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Financing Your New Look:

Aug 17, 2007
So you're considering having some cosmetic surgery done, but your insurance won't cover it and you don't have the money to pay for it up front. Believe it or not, there is a way to finance that tummy tuck or eye lift.

What to Consider

The Cost

Cosmetic surgery is expensive. Procedures cost anywhere from $500-$25,000 depending on the type of procedure being performed. Financing your surgery will only add more to that cost due to interest rates.
As with any type of financing, your interest rate will vary based on your credit history, selected loan term and the loan amount. Available loan terms may include 12, 24, 36 and 48 months or a revolving credit line depending on your credit background. Keep in mind: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be skeptical of financing companies offering 1% rates, because there is usually a hidden cost behind these offers.

Also keep in mind that you may need to come up with a down payment in order to finance your surgery. Down payment requirements are determined based on your credit history and your health care providers requirements, if any. If you have average or above average credit, you may not be required to put any money down.

As with any type of financing, whether it be a car, a home, or even cosmetic surgery, you should take into account what your current financial situation looks like and determine whether or not you can afford a regular monthly payment for the next 24, 36, 48 or 60 months.

If you have not already done so, figure out your monthly income subtracted by your bills, don't forget to include miscellaneous items such as groceries, toiletries, gas, household products, pet food, etc. After you have created a monthly budget, you can now determine whether or not you can afford another $100-$200 monthly payment.

The Procedure

Before you begin to get all excited about the prospect of financing your new look, it's important to understand why you want to have this kind of procedure done. Make sure your expectations are realistic and that you are doing this because you believe there are no other options. Consider both the pros and cons of cosmetic surgery and weigh your other options.
A good rule of thumb for financing cosmetic surgery is to finance only major surgical procedures. If you're considering Botox, for instance, the prices are reasonable enough, but if you're financing the injection(s), it will cost you more than it's worth.
You should also keep in mind that most types of cosmetic surgery need to be maintained on a regular basis, and fighting the aging process completely is futile.

Finding a Surgeon

Although a cosmetic financing company can refer you to a surgeon, it's best to find one before you contact a financing company. Dr. Steve Fallek, a cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon in New York and Englewood, NJ suggests that a financing company is not going to be able to give you the best plastic surgeon.

You want to go to a board-certified cosmetic surgeon who is reputable, honest and who hopefully you've gotten the name from someone who has had plastic surgery from that person. Fallek says patients should ask their surgeon to recommend a finance company.

Financing Companies

Before you chose a financing company, make sure they are reputable. They should have a good track record in financing health care procedures and should work with a network of doctors.

If you have found a surgeon to do your procedure, you may also ask if he/she has financing available. The terms of the financing should be clearly outlined in writing before you apply for any financing, and you should never pay a broker fee.

Most surgeons use the same financing companies, so don't waste your time looking for surgeons who may have lower rates. Seeing different surgeons takes up time and money.

You may also want to consider using your credit card if the interest rate is lower. Some people also borrow from family or even take out a home equity loan.

The Decision is Made

If you have now decided that you can afford to finance your cosmetic surgery, research your procedure online to find out the benefits and risks. You may also want to discuss your surgery options with your primary physician who may also provide you with a list of surgeons and payment options.
About the Author
Dr. Lycka is one of North America's foremost authorities on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. You can find out more at http://www.barrylyckamd.com and http://www.restoringyouthonline.com. He is founder of The Ethical Cosmetic Surgery Association (http://www.ecsaonline.com).
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