Medical Loans

Personal loans for Medical Financing

You can get medical financing by shopping for unsecured loans. Also called personal loans or signature loans, these financial products let you borrow money without putting up any collateral. LendingTree, a loan comparison website, allows you to view personal loan offers from up to five lenders — simply fill out our online form. 

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Medical expenses can take a toll on you both emotionally and financially. Medical loans, which are unsecured personal loans, can help you cover those bills — whether they’re unexpected or not. If you think you need to take out a medical loan, here’s what you need to know:

6 best medical loans in 2022

LenderBest for…APR rateLoan termLoan amountMinimum credit score
SoFi Bank, N.ABest for zero fees6.99% - 21.78%24 to 84 months$5,000 to $100,000 680
Best EggBest for those with a high income5.99% - 35.99%36 or 60 months$2,000 to $50,000 700
LightStreamBest for long-term loans3.99% - 19.99%24 to 144 months$5,000 to $100,000Not specified
LendingClubBest for cosigners7.04% - 35.89%36 or 60 months$1,000 to $40,000Not specified
UpstartBest for those with fair credit4.37% - 35.99%36 or 60 months$1,000 to $50,000 600
LendingPointBest for those with bad credit9.99% - 35.99%24 to 60 months$2,000 to $36,500 585

Methodology

SoFi Bank, N.A: Best for zero fees

APR rate: 6.99% – 21.78%
Loan terms: 24 to 84 months
Borrowing amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Minimum credit score:  680

Pros

  • Zero fees: No fees include origination fees, prepayment fees and, yes, even late fees.
  • High borrowing limit: While many lenders only allow you to borrow up to $40,0000 or $50,000, SoFi allows borrowers to take out up to $100,000.
  • Unemployment protection: If you experience unemployment after taking out a personal loan, SoFi will not only provide resources to help you find a new job, but will temporarily adjust your repayment plan to fit your new situation.

Cons

  • Good/excellent credit only: With a minimum credit score of 680, borrowers with fair or bad credit may be excluded from qualifying from SoFi’s personal loans.
  • Slow funding time: It can take three or more days for SoFi to fund your personal loan.
  • No secured loans: SoFi doesn’t offer secured loans, which may allow those with lower credit scores to qualify for a personal loan as long as they put down collateral. However, SoFi does allow borrowers to apply with a cosigner.

For more information, read our full SoFi review.

Best Egg: Best for those with a high income

APR rate: 5.99% – 35.99%
Loan terms: 36 or 60 months
Borrowing amount: $2,000 to $50,000
Minimum credit score: 700

Pros

  • Quick funding: While other lenders can take up to several business days to fund your loan after you’ve been approved, Best Egg can supply your money in one business day.
  • No prepayment fees: Borrowers with Best Egg won’t have to pay any prepayment penalties, or any check processing fees.
  • Offers secured loans: If borrowers are worried about qualifying for a personal medical loan, Best Egg offers secured loans. However, you’ll have to put down collateral, which can be seized should you stop making payments.

Cons

  • Higher borrowing amount restricted: While Best Egg typically offers loans only up to $35,000, for qualified borrowers, this lender may offer up to $50,000. However, in order to qualify, borrowers must earn a minimum of $150,000 annually.
  • Limited terms: Best Egg’s loan terms are less flexible than other lenders at just 36 or 60 months.
  • Origination fees: Unlike some lenders on this list, Best Egg charges borrowers an origination fee ranging from 0.99% - 5.99%.

For more information, read our full Best Egg review.

LightStream: Best for long-term loans

APR rate: 3.99% – 19.99%
Loan terms: 24 to 144 months
Borrowing amount: $5,000 to $100,000
Minimum credit score: Not specified

Pros

  • High borrowing limit: Other than SoFi, at $100,000, this lender offers some of the highest upper limits in the market.
  • Long-loan terms: Lightstream also offers some of the longest term limits, up to 24 to 144 months.
  • Same-day funding: If you’re approved for a personal medical loan, you may be able to receive funding that same day.

