Pet Financing: How to Pay for Your New Pet

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Bringing home a pet can be expensive

Bringing home a new pet can be a truly rewarding experience, but one that comes with a lot of financial responsibility. According to the latest data from Rover.com, the average one-time startup cost of adopting a dog is $1,487 — and that’s just the beginning.

You can look forward to maintenance expenses for food and care accessories, emergency health services and routine checkups, obedience training, grooming and even budgeting for pet rent. In total, you may spend an average of $3,370 per year to raise a happy, healthy dog.

Keep in mind that these figures are for a standard pet; if you’re planning on bringing in an exotic animal, like a tropical bird or other unusual pet, your experience might be more costly.

If you’ve fallen in love with a particular pet but don’t have cash on hand, pet financing can be an option. Depending on your eligibility, our personal loan tool can help connect you to lenders that may be a good fit for your pet financing needs.

In this guide:

  • What is pet financing?
  • Is pet financing right for me?
  • How to I get a pet loan?

 

What is pet financing?

Pet financing refers to a personal loan that you can use toward any pet-related expenses. Whether you’re figuring out how to pay for an adoption fee or are suddenly facing a $2,000 emergency vet bill, pet loans can help you fill the financial gap.

When you apply for a personal loan, you’ll specify how much you would like to borrow. If approved, your lender will fund the loan and notify you of the interest rate you qualify for. You can then make installment payments toward the loan over a fixed period of time. Pet financing loans may also come with lower interest rates compared to high-interest credit cards, if you have a strong credit profile.

Depending on your credit history and pet care needs, pet loans can help you finance the cost of caring for your new family member at an affordable rate. However, not all borrowers will qualify for competitive rates, if at all.

Is pet financing right for me?

Every lender has different requirements. In general, lenders will look at your credit history, income and other financial indicators such as how much debt you have, to determine whether you qualify for a personal loan.

Before settling on a particular lender, compare interest rates, fees and terms with multiple lenders. Most 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 rates and terms you may qualify for. You should also review each potential lender’s fee structure to minimize how many fees you pay. Doing so will help you make a more informed decision when choosing a lender.

Only borrow what you can afford to repay. In addition to repaying the principal balance of the pet loan, you’ll need to account for added interest charges and loan fees. You can use our personal loan payment calculator to estimate the cost of a loan.

There are many ways to finance pet expenses, such as working out a payment plan through your pet service provider or using a credit card. 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.

Taking out a personal loan for your pet isn’t a good fit for everyone. Less-than-stellar credit may land you high interest rates or disqualify you from a loan. If a pet loan is your last resort and you can afford to make on-time payments, pet financing might make sense to protect your pet’s well-being when you can’t pay with cash.

How do I get a pet loan?

The pet financing process is similar to getting a personal loan for any other purpose. Before getting knee-deep in comparison shopping you’ll want to know where you stand as a potential borrower.

Take a look at your financial situation before considering a loan. You should have a clear plan for repayment and understand 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 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.

Then, compare your personal loan options by applying for prequalification with a few lenders. This will help you gauge the kinds of terms you may qualify for.

Lenders 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

Depending on your eligibility for a loan, you may use our personal loan tool to compare up to five lenders at a time by providing your basic information. Depending on the lender you’ve chosen to move forward with, you may be asked for additional supporting documents to process the loan application.

Lastly, formally apply with a lender. Doing so will require a hard credit check as your lender of choice does a deep dive on your eligibility for a loan.