Pet Financing for Vet Bills
and Other Pet-Related Expenses

 

takes less than 5 minutes
takes less than 5 minutes
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What is pet financing?

Pet financing refers to using credit cards and personal loans for vet bills or other pet-related expenses. Some pet finance companies, like LendingUSA and CareCredit veterinary financing, offer special financing options with deferred interest. You can also use traditional personal loans and credit cards to pay for virtually anything, including vet bills and pet purchases.

If you can afford to make on-time payments, then pet financing might make sense to protect your pet’s well-being. A loan for pet surgery, for example, can help you come up with the funds needed to keep your pet healthy.

Tip: You can also search for nonprofit pet clinics and veterinarians that accept payment plans in your area. Vet payment plans may be offered without interest. Check the Humane Society of the United States database to see if there are any animal welfare organizations in your area.

Taking out a loan or opening a credit card to cover pet expenses isn’t a good fit for everyone, though. Assess whether your upcoming pet expense is something you can hold off on until you’ve saved enough cash, or if you can work out another option that doesn’t require borrowing money.

Pet financing: Pros and cons

Pros

  • You’ll have the money needed to cover immediate emergency expenses, like an emergency vet bill.
  • You may qualify for special financing, which allows you to finance the purchase at reduced interest, or no interest.
  • You can break up expensive vet bills and other pet expenses into manageable monthly payments.

Cons

  • You may have to pay interest, particularly with a traditional personal loan or credit card.
  • You’re taking out debt to cover an expense that would be better paid in cash.
  • Special financing may be subject to deferred interest, in which the cardholder is charged for interest dating back to the purchase date if the balance is not paid by the end of the promotional period.

Pet financing companies to consider

You can use any personal loan or credit card to cover pet expenses, but there are certain lenders and credit card issuers that specialize in pet financing. Some of these companies even offer no-interest pet care financing or pet loans for bad credit. Take a look at some of your options in the table below:

Pet financing provider Type of financing Terms Key takeaways
CareCredit Credit card
  • No-interest short-term financing: No interest on purchases of $200 (minimum) for 6, 12, 18 or 24 month terms
  • Reduced APR long-term financing: Purchases of $1,000 (minimum) may be eligible for a 24-month offer at 14.90% APR; a 36-months offer at 15.90% APR; or a 48-month offer at 16.90% APR. Purchases of $2,500 (minimum) may be eligible for a 60-month offer at 17.90% APR
  • Regular purchase APR is 26.99%
  • Up to $40 late payment fee
  • No annual fee
  • Special financing is subject to deferred interest
  • Special financing is subject to availability with your provider
LendingUSA pet loans Loan
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $12,000
  • Loan length: Not specified
  • Special financing: No interest on principal during promotional period (up to 6 months)
  • Wide range of credit scores may be approved
  • 0.00% - 8.00% origination fee
  • APR up to 29.99%
United Consumer Financial Services Loan
  • Loan amount: $1,000 to $7,500
  • Loan length: 12 to 36 months
  • Special financing: N/A
  • Competitive interest rates
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Autopay available
  • May require a deposit (down payment)
  • Fixed interest and monthly payments

From vet bills to pet supplies: The total cost of owning a pet

There are pet expenses you can plan for, and unexpected vet bills that you can’t. The average vet visit cost is around $50 for a basic appointment, but it can be as high as $250 or more for a specialist or emergency vet, according to PetMD.

Nearly half of pet owners have been in debt for their pets, a September 2020 LendingTree survey found. But with the right financial planning, you may be able to avoid taking out debt for your pet altogether. The graphic below outlines some of the basic recurring and one-time pet expenses that you can expect to pay:

Pet Financing

How to apply for a pet loan or pet credit card

  • Take a look at your financial situation before borrowing money to cover pet expenses. You should have a clear plan for repayment and an understanding of how a new debt will affect your finances.
  • Check your credit score and credit report to make sure that the information looks accurate. You can see your credit score with a soft pull through My LendingTree and you can visit www.AnnualCreditReport.com to receive a free copy of your credit report each year from all three credit bureaus. If you find any discrepancies, reach out to the bureau that’s reporting the error immediately.
  • Search for a pet financing company that works with borrowers like you. Lenders and credit card issuers typically look at the following factors to decide whether you qualify for pet financing and to determine your terms:
  •          • Credit score
             • Positive payment history
             • Debt-to-income ratio

  • Lastly, formally apply with a pet financing company. Doing so will typically require a hard credit check, which will affect your credit.
Tip: Using a personal loan to cover pet expenses? LendingTree’s personal loan marketplace lets you prequalify and compare offers from up to five lenders.

Get financing for pet expenses today

Is pet financing right for me?

Every lender and credit card issuer has different requirements. In general, they will look at your credit history, income and other financial indicators, such as how much debt you have, to determine whether you qualify.

Personal loans (and credit cards, for that matter) can be used to pay for virtually any pet-related expense, from pet surgery or cancer treatment to financing adoption fees. However, certain pet financing options, like CareCredit, may only work with certain veterinary providers. Weigh your options before committing to a certain financing option.

Before settling on a particular lender or credit card issuer, compare interest rates and fees.
 
Most personal loan lenders allow you to apply for prequalification with a soft credit check, which won’t affect your credit score. Doing so will let you get an idea of the APR and terms you may be offered.
 
When comparing credit card offers, look at the card user agreement to compare potential APRs and special financing offers. You should also take into account any annual fees and late fees that may be charged.

Only borrow what you can afford to repay. When you utilize special financing services like CareCredit or take out a LendingUSA pet loan, they should let you know how much your monthly payments will be. If you can’t afford the monthly payment, then seek alternative financing options, like borrowing from friends or family or talking with your vet about financial aid. Defaulting on your loan or credit card could result in:
 

  • Losing your special financing offer
  • Late fees
  • A negative mark on your credit report
  • Legal action, like wage garnishment

Personal loans…

  • Are lump-sum loans that are repaid over a set period of time, typically a few years.
  • Have fixed APRs and monthly payments, so you’ll always know what you owe.
  • Tend to come with higher APRs for subprime-credit borrowers with credit scores below 640.

Credit cards…

  • Are lines of credit that allow you to pay interest on only what you borrow.
  • Have revolving balances, meaning you only pay back what you spend.
  • Tend to come with higher APRs, although some consumers may qualify for a 0% promotional financing period.