Cons

  • Good/excellent credit only: With a minimum credit score of 0, you’ll need a good credit score to qualify for a medical loan with Lightstream.
  • High minimum borrowing limit: While most of the other lenders on this list offer minimum borrowing limits of $1,000 to $2,000, you’ll have to borrow at least $5,000 with this lender.
  • No prequalification: While most lenders offer soft-credit inquiries to check if you may be approved for a loan without harming your credit, Lightstream only offers hard credit checks.

For more information, read our full Lighstream review.

LendingClub: Best for cosigners

APR rate: 7.04% – 35.89%
Loan terms: 36 or 60 months
Borrowing amount: $1,000 to $40,000
Minimum credit score: Not specified

Pros

  • Allows for cosigners: Unlike other lenders, LendingClub will allow you to apply with a cosigner in order to help your chances of getting approved for a personal medical loan.
  • Quick funding: Once you’re approved for a personal loan with LendingClub, you may receive funding within 48 hours.
  • No application or prepayment fees: When you apply for a loan or pay your loan off early, this lender won’t charge you application or prepayment fees.

Cons

  • Origination fee: LendingClub charges borrowers an origination fee of 3.00% - 6.00% of the total loan amount.
  • Limited repayment terms: While other lenders offer more flexible repayment terms, LendingClub borrowers are limited to just two choices.
  • No specific credit requirements: LendingClub doesn’t specify minimum credit requirements on its website which may leave consumers in the dark about whether they may be eligible. However, LendingClub does offer soft-credit inquiries, so you can check if you might qualify without hurting your credit.

For more information, read our full LendingClub review.

Upstart: Best for those with fair credit

APR rate: 4.37% – 35.99%
Loan terms: 36 or 60 months
Borrowing amount: $1,000 to $50,000
Minimum credit score: 600

Pros

  • Low borrowing limit: Upstart may be a good option for those who are looking for a smaller loan, since the minimum amount you can borrow is $1,000.
  • Low minimum credit score: Unlike other lenders, Upstart has a lower minimum credit score requirement, so those with fair credit may be able to qualify for a personal medical loan.
  • Considers factors other than credit score: Upstart doesn’t just examine your credit score. This lender also takes other factors, like a borrowers’ education and job history, into account.

Cons

  • No cosigners: If you’re looking to increase your chances for loan approval by applying with a cosigner, you may need to look elsewhere as Upstart does not allow for cosigners.
  • Charges origination fee: You may be charged an origination fee (between 0.00% - 8.00% of the loan amount) for your loan.
  • Limited repayment terms: Borrowers don’t have many repayment options with Upstart, and are limited to either 36 or 60 months.

LendingPoint: Best for those with bad credit

APR rate: 9.99% – 35.99%
Loan terms: 24 to 60 months
Borrowing amount: $2,000 to $36,500
Minimum credit score: 585

Pros

  • Low minimum credit score: Unlike with many lenders, LendingPoint has a low credit score requirement— making it a good potential option for borrowers with bad credit.
  • Flexible loan terms: While some lenders will offer as few as two repayment terms, LendingPoint offers loan terms that range from 24 to 60 months.
  • Quick funding: After a borrower is approved for a loan, the money can be ready as quickly as the next business day afterward.

Cons

  • Small loan amount: With a loan cap of $36,500, LendingPoint’s maximum loan amount is much lower than other lenders on this list.
  • Charges origination fee: This lender charges between 0.00% - 6.00% of your total loan amount.
  • No cosigners or joint applications: Unfortunately, while LendingPoint does have a low minimum credit score requirement, this lender doesn’t allow for cosigners or joint applications.

For more information, read our full LendingPoint review.

What is a medical loan? The basics

A medical loan is a personal loan that’s used to pay for medical costs. Personal loans are unsecured, which means they don’t require collateral and can be used to pay for virtually anything, from the medical bills themselves to your living expenses during recovery time.

Medical loans are a good option if you need money quickly for a medical procedure — you may even be able to get funding the same day that you apply for a personal loan.

How to get a medical loan

You can get a medical loan just like any other type of personal loan, through a bank, credit union or online lender. Shop around for the best interest rates for your financial situation using LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace.

If you want to compare lenders, you can fill out LendingTree’s online form to compare offers from up to five different lenders. Prequalification does not affect your credit score.

