Dental loans are exactly what they sound like — loans that are used specifically to finance dental procedures. Dental costs can be steep if your insurance won’t cover some or all of the procedures. This is where dental financing can be a lifesaver.
Overview: Consumers with good credit scores and high incomes may be the best fit for a Best Egg dental loan. This is because Best Egg reserves its lowest annual percentage rates (APR) for those with an income of at least $100,000 and credit score above 700.
However, if you don’t have a strong credit score, you may still be able to get a dental loan if you apply for a Best Egg secured loan. Dental loans from this lender can take anywhere from one to three business days to show up in your bank account.
Offers secured and unsecured loans
Flexible loan amounts ranging from $2,000 to $50,000
No prepayment penalties
Charges an origination fee (0.99% - 8.99%)
High income required for lowest interest rate eligibility
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Eligibility requirements: To receive a Best Egg dental loan, you’ll need a credit score of at least 580. You’ll also need to meet the following criteria:
Overview: If you have a low credit score but need a dental loan, you may consider filling out a joint application with LendingClub. Be sure that your co-applicant understands the shared financial and legal responsibility of taking out a joint loan.
Unfortunately, you will have to pay an origination fee (2.00% - 6.00%) when taking out a LendingClub dental loan, which will be subtracted from your loan balance.
Can apply with co-borrower
No prepayment penalty
May receive funds in one business day
Charges an origination fee (2.00% - 6.00%)
High maximum APR (36.00%)
Low maximum loan amount ($40,000)
Eligibility requirements: LendingClub doesn’t provide much insight into the criteria they’re looking for in potential borrowers, but they do list several preferred criteria:
Overview: If you have a bad credit score and need a dental loan right away, LendingPoint’s low credit requirements and quick funding may make it possible for you to get a loan.
LendingPoint does, however, charge borrowers an origination fee that can get as high as 8.00%. This lender also does not give consumers the option to apply with a cosigner or co-borrower.
Low credit score requirement
May receive funds within one business day
Considers more than just credit scores
No option for joint applications
Charges an origination fee (up to 8.00%)
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Eligibility requirements: To get a dental loan through LendingPoint, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
Overview: With loan amounts as high as $100,000, zero fees and repayment terms as long as 144 months, Lightstream may be an attractive option for those with good credit scores.
However, if you don’t have a good credit score, it may be difficult for you to get approved. Lightstream also doesn’t offer prequalification services, so if you want to see if you’re qualified for a Lightstream dental loan, you’ll have to submit to a hard credit pull.
Large loan amounts (up to $100,000)
Long repayment terms (up to 144 months)
Doesn’t charge borrowers fees
No option to prequalify for a loan
Unclear credit requirements
No option to change due date
Eligibility requirements: Lightstream doesn’t share a lot of information regarding its loan requirements. However, you will need to have a good credit score and strong credit profile to qualify.
Overview: SoFi dental loan customers can potentially skip paying origination fees and only have to pay interest rates up to 23.43%. This lender also offers unemployment support to borrowers who run into challenges after they’ve taken out a loan.
Those with low credit scores may not qualify for a personal loan through SoFi. With a high minimum loan amount of 8.99%, SoFi may not be the right fit for borrowers looking to borrow a small personal loan.
No required fees
Offers unemployment support
Low maximum APR (23.43%)
Must have good credit to qualify
No option to visit branches
High minimum loan amount ($5,000)
Eligibility requirements: SoFi has a minimum credit score of 680, but it also has other criteria consumers will have to meet:
Overview: With terms up to 84 months, Upgrade dental loan customers have access to longer repayment periods than with some other lenders. Upgrade’s one-day funding timeline and autopay discount also make this lender a worthy contender for those seeking dental loans.
On the other hand, Upgrade charges an origination fee that ranges between 1.85% - 9.99% and is subtracted from the balance of your loan. Upgrade’s APR can also get as high as 35.97%.
