December 9, 2022

Medical Loans for Financing Medical Expenses

If you’re looking to consolidate medical debt or planning a pricey procedure, the right medical loan could help you handle these expenses and save on interest charges. Many people struggle to come up with the cash for health care when insurance doesn’t foot the entire bill. Here’s what you need to know to help you find the best medical loan.

Best Personal Loans for Medical Expenses

Lender

LightStream

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2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Upstart

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8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Payoff

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5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Rocket Loans

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7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Avant

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9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

SoFi

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5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Best Egg

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4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

LendingClub

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10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Peerform

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5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Upgrade

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7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Discover

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6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Axos Bank

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6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Lender

FreedomPlus

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7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Prosper

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7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

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2.49% to 19.99% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
8.69% to 35.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 24.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.16% to 29.99% APR
$45,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
9.95% to 35.95% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
550 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 18.28% APR
$100,000 Max. Loan Amount
680 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
4.99% to 29.99% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
10.68% to 35.89% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
5.99% to 29.99% APR
$25,000 Max. Loan Amount
600 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 35.97% APR
$50,000 Max. Loan Amount
Not disclosed Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.99% to 24.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
660 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
6.49% to 29.99% APR
$35,000 Max. Loan Amount
720 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.99% to 29.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
620 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More
7.95% to 35.99% APR
$40,000 Max. Loan Amount
640 Min. Credit Score

Lender

Learn More

APR

Max. Loan Amount

Min. Credit Score

2.49% to 19.99% $100,000 660

6.49% to 17.99% $20,000 Not disclosed

8.69% to 35.99% $50,000 620

5.99% to 24.99% $40,000 640

7.16% to 29.99% $45,000 Not disclosed

9.95% to 35.95% $35,000 550

6.99% to 19.99% $40,000 660

5.99% to 18.28% $100,000 680

4.99% to 29.99% $50,000 640

10.68% to 35.89% $40,000 600

5.99% to 29.99% $25,000 600

7.99% to 35.97% $50,000 Not disclosed

6.99% to 24.99% $35,000 660

6.49% to 29.99% $35,000 720

7.99% to 29.99% $40,000 620

9.99% to 35.99% $25,000 600

7.95% to 35.99% $40,000 640

Best for low interest

LightStream is the national online consumer lending division of SunTrust Bank, which in 2019 became Truist after merging with BB&T. The key feature of LightStream’s online personal loans is that they can be up to $100,000 and used for nearly any reason, outside of refinancing existing LightStream loans. Personal loans are available to borrowers with good to excellent credit in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 144 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • A variety of loan uses are available.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

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Best for low minimum loan amounts

PenFed Credit Union serves members of the Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, military associations, eligible veterans and retirees, and their families. However, military association is not required to apply for a loan or become a credit union member. The credit union offers personal loans for eligible members and eligible co-borrowers in all 50 states.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $500 to $20,000
  • Repayment terms: up to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Terms of up to 60 months.

  • There are no origination fees.

  • Borrowers can get access to funds as early as the day after approval.

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Best for borrowers with no credit or poor credit

Upstart is an online marketplace lender that connects borrowers and investors to originate personal loans. It offers loans of up to $50,000 to borrowers with fair to excellent credit nationwide, with the exception of Iowa and West Virginia residents. Since it was established in 2012, more than $7 billion in loans have been originated. Many loan decisions made through the platform are automated and use artificial intelligence.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Upstart may accept applicants with fair credit or even those with no credit history, using artificial intelligence to quantify risk.

  • Upstart loans as low as $1,000 are available in most states.

  • The lender’s credit dashboard allows borrowers to see the impact of loan repayments and to modify payment dates.

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Best for debt consolidation

Payoff offers personal loans designed to consolidate credit card and other high-interest debt. It operates in most states and provides loans of up to $40,000.

Payoff is not a bank; instead, it works with lending partners that originate loans. The company, which considers itself a financial wellness firm, is based in California.

In 2017, Payoff launched a sister company called Happy Money, which takes a psychological approach to money matters. Today, Payoff is a service under the Happy Money umbrella.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers don’t face prepayment or late fees.

  • Borrowers can get preapproved with no hard credit check.

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may be eligible.