How to compare medical loans

Before signing on that dotted line, you’ll want to be sure you’re getting the best possible offer. Instead of accepting the first offer that comes your way, be sure to compare various packages. Here are a few of the details you should look at closely:

  • APR rates: Lenders typically offer a range of APR rates, the lowest of which are often reserved for those with excellent credit and a low debt-to-income ratio (DTI). The higher the APR rate, the more you’ll have to pay over the life of the loan.
  • Terms: The terms of a personal medical loan is how long you have to repay the loan. Terms typically range from 12 to 60 months, though some lenders offer longer-term loans. The shorter your loan, the more you’ll pay on a month-to-month basis.
  • Amounts: The amount of money a lender will offer a borrower can depend on an individual’s credit score and history. Larger loans are typically reserved for those with higher incomes and excellent credit scores.
  • Fees: As you research various lenders, you’ll want to keep an eye out for what types of fees lenders charge. While some lenders avoid fees completely, others may charge origination fees or late payment penalties (or even both). Here are some kinds of fees you should check for:
    • Origination fees
    • Application fees
    • Prepayment fees
    • Late fees
    • Returned check fees

Reasons you may need medical financing

Medical loans can be used to pay for virtually any type of procedure or treatment, from emergency room visits to wisdom tooth removal. You could consider opening a personal loan to cover:

Chemotherapy, dialysis and other ongoing medical treatments

Long-term care, such as physical therapy and rehabilitation

Urgent care bills from unexpected medical emergencies

Infertility treatment, in vitro fertilization

Hair loss replacement, hair restoration

Weight loss surgeries, like gastric bypass or bariatric procedures

Dental procedures, veneers or orthodontics

Cosmetic surgery procedures

Pros and cons of medical loans

PROS
  • Repay medical debt with a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payments
  • You can get the funding you need quickly, sometimes on the same day you applied
  • You can use the loan to pay for virtually anything
  • You can request a loan for the amount you need, whether that’s as little as $1,000, up to $100,000 or more
CONS
  • You’ll pay interest (other financing options may require no interest or less interest)
  • Those with low or no credit will see high interest rates, if they’re approved at all
  • You may have to pay a loan origination fee of about 1% to 8% of the cost of the loan, as well as a prepayment penalty if you pay off the loan early
  • You may not find a personal loan small enough for the procedure you need

Medical loans for bad credit

Even if your credit score could use some work, there are still medical loans for bad credit out there for you to utilize. Unfortunately, though, these types of loans usually come with high interest rates if your credit score is less than ideal — say, a FICO Score below 670.

If you have bad credit, before signing up for a medical loan, heavily consider your options — such as getting a medical credit card or working with your health care provider — as well as any potential benefits and downsides.

Pros and cons of medical loans for bad credit

PROS
  • Loans can be funded quickly, sometimes the same day of loan approval.
  • Payments are generally the same every month.
  • Lenders offer a variety of repayment terms.
CONS
  • Interest rates can be high, sometimes 35.00% or more.
  • Fees may be applicable for this product.
  • Your credit score may take a dip from a hard credit inquiry during the application process.

Alternatives to medical loans

Negotiate medical bills

As soon as you get your medical bill, it’s good practice to call the billing department to try to negotiate the balance down. This is particularly helpful if you don’t have health insurance, or if you need to get services from an out-of-network provider. You could even consider negotiating the bills down if you do have insurance but are still left with an expensive bill.

Review your bill for errors

The clerks at medical billing departments aren’t immune to errors. As an example, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimated a 6.27% error rate in 2020, just for Medicare Fee-For-Service alone.

Before you pay a bill, review it to make sure there aren’t any coding or clerical errors. You might consider going through a third-party service that will review your bill for errors, such as Compass Healthcare Navigation Solutions or CoPatient. Keep in mind that these services may come at a cost.

Set up a payment plan

Your hospital’s billing department may be willing to negotiate a no-interest payment plan to pay off your medical debt. These plans may be available without any eligibility requirements, so even if your income is too high to qualify for bill reduction, you still may be able to enter a payment plan.

Open a medical credit card

In lieu of a payment plan, your health care provider may work with a third-party service to offer deferred-interest financing options. For example, some providers utilize CareCredit, which offers no-interest financing as long as you pay off the procedure within a certain time frame.

