even if you’ve already had the procedure done and are staring at the bill you can’t pay, don’t react too fast. Know your options including securing a payment arrangement with the healthcare provider.
Exhaust this option first. Tell the provider your situation. If you can’t pay the bill in full, know how much you can pay each month. Can you pay a lump sum right now? If so, the provider may work with you, creating a payment arrangement you can afford.
Getting a Medical Loan
If the provider won’t work with you on a payment arrangement, you may secure funds elsewhere. Even with less than perfect credit, you have options:
- Personal loan – Your local bank may not approve you for a personal loan if you have bad credit, but online banks often have more flexible guidelines including lower credit requirements. If you have other ‘compensating factors’ that make up for the risk, you may secure funding this way.
- Peer-to-peer loans – Check out your options for a loan funded by peers or individual investors. You apply for the loan on a peer-to-peer platform, but individual investors fund your loan, giving you the money needed for the medical bills.
- Home equity loan – You may find a lender with flexible home equity line of credit or home equity loan requirements, especially if you have other ‘good factors’ such as steady employment and income.
- 401K loan – Your 401K or even your life insurance policy may provide the funds you need. While you can’t withdraw from the account without paying penalties and taxes, you may be able to borrow funds needed to pay your medical bills. Like any other loan, you must pay the funds back with interest though.
Getting the Funds
Each loan option has different funding requirements. Online loans, including peer-to-peer loans, for example, may fund the next business day or within a few business days. Loans from a traditional bank or your 401K account may take longer, depending on the policies and procedures of each entity. Inquire with your bank or advisor about the time it takes so that you can inform the healthcare provider when you’ll pay your bill.
Getting a medical loan isn’t impossible even if you have bad credit. There are ways to work around the traditional system and get the funds you need to pay for an upcoming procedure or one that already occurred and is now a bill with a due date.