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Best for digital customer care

Rocket Loans offers personal loans to qualified borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa, West Virginia and Nevada. These loans are designed for people with fair to excellent credit who need to borrow up to $45,000 for debt consolidation, home improvements, medical expenses and business or other expenses.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: undisclosed
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $45,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Same-day loan funding is available in some cases.

  • No prepayment penalties apply.

  • An online application process is available.

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Best for risky borrowers

Since 2012, Avant has provided access to personal loans to more than 800,000 borrowers nationwide. Borrowers may qualify with fair to excellent credit and can borrow from $2,000 to $35,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 550
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Loans as low as $2,000 are available.

  • Funding can happen as early as the next business day after approval.

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Best for no origination fee

Marcus is the consumer bank and lending arm of investment bank Goldman Sachs. Established in 2016, the lender offers personal loans of up to $40,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $3,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 72 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Marcus does not charge any fees on its personal loans.

  • Borrowers can adjust their payment due date.

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Best for loans of up to $100,000 with no fees

SoFi, short for Social Finance, offers personal loans of up to $100,000 to borrowers with very good to excellent credit. The lender operates nationwide, but does not offer personal loans in Mississippi, and is known for offering loans with no fees. In addition to personal loans, SoFi offers student loans, student loan refinancing, home loans and small business financing.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 680
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $100,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • SoFi offers no-fee loans, including no late fees.

  • Loans of up to $100,000 are available.

  • Co-borrowers are accepted.

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Best for bad credit

Best Egg is a national online lender offering personal loans starting at $2,000 for a variety of purposes. Loans can be funded in as little as one business day.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funding typically takes one to three business days upon approval.

  • The minimum loan amount is $2,000 in most states.

  • Borrowers incur no prepayment penalty.

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Best for fair credit

LendingClub is an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors through its network of lending partners. LendingClub initially launched on Facebook and has evolved into an extensive peer-to-peer lender. Borrowers in all U.S. states except Iowa and U.S. territories who have fair to excellent credit can get $1,000 to $40,000 loans with LendingClub.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: not rated

Best Features

  • Loans of $1,000 or more are available.

  • Joint applications are accepted.

  • Borrowers can qualify with fair to excellent credit.

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What Is the Best Interest Rate on a Personal Loan?

When you shop around for the best personal loan interest rate, you can save. Compare your personal loan offers with national average trends for personal loans to know if you’ve found a good deal.

The average personal loan rate is 9.34%. Last week’s average rate was 9.93%.*

*Rate as of May. 21, 2021

Personal Loan Finder

Select your desired loan amount and loan purpose, your credit score range, and your state to see estimated annual percentage rates and loan terms.

What Are Medical Loans?

Medical loans are often unsecured personal loans that can be used for medical expenses. An unsecured loan means you won’t need to put up collateral, such as a car, home or savings account, for approval.

Your loan funds can be applied toward just about any medical cost, from bills to living expenses while you recover from an illness or accident.

You can also use a medical loan to consolidate medical bills. If you qualify for a loan with a low interest rate, you could simplify your monthly budget and save on interest.

Here are some examples of what medical loans can cover:

  • Health insurance deductibles.
  • Out-of-network charges from your health insurer.
  • Copays.
  • Dental procedures.
  • Medical treatments, including infertility treatments.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation.
  • Weight loss surgeries.
  • Cosmetic surgeries.

Who Qualifies for Medical Loans?

Loan qualification is usually based on the borrower’s credit history and income, but each lender sets its own criteria. Before applying for a medical loan, check whether you meet the lender’s minimum requirements, including:

  • Income. Lenders may set a minimum monthly or annual income, or they may simply check that you earn enough to cover your loan payment. Generally, a higher income may qualify you to borrow more.
  • Credit score. A good credit score could help you qualify for a lower rate, which saves you money. Applicants with bad credit or no credit will generally pay higher interest rates than borrowers with good credit.
  • Credit report. Lenders might also look for negative items on your credit report, such as late payments or collection accounts. Even with these items on your record, you might still qualify for a medical loan.
  • Loan terms you seek. “The actual terms of the loan – how much loan you are looking for, the length of the term – may impact the interest rates you can qualify for,” says Elise Nussbaum, a financial coach with TrustPlus, a service of Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners, which offers financial wellness benefits.