It’s important to keep in mind that medical credit cards offer deferred interest, not zero interest. This means that if you don’t pay off the medical bill within the promotional period, then you’ll be hit with all of the interest that accrued from the original purchase date.

Use a credit card with a low introductory APR

You may get more favorable terms if you find a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer. And if you have good-to-excellent credit, you could even earn cash back or travel miles using a rewards credit card with a promotional, no-interest APR period.

However, this option may not be available to those with low or no credit. Plus, if you don’t pay off the balance within the promotional period, you’ll end up paying interest on your remaining balance.

How to prequalify for medical loans

By prequalifying for a loan, you’ll be able to compare lenders’ rates for medical loans more easily. When you check to see if you prequalify, lenders typically do a soft-credit check on your records so as not to impact your credit score.

Lenders will weigh factors, including your credit score and history, income and debt-to-income ratio, to determine whether you are eligible for a loan. Once you’re prequalified for medical loans, you’ll want to compare details like loan terms, APR rates and loan size. By doing this, you could end up saving yourself thousands of dollars in the long term.

See how comparing APR rates affects the overall cost:

Cost savings between two personal loans with different APRs

Loan amount$20,000$20,000
Loan amount$20,000$20,000
Loan length5 years5 years
Estimated APR*10.50%15.50%
Monthly payment$429.88$481.06
Amount paid in interest$5,792.68$8,863.83
Total cost of loan$25,792.68$28,863.83

*APRs used are for demonstrative purposes only

FAQ: Medical loans

Yes, a personal loan can be taken out to pay for virtually anything. It’s unsecured, meaning there’s no collateral. Personal loans for medical bills are backed by your promise to repay the lender; as a result, interest rates can be higher than they would be for a secured loan, which uses an asset as collateral.

A medical loan is a type of personal loan, so it falls under the same guidelines. Without good credit, you may have trouble qualifying for a personal loan at all. If they are approved, those with bad or no credit are likely to pay much higher interest rates than a person with a strong credit profile.

Certain lenders grant personal loans specifically for good, fair or bad credit.

As soon as you get your hospital bill, call the provider’s billing department. Many medical offices offer bill reduction and sometimes even forgiveness, depending on your ability to pay the balance.

Some hospitals even have financial assistance programs to help people who can’t afford the care they need. You may qualify if you’re uninsured or if you owe a significant amount after insurance.

There are a few things you can do if you can’t afford your medical bills:

  • Negotiate the balance down with the hospital’s billing department
  • Open a personal loan to pay the balance
  • Pay your medical bills with a credit card

First, you can contact your creditor’s billing department (your doctor’s office, a hospital, lab or similar facility) to try to negotiate the balance down. Hospital bill reduction is common, so give this a try before exhausting your other options. You may also be able to set up a no-interest payment plan through the medical provider.

Another option is to open a personal loan to pay your medical bills. You’ll end up paying interest on a personal loan, which means that the bill will cost more over time — and if you have poor or no credit, you may not qualify for a personal loan at all. But if you need quick funding and want a set monthly payment, then a personal loan can be a good option.

Finally, you can pay with a credit card. Some doctors’ offices partner with medical credit card companies, like CareCredit, which offer deferred interest for a set amount of time. However, if you miss payments or don’t pay off the balance by the end of the grace period, then you’ll end up paying interest and penalties.

Medical bills are a civil debt, so it’s not a crime if you don’t pay them. However, you may go to jail for ignoring a court summons, depending on the state in which you live. This happens when you’re sued by a collector (like a hospital or ambulance service) and you ignore your court date.

Mortgage lenders look at a number of factors — credit score, recent mortgage applications and job changes, among them. But most importantly, they look at your debt-to-income ratio.

Medical debt does factor into your DTI. In addition, unpaid medical debt can also have a negative effect on your credit score, which can affect your ability to qualify for a mortgage.

Methodology

Why use LendingTree

By offering a detailed and objective account of each lender’s rates and terms, LendingTree’s goal is provide you with all the information you need to make a financially sound decision specific to your situation. Our team of experts thoroughly vets and weighs each option — recommendations are not based on advertisers, but rather an honest review of each lender’s offerings. By providing a full picture of what each lender has, we hope to leave you with peace of mind about your financial future. Lenders were chosen based on factors such as APR rates, loan amounts, terms, fees and credit requirements.