Long loan terms (up to 84 months)
Autopay discount available
Quick funding (one business day)
Charges an origination fee (1.85% - 9.99%)
High maximum APR (35.97%)
Consumers can’t pick monthly due date
Eligibility requirements: Other than being 18 years old and meeting its credit qualifications, Upgrade is also looking for applicants who meet these requirements:
Overview: Upstart is an online lender that offers loans ranging from $1,000 to $50,000 that can be used to finance dental procedures, particularly for fair-credit borrowers. This lender offers fast funding and you may receive your loan funds within one business day after you’ve signed your agreement.
Keep in mind that Upstart has limited repayment terms — you’ll have to choose between 36 or 60 months — and you may have to pay an origination fee that can be as high as 8.00%.
May receive funds within one business day
Low minimum credit score requirement
Flexible loan amounts ($1,000 to $50,000)
Limited repayment terms (36 or 60 months)
Charges an origination fee of up to 8.00%
High maximum APR (35.99%)
Eligibility requirements: Upstart requires that applicants not only have a minimum credit score of 300, but they also must meet the following requirements:
A dental loan is really just a personal loan that you can use to pay for dental work. It’s an unsecured loan, meaning there’s no collateral tied to the loan. Because the lender assumes more risk, you can expect interest rates to run higher when compared with a secured loan.
|APR||5.99% to 36% or higher|
|Repayment Term||24 to 144 months|
|Loan Amount||$1,000 to $100,000|
|Origination Fee||0% to 8%|
Once approved for a dental loan, you’ll receive your funds in a lump sum. Some lenders can even fund your loan the same day you’re approved. You can use this money to cover dental costs, then make a fixed monthly payment until the loan is paid off.
|Dental implant||• $2,400 to $3,000 for a single implant|
|Crown||• Metal crown: $600 to $2,500 |
• Porcelain-fused-to-metal crown: $500 to $1,500
• Insurance likely won’t cover crowns for cosmetic purposes
|Chipped tooth repair||• $300 to $600 per tooth if using a process called dental bonding |
• Some insurance plans may cover the cost if it’s used to restore the structural integrity of the tooth
|Dental cleaning||• $75 to $200 for a standalone dental cleaning |
• $100 to $300, assuming you’re also getting X-rays and a full dental evaluation
|Cavity filling||• $50 to $300 for a standard silver filling |
• $90 to $450 for a tooth-colored option
|Tooth extraction||• $75 to $450 for a simple extraction, more if your teeth are impacted or you opt for sedation |
• $150 to $650 for surgical extraction
A higher credit score generally translates to a lower APR. A score that’s under 670 will make it difficult to qualify for a competitive APR, and if your score is much lower than that, you may struggle to qualify for a personal loan at all. You can check your credit score for free using LendingTree.
Getting dental loans for bad credit isn’t necessarily out of the question. Talk with lenders to see if other factors — like your income, employment and a bank account in good standing — could sway the decision in your favor. You can also consider taking out a secured loan or enlisting the help of a cosigner.
Once you know your credit score, the next step is to check your estimated APR. Prequalification lets you see potential loan terms with a soft credit pull, which won’t affect your credit score. To get prequalified, you’ll send the lender some basic information, such as your annual income, desired loan amount and loan purpose.
To assist your search, use LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace. Keep in mind that approval isn’t guaranteed.
Getting prequalified through several lenders will help you find the best possible loan for your unique financial situation. Compare each lender based on:
APR: Your APR is an accurate measure of your cost of borrowing. The lower your APR, the less the loan will cost you in interest and fees.
Loan amount: Be mindful to borrow only what you need and can reliably repay.
Loan length: A shorter term means higher monthly payments but lower overall interest charges.
Once you’ve decided on the best dental loan for you, gather the necessary documents for your formal application, including proof of income, such as recent pay stubs, as well as bank statements from the past few months.
When you’re ready to formally apply with a lender, you’ll submit to a hard credit check, which will affect your credit. With your documentation and credit information, the lender will assess your eligibility for a loan.
You should have a decision rather quickly, with some lenders approving applications within hours. If approved, you could have your funds within a few business days. With your funds in hand, you can begin planning for your dental procedure.