How Do I Get a Loan for Medical Bills?

If you’ve determined that a medical loan is right for you, here are best practices to consider when applying:

  • Find out how much you need to borrow. Ask your health care provider for an estimate, and find out whether you can negotiate the price, receive financial assistance or enroll in a payment plan. “These options might even be preferable to a medical loan,” Nussbaum says.
  • Check your credit. You’ll need a strong credit history to receive the best interest rates, says Leslie Tayne, a New York-based debt resolution attorney and personal finance expert. A high credit score translates to a lower risk of loan default in the eyes of the lender. “In this instance, a good credit score is 700 or higher,” she says.
  • Research lenders and loan options. Try to get three to five loan estimates, and then compare loan amounts and terms, qualification requirements, interest rates, and fees. Some lenders let you prequalify online, which means they estimate your rate and other loan terms with a soft credit inquiry that won’t hurt your credit score.
  • Select a lender and apply. If you’re approved, read the fine print, Tayne advises. Make sure you understand your interest rate and all fees and penalties before signing on the dotted line.
  • Receive the funds. You might need to wait a few days for the funds to hit your bank account, depending on the lender. Once you have the money, you can spend it on your medical expenses.

Should I Get a Loan for My Medical Expenses?

You’ll want to weigh the pros and cons of a medical loan before using one to pay for medical expenses. In many cases, “It may make sense to take out a medical loan when faced with necessary medical expenses where you cannot pay for it yourself and your insurance doesn’t entirely cover the procedure,” Tayne says.

But you should also consider whether:

  • You qualify for a loan with good loan terms. Before taking out a medical loan, research the fees – and when they apply – and know the interest rate you will pay. The National Consumer Law Center, a nonprofit advocacy group, says loans with fixed annual percentage rates of less than 36% are generally considered affordable. Of course, a lower rate could help you save more money.
  • The lender can disburse the funds quickly. This is especially helpful in a medical emergency, or if you need to pay your doctor a deposit or buy medicine before a procedure.
  • You can use the funds to pay for medical expenses. Some lenders restrict how you can use a personal loan, so read through the terms and conditions before signing for the loan.

A medical loan might not be your best option if:

  • The loan comes with high costs. Extra fees and high interest rates could quickly drive up the loan balance and cause you to fall behind on payments. “When left unpaid, bills can turn into unmanageable medical debt,” Tayne says.
  • Cheaper options are available. Because debt can lower your credit score and strain your budget, always research affordable alternatives. If there are none, Nussbaum says, “Some deep consideration would need to happen if the loan payment per month is unaffordable for the individual’s budget.”
  • You can’t borrow the amount you need. Lenders usually set lower and upper limits on how much you can borrow. If the amount you need falls outside of this range, you might need to consider alternatives.

How to Minimize Your Medical Costs

If a medical loan isn’t the right choice for you, keep in mind that it’s not your only choice. Fortunately, there are alternatives, such as:

Review your medical bills for errors. Checking every bill or explanation of benefits is a good habit to form. “With complicated codes and miscellaneous fees and charges, it’s entirely possible that you were overcharged or incorrectly billed for medical services rendered,” Tayne says.

If you’re having trouble deciphering your medical bills, call your provider. You might also consider using a third-party service, such as CoPatient, to review medical bills for you.

Negotiate your medical bill. Once you’re sure the bill doesn’t contain errors, ask your doctor’s office about assistance programs. “Hospital billing departments and doctor’s offices will often lower the total amount due if you can show proof of financial hardship,” Tayne says.

Some will even forgive the entire amount if your income is below a certain threshold, she says.

Just keep in mind that not all medical providers can negotiate, and those that do may have limited flexibility, Nussbaum says. “Medical expenses are also expensive in general, and so there might be a floor in terms of negotiating limits,” she says.

Ask about a payment plan. The doctor’s office may be able to create a payment plan, which could help you pay your bill over a manageable term. This could be as simple as dividing the amount due by 12 or 18 months, for example.

“Providers often will finance without interest,” Tayne says, “and that’s a great alternative to a loan with interest. And it doesn’t hit your credit.”

