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Alternatives to CareCredit?
July 15, 2009 2:26 PM   Subscribe

For reasons I don't (yet) fully understand, Care Credit has refused to extend me any credit whatsoever towards a year-long set of (embarrassing) medical procedures that will end up totalling in the neighborhood of $30,000 US. What viable alternatives to Care Credit exist for financing expensive and drawn-out medical procedures?

More details: Single, no dependents. Only debt of any kind is a 4-year auto loan, which has never been late, and will be paid off in a little over 2 years. I rent. My annual income approaches six figures. I am in no danger of missing work due to the procedures (they're all outpatient).

I just don't understand why I would be rejected for this line of credit (even in this economy) and am hopeful that mefites will be able to recommend some alternative. Thanks in advance.

(As an aside: I'd really like to avoid speculation on what work needs done - the whole situation is one I find dreadfully embarassing, and the question isn't about the procedures needed, merely what alternatives exist to finance them. Thanks.)
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
I do not have any suggestions, but a point of info: I took our a CareCredit line for some vet stuff. At the time, while talking about this with the provider's receptionist, she said that it's actually rare to be accepted by CareCredit, and that rejection is the norm.

So it's not you, it's them.
posted by Danf at 2:33 PM on July 15, 2009


It's a GE Money company. My guess is that your lack of credit history relative to the amount you're borrowing is the major problem.

I haven't worked for GE, but I have worked for a similar (US-based) company as a credit analyst. If you'd been looking at a line of credit for that amount of money with my former employer, we would have been looking for you to have held revolving credit of about $10,000 for a period of at least 3 years with no more than one late payment in the last 2 years. $30,000 is a substantial amount of money to borrow without security.

From what you've said, you have no previous credit history involving unsecured loans - that could present a major problem for you. My former employer wouldn't have given you a first-time credit limit over $5000 under those circumstances.
posted by Lolie at 2:41 PM on July 15, 2009


Have you spoken with the hospital/clinic that will be doing the procedures? I know from experience that providers will give you what's called the "insurance negotiated rate," the rate which the insurance company and the provider agree to. It's always lower than the full cost. My husband and I have private health insurance and everyone we deal with, from our GP to the Children's Hospital in our city, has given us the negotiated rate. We also often do payment plans. There might even be financing available from your provider. Ask. Nothing to lose by asking, right?

Feel free to memail me if you'd like more information on negotiating.
posted by cooker girl at 2:42 PM on July 15, 2009


From what you've said, you have no previous credit history involving unsecured loans - that could present a major problem for you.

This.

And, as cooker girl says, the right next step is to talk with your provider's folks about their financing recommendations/connections. CareCredit is, as Danf says, really hard to get, so you are certainly not the first person seeking services from your provider who was denied by them.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:51 PM on July 15, 2009


I think the typical advice is to talk to the hospital or provider where you got the services, and explain your financial situation to them, and see if you can get a payment plan worked out. This is pretty standard for hospitals, but might not be as easy if it's a smaller practice or outpatient office.

I've been repeatedly told though that many hospitals will offer payment plans that have, if not 0% interest, at least much lower interest than credit cards and most consumer lines of credit.

I'd investigate that first before you start looking into any other credit options.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:53 PM on July 15, 2009


If you make nearly 6 figures, can you budget for the procedures as the cost comes? Can you save up in advance, or do you need to get this taken care of now?
posted by Oktober at 3:15 PM on July 15, 2009


Talk to the lender with whom you have the car loan, too. They may be willing to lend you some money unsecured (although it almost certainly won't be the whole $30,000). Chances are that the parent company for the car loan provides other types of lending for different purposes.

Personally, I'd try to avoid high interest finance where possible, but you'll almost always get a better rate or better conditions from a lender with whom you already have a track record (or a track record within their group of companies). Find out as much as you can before making any applications, though - a bunch of applications close together will have a short-term impact on your credit record.
posted by Lolie at 3:33 PM on July 15, 2009


I took our a CareCredit line for some vet stuff. At the time, while talking about this with the provider's receptionist, she said that it's actually rare to be accepted by CareCredit, and that rejection is the norm

This is not true, I deal with CareCredit regularly and I would say roughly 80-90% of applications that I deal with are accepted, being rejected is most definitely NOT the norm, and it is most definitely not rare to be accepted by CareCredit. The applications I see rejected are usually ones you would expect to be a poor credit risk (unemployed, bad credit history, etc.).

If you call their customer care line, they will usually explain what the issue is right away.
posted by biscotti at 6:11 PM on July 15, 2009


You might want to check your Credit Report for any bogeys. It's possible something inadvertently ended up on it which is scuttling your score. That happened to me once: turned out there was some collection lien hogging space in my Credit Report that simply didn't exist (I was able to clear it up very easily). Usually when you are denied a loan, you're allowed a free Credit Report; not sure if that's the case here.
posted by jabberjaw at 6:23 PM on July 15, 2009


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