How Much More Does Plastic Surgery Cost if You Finance It? Plus 5 Other Questions You Have About Medical Financing

Since opening our doors in 1988, patient education has been at the core of our practice culture, and that includes being transparent and up-front about plastic surgery costs. At La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre in San Diego, we know that, while the payoff in confidence is huge, having a cosmetic procedure is a significant investment for many.

As cosmetic medicine is elective, patients have to pay out of pocket—but that doesn’t mean you have to front the entire bill before you have surgery. Financing is a very popular way to pay for plastic surgery, and it’s easier than you might think.

To help you better understand how cosmetic surgery financing works, we’ve answered the top questions our patients ask.

1. Where can I get cosmetic surgery financing?

The two main options for financing cosmetic surgery are medical credit cards (e.g., CareCredit or Alphaeon Credit) or personal loans through a company such as PatientFi or a local bank.

  • Medical loans can be a great deal if you know you will be able to quickly pay off the balance. Many offer no-interest promotional periods, usually between 6 and 24 months. However, late payments or a remaining balance after these terms can result in retroactive interest fees. For lower, more affordable monthly payments, there are desirable extended payment plans with interest rates as low as 6.9%
  • Personal loans can be a good option as they can be obtained quickly and typically offer a lower interest rate vs. using a credit card, especially if you have good credit. You will have a fixed interest rate and monthly payment with a specific time period to repay the loan. Your interest rate will depend on your down payment and credit score.

2. Do I need to choose a plastic surgeon before applying for financing?

You can apply for financing before choosing a plastic surgeon, but in our experience, the best approach is to choose the plastic surgeon you want first, and then seek out financing companies they work with. This way, you can be sure you sign up for a plan accepted by your preferred plastic surgeon. It’ll also make things easier for you, as the practice can direct you to the plan that will work best for your budget and timeline.

Most of the major medical financing companies (and all of those we work with at LJC) allow you to use your line of credit for surgical and non-surgical procedures, including Botox, fillers, laser resurfacing, and skincare treatments.

3. How much more does plastic surgery cost if you finance?

This will depend on your interest rate, and that will depend on the terms of your loan as well as your credit rating. For most patients with decent credit, interest rates on cosmetic surgery financing plans fall in the ballpark of 6% to 25%. With some plans, if you pay off your balance quickly, you may be able to avoid interest altogether and pay the same as cash. To see how different interest rates might affect how much you pay, as well as see ballpark monthly payment estimates, check out our financing page.

4. How much of a down payment will I need to finance my cosmetic surgery?

Down payment amounts are usually flexible. Many plans require no down payment, but the trade-off is that you will pay a higher interest rate and your monthly payments will be higher than if you were to make a down payment. We typically advise patients to put down the maximum amount that their budget allows in order to get the best rate and pay the least amount for their procedure over the long run.

5. Can you finance cosmetic surgery if you have bad credit?

It helps to have good credit, but having a lower credit score does not automatically disqualify you from getting financing for your procedure. There are a couple routes you can consider if you have bad credit:

  • Apply for financing with a paper form at your plastic surgeon’s office vs. obtaining online approval. While quick and convenient, instant online approval is generated by an algorithm-based mainly on your credit score alone. If you are able to explain a lower credit score and why certain factors are no longer an issue, you may increase your chances of approval.
  • Find out if you have other options, such as putting down a substantial down-payment, having a partner or family member co-sign the loan, or exploring alternate options like working with a credit union or bank you have an existing relationship with.
  • Consider a higher interest loan. While all of the financing companies we work with will check your credit, there is a chance you could still qualify for a loan if you can prove your income over a certain period of time (usually two years). In these instances, your anticipated monthly payment will have to be below a certain percentage of your monthly income to qualify. Keep in mind that interest rates are higher, sometimes significantly, for these types of loans—and you should make sure you’re financially comfortable with the monthly commitment to avoid impacting your credit further.

6. Can you use financing for BOTOX® and other non-surgical cosmetic treatments?

Yes! Most of the major medical financing companies (and all of those we work with at LJC) allow you to use your line of credit for surgical and non-surgical procedures, including BOTOX, dermal fillers like JUVÉDERM®, laser skin resurfacing, and skincare treatments. Depending on the financing company you choose, you may even be able to use your line of credit for services outside of LJC too, such as vision, dentistry, counseling, veterinary care, and weight loss services.

Have more medical financing questions? Give us a call at LJC!

At LJC, we have a financing specialist on staff who is here to help every day. She’s helped many patients make cosmetic surgery affordable and will be more than happy to take your questions. Call 858-452-1981 during business hours, or contact us online anytime. Our plastic surgery center and medical spa welcomes people from Oceanside, Escondido, and throughout Southern California.