Consider in-house dental financing: Many dentists set their own interest rates and may be willing to negotiate in-house financing plans with patients. Ask if you can set up monthly payments directly to your dentist to avoid loans and finance charges altogether. In some cases, this may be a more affordable option than a personal loan.
Ask for a cash discount: Your dental care costs may be negotiable. For example, you might be able to score a discount if you dip into savings to pay a portion of your procedure with cash.
Get a second opinion: If you’re facing costly dental work, be sure to weigh all your options so that you’re only getting the procedures you truly need. A good dentist is one who has your best interests at heart.
Use your FSA benefits: A flexible spending account is an employer-sponsored savings account that lets you use pretax dollars to pay for medical or dental expenses. They’re typically funded with automatic payroll deductions. Just keep in mind that it’s a use-it-or-lose-it account, meaning that money in an FSA does not carry over from year to year.
Open an HSA: A health savings account is similar to an FSA with some key distinctions. You have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health care plan to qualify, but any money you don’t use at the end of the calendar year rolls over into the next year.
If your credit score is somewhere in the fair to low range, you may still be able to get a fair- or bad-credit loan to get your teeth fixed. However, keep in mind that you may be stuck with higher interest rates as lenders’ lowest rates typically go to those with good or excellent credit scores.
If you find yourself in this position, beware of predatory lending practices and scams from lenders that promise quick funding with no credit checks. Look for lenders that offer APRs below 36%.
You can also work to improve your credit score to increase your chances of getting approved for dental loans and qualifying for lower interest rates.
Going the dental loan route isn’t a good fit for everyone. If you’re on the fence, consider these alternative options before signing a loan agreement:
Some dental offices offer payment plans so you can give money directly to your dentist rather than a lender. This option may be especially helpful if you don’t have dental insurance. If you go this route, be sure to shop around and compare prices between local dental offices.
Instead of taking out a loan, you may also consider putting an expensive dental procedure on a low or even 0% intro APR credit card. If you’re able to pay off the balance of the credit card before the introductory period is up, which can range anywhere from 12 to 21 months — you can pay for the procedure without racking up any interest.
If you’re looking for cheaper dental procedure prices, consider paying a visit to a local dental school, if you live near one. Because those procedures are done by practicing dental students, you may be able to get it done at a lower cost.
Health and wellness purchases can also be paid for by a medical credit card, such as CareCredit®. More than 225,000 providers in the U.S. accept CareCredit®, but be sure to check with your provider before applying for a card. Also, keep in mind that you may be charged an APR of 26.99% if you don’t pay off your balance before the promotional financing period ends (six, 12, 18 or 24 months).
Some insurance companies offer dental savings plans. This may be a more affordable approach for some consumers as you may be able to avoid paying interest.
We looked at 12 lenders that offer dental loans to determine the seven best lenders for this type of loan. By offering a detailed and objective account of each lender’s rates and terms, LendingTree’s goal is to provide you with all the information you need to make a financially sound decision specific to your situation.
Here’s the criteria we assessed to choose the best dental loan lenders:
Dental work can be expensive. As a result, many personal loan lenders offer financing options to cover these costs. Dental loans can range anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000, depending on the lender.
Many lenders offer the opportunity to prequalify for a loan so you won’t have to worry about an impact to your credit score before officially applying.
In order to qualify for a loan, you’ll typically need a credit score of at least 600. However, you may be entitled to better interest rates and terms if you have a credit score that is 670 or higher. The higher your credit score, the better your chances of qualifying for favorable rates.
Interest rates on dental loans are typically determined by factors such as your credit score, history and income. If you want to get a low interest rate on a dental loan, you can improve your odds of getting approved by working to improve your credit score and practicing healthy financial habits.
Yes — even if you have a low credit score, you may still be able to find personal loan lenders that are willing to work with you. You will likely have to pay higher interest rates than applicants with good credit, which can cost you more over the life of the loan.
Down the road, if your credit improves, you could refinance your dental loan and, ideally, receive a lower interest rate.
When applying for a personal loan, lenders will want to verify your contact information, residency, identity and income. You may need to provide pay stubs, W-2s, a government-issued form of identification and a mortgage or rental agreement.