Open a medical credit card. Some health care providers work with third-party services that offer a medical credit card, which differs from a regular card because you can only use it for eligible health care expenses with certain providers. The interest on medical credit cards is usually deferred for a period of time.

That means you can charge qualified medical expenses, make minimum monthly payments to keep the account in good standing and pay no interest during the promotional period. But if you don’t pay off the balance before interest kicks in, you will be hit with interest charges that have accrued from the purchase date.

Use a credit card with a low introductory APR. Some traditional credit cards come with a low promotional interest rate for a certain time frame, often 12 to 21 months. These cards might also come with programs for cash back rewards or airline miles.

But as with medical credit cards, if you don’t clear the balance within the promotional period, then you could end up paying a high interest rate.

Either a medical credit card or traditional credit card can be a good option, Tayne and Nussbaum agree, as long as you qualify for a 0% introductory rate and pay off the card before interest applies.

Explore assistance programs in your state. If you need more help paying for or getting medical care, check for state and local government programs and nonprofits that offer aid. Try these resources:

Best for peer-to-peer loans of up to $25,000

Peerform is a marketplace lending platform that connects borrowers nationwide with investors. Borrowers with a credit score of 600 or higher may qualify for loans of up to $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $4,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: undisclosed
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A

Best Features

  • Some borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for loan amounts of up to $50,000

Upgrade is an online lender that offers personal loans and lines of credits nationwide. Borrowers can qualify for up to $50,000 in financing.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: Not disclosed
  • Loan amounts: $1,000 to $50,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loans and lines of credit are available up to $50,000.

  • Borrowers can complete the entire loan process online.

See full profile

Best for low costs

Discover is a digital bank and payment services company known for its credit cards. But Discover also offers other products including fixed-rate personal loans of up to $35,000 to borrowers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The lender boasts no fees as long as you pay on time.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 660
  • Loan amounts: $2,500 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 84 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Discover has no fees other than a late fee.

  • Customizable loan terms from 36 to 84 months.

  • Borrowers get free access to their FICO credit score.

See full profile

Best for flexible loan terms

Axos Bank launched in 2000 and is owned by San Diego-based Axos Financial. You won’t find any brick-and-mortar branches, but the bank has offices throughout the country. Aside from personal loans, Axos Bank offers CDs, plus checking, savings, money market and retirement accounts.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 720
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 to $35,000
  • Repayment terms: 12 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • The loan application process is completely digital because Axos Bank is online only.

  • Flexible loan terms are one to five years.

  • You can borrow between $5,000 and $35,000.

See full profile

Best for below-average credit

FreedomPlus is an online lender offering personal loans ranging from $7,500 to $40,000. Loans are available to qualified borrowers with a minimum FICO credit score of 620.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 620
  • Loan amounts: $7,500 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify for a loan.

  • Loans of up to $40,000 are available.

  • Same-day approval is available, with loans funded in as little as 48 hours.

See full profile

Best for FICO scores between 580 and 669

LendingPoint, which specializes in loans for borrowers with fair credit, has offered online personal loans since 2014. The lender, operating in 49 states and the District of Columbia, provides loans as large as $25,000.

Before You Apply

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 600
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $25,000
  • Repayment terms: 24 to 48 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Loan funds are available as soon as one day after approval.

  • Borrowers with fair credit may qualify.

See full profile

Best for post-sales support

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lending marketplace that allows borrowers to apply online for fixed-rate, fixed-term loans. Prosper matches borrowers with partner investors including Sequoia Capital, Francisco Partners, Institutional Venture Partners and Credit Suisse Fund. Since its founding in 2005, Prosper has expedited more than $18 billion in loans. Prosper lends to borrowers with fair to excellent credit with a minimum 640 FICO score.

Lender Highlights

  • Minimum FICO credit score: 640
  • Loan amounts: $2,000 to $40,000
  • Repayment terms: 36 to 60 months
  • Better Business Bureau rating: A+

Best Features

  • Prosper offers preapproval with a soft credit check.

  • Small-dollar loans of $2,000 or more are available.

  • Joint personal loans are available.

See full profile

View More Best Personal Loans for Medical Expenses

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