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Old 10-03-2011, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Eastern NC
12,611 posts, read 7,445,347 times
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Default Loan or credit card for dental work?

My wife is going to have major dental work done on her in late november. it is going to cost me around $20K. I have a care credit card but at 14% interest, it will cost me big time because there is no way I can pay it off in less than 4 years. I was thinking about getting either a personal loan or home equity loan. Not sure of their rates but I would imagine they would be near 10% or more. I currently owe $17k on credit cards which I am working on paying down, they were at 25K at one time. Unfortunately this proceedure has to be done so no way around it. Your thoughts?
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:03 PM
 
Location: The Triad (nc)
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Have you asked the Dentist?
Loan plans or maybe programs your wife might qualify for...

good luck
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrRational View Post
Have you asked the Dentist?
Loan plans or maybe programs your wife might qualify for...

good luck
yes I have , they gave me the Care Credit brochure.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Do you have a Flex Reimbursement available at work? If so, assuming you can put the procedure off till say January, you could pay for it using pre-tax money. On many plans you can opt for say $20K in deductions over the year but you can go ahead and spend the $ in January. I guess the monthly payment would be about $1800 though, which is pretty steep.

If you put it on a credit card, if your credit history is good, you will from time to time get 0% interest balance transfer offers, you can "hot potato" the debt from one to another of these for a few years.

By all means check out what kind of personal loans you might be able to get - if you are not a credit union member this might be a good time to join.

HELOC might or might not be a good option - how much equity do you have? Although, rates are good now, you might do a complete refinance with equity taken out, assuming you have the equity to take. Depending on your current interest rate and what you can get now, this might be an OK deal.

Keep in mind that you don't have to get all of the $20K from a single source. Specifically, you could do as much as you can stand with the Flex Account (assuming you have one available) and then do one of the other options with the rest of the cost.

Good luck with this. Getting clobbered with an unexpected and large medical bill is not fun.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
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Also ask for the 'Non' insurance price, Ins discount what the dentist get by about 40% off there 'list' price, You should ask for the 'cash' discount and it should be near the amount s/he would get if you had insurance, Also can you add Dental during open enrollment? It might pay 50% of the Insurance discounted cost. Most have you add dental for two year periods, so you don't play the system as much. Are there Dental Colleges around? Many have programs that do the work by Dental students under the colleges supervision. Also (here in Atlanta) they did a 3 day dental blitz that handled hundreds/thousanda in that 3 day period. (There is also a 'free' clinics in Atlanta) You state may have one also.
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Old 10-05-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: North Metro Atlanta
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Thousands receive free dental care in Woodstock *| ajc.com


NC Association of Free Clinics - Open Door Dental Clinic of Alamance Co
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
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Depending on how well you like this particular dentist, yeah, you may be able to get the same work done by a different doctor for less money. You could even look into "medical tourism" in terms of going to say Mexico. Depends on what the actual issue is.

My wife, who is from Kiev, always gets all her dental work done over there when she's visiting, she prefers the clinic she knows there.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:00 PM
 
Location: Eastern NC
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Thanks for all the replies. The cash discount is $900 which is why I would rather pay cash instead of charging it. There is no flex reimbursement where I work but I could borrow off my retirement. That is an option. I do belong to a credit union so I will be checking with them tomorrow. As for a home equity loan, I have about $75K in equity right now, so that may be an option too. Going out of the country is not an option since I would also have to pay for airfare and we don't like to fly unless we really have too. I'll post again after I get some quotes.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,737 posts, read 20,561,569 times
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Borrowing from retirement may be an option, IIRC this is treated differently when it's for a medical emergency. A lot of Suzy Ormond types don't like borrowing from retirement, but I did it awhile back to pay for home improvements, when you make the payments you are paying back into your retirement account, so the money all stays with you - the usual downside quoted is people don't pay it back - so what? I paid it back. A real downside is if you leave your employer - your fault, their fault, nobody's fault - you have to pay the loan all back or take it as a distribution. That could be a problem, you have to weigh it.

Just to look at all options - does your wife work? Maybe she has a flex account?

Next year you will probably be able to take the medical deduction on your federal income tax.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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Check to see what if any penalty for borrowing from your retirement depending on type and if pretaxed. See if a medical emergncy means no penalty.
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