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There's no denying the high price of medical care in the U.S. If you're having trouble paying medical expenses, a medical loan may be the answer. A single loan can help you pay off medical expenses in one fell swoop, freeing you up to focus on the things that matter most to you in life. Here, we'll cover medical financing options, including everything you need to know to find the right loan for you.
|Lending Partner||Min. Credit Score||Loan Amounts||Apr Range||Next Steps|
2023 Award Winner
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
|Min. Credit Score: 660||Loan Amounts: $5,000 - $100,000||APR Range: 7.99%-25.00% (w/ AutoPay)*|
2023 Award Winner
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
|Min. Credit Score: 680||Loan Amounts: $5,000 - $100,000||APR Range: Fixed: 8.99%-23.43% APR (with all discounts)|
Discover Personal Loan
Rating image, 5.0 out of 5 stars.
|Min. Credit Score: 660||Loan Amounts: $2,500 - $40,000||APR Range: 6.99% - 24.99%|
Rating image, 4.0 out of 5 stars.
|Min. Credit Score: None||Loan Amounts: $1,000 - $50,000||APR Range: 6.70% - 35.99%|
*Upstart Loan Disclaimer
The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 21.97% and 36 monthly payments of $35 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $12,646 including a $626 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application.
*SoFi Personal Loan Disclaimer
Fixed rates from 8.99% APR to 23.43% APR reflect the 0.25% autopay interest rate discount and a 0.25% direct deposit interest rate discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 03/06/23 and are subject to change without notice. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, and a variety of other factors.
Loan amounts range from $5,000– $100,000. The APR is the cost of credit as a yearly rate and reflects both your interest rate and an origination fee of 0%-6%, which will be deducted from any loan proceeds you receive.
Autopay: The SoFi 0.25% autopay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
Direct Deposit Discount: To be eligible to potentially receive an additional (0.25%) interest rate reduction for setting up direct deposit with a SoFi Checking and Savings account offered by SoFi Bank, N.A. or eligible cash management account offered by SoFi Securities, LLC (“Direct Deposit Account”), you must have an open Direct Deposit Account within 30 days of the funding of your Loan. Once eligible, you will receive this discount during periods in which you have enabled payroll direct deposits of at least $1,000/month to a Direct Deposit Account in accordance with SoFi’s reasonable procedures and requirements to be determined at SoFi’s sole discretion. This discount will be lost during periods in which SoFi determines you have turned off direct deposits to your Direct Deposit Account. You are not required to enroll in direct deposits to receive a Loan.
LightStream was chosen as a best medical loan lender because of its low interest rates, high loan limits, absence of fees, and longer loan term (up to 12 years on larger loans). Also, LightStream prioritizes customer satisfaction and is ranked very highly in independent surveys.
SoFi makes our best medical loans short list because of the potential to borrow a fixed amount at a low rate with no fees required. SoFi members also get access to valuable perks like career coaching and financial planning.
We chose Discover as a best medical loans lender because it does not charge an origination fee. Qualified applicants can score a great interest rate on a loan up to $35,000. If you're approved for a debt consolidation loan, Discover will pay your creditors for you. Repayment terms are up to seven years, which can help make the payment affordable.
No cosigners accepted
We selected Upstart as a best medical loans lender because qualified applicants can get a very low interest rate, and most loan funds in a day. We also like that the minimum loan amount is just $1,000, which means you don't need to borrow more than you truly need.
A medical loan is a type of personal loan, which can typically be used any way you choose. The same personal loan used for debt consolidation or to remodel a kitchen can be used to cover medical costs. Medical loans can (usually) pay for anything, from medical treatment to equipment financing. They are typically unsecured loans, meaning no collateral is required to secure the loan. You receive the loan as a lump sum and pay it off in monthly installments.
People with the best credit scores qualify for the best loan terms. But even if you have an average or poor credit score, there are medical and surgery loans available. Borrowers with excellent credit scores are offered the lowest interest rates and a wider range of repayment terms. If your credit score is lower, you may pay more in interest. Nevertheless, if a loan allows you to pay off medical bills, these loans are worth considering.
There is no one-size-fits-all medical loan since each borrower has a different set of needs. Still, there are characteristics that all good loans share.
The best medical loans have:
Medical loans are a good idea when:
Medical loans are a bad idea when:
Taking out a personal loan to pay medical expenses may be the right move for some. However, there are alternatives, including:
Medical credit cards: Many Americans who can't pay their out-of-pocket expenses sign up for a medical credit card instead. Most of these cards offer 0% or a very low interest rate for a promotional period. Medical credit cards can be useful if you pay them off before the promotional rate expires. Be aware that some medical credit cards offer deferred interest which is different from a 0% introductory APR period. If the interest is deferred and you do not pay off the debt before the end of the promotional period, you may be required to pay interest going back to the date of your original charge.
0% introductory APR credit cards: There are few deals better than a 0% introductory APR. If your credit score is strong enough, apply for a credit card with a 0% intro APR offer, use it to pay off medical debt, and repay the balance before the promotional rate expires. When the promotional period is over, your credit card interest reverts back to its "regular" rate. Promotional rates normally last from 12 to 18 months.
Negotiate with your medical provider: It is no secret to medical providers that their patients frequently have trouble paying bills. Medical care is expensive, and insurance is often lacking. Fortunately, you should be able to negotiate a medical bill. Call the billing office that sent you the bill and explain your situation. Ask them if they can reduce the total due. Also, find out if they have a forgiveness program. At the very least, come up with an amount you can afford to pay toward the bill each month and let them know that you would like to enter into a repayment plan. Once they agree, keep up your end of the bargain by making each monthly payment as promised.
If your income took a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, you might qualify for a coronavirus hardship loan.
These can help pay medical bills, or they can help you pay rent, buy food, or cover other essential expenses. They're generally smaller -- meant to cover a couple months of unemployment expenses -- and low-interest, with flexible payment terms.
For more information, read our guide to getting a coronavirus hardship loan.
A medical loan is right for you if you need help paying off medical debt and can find terms that work with your budget. If so, medical loans offer a way to pay off medical debt, control how much that debt costs each month, and know when it will be paid off.
It's tough to find anything positive about medical bills or the need to take out medical loans. Still, it is good to know that you have options to finance medical expenses.
|Lending Partner||Min. Credit Score||Loan Amounts||APR Range||Best For|
|LightStream||660||$5,000 - $100,000||7.99%-25.00% (w/ AutoPay)*||Borrowers with good credit|
|SoFi||680||$5,000 - $100,000||Fixed: 8.99%-23.43% APR (with all discounts)||Low APR for borrowers with high income|
|Discover Personal Loan||660||$2,500 - $40,000||6.99% - 24.99%||Debt consolidation|
|Upstart||None||$1,000 - $50,000||6.70% - 35.99%||Reducing high interest debt|
If you take out an unsecured personal loan to pay off medical bills, you'll need a credit score of at least 580. However, a low credit score will lead to a higher interest rate. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate you are likely to be offered.
Like any personal loan, terms range from one year to 10 years. However, the most common medical loans will carry a term of three to five years.
If you make your monthly payments in full and on time, a loan can improve your credit score. If the loan pushes your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio too high or you miss payments or default on the loan, your credit score can drop. Lenders prefer a DTI ratio lower than 36%. To calculate your DTI, add up your fixed monthly bills (like rent, mortgage, car payment, credit cards, and the personal loan). Divide that number by your gross monthly income. For example, if your monthly bills amount to $2,500 and you earn $7,500 each month, your DTI is 33% ($2,500 ÷ $7,500 = 0.3333, or 33%).
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