Posted on June 15, 2017

Providing medical finance options to patients should be easy. “Should be.” In reality it takes hours of research.

The guide below lists the best medical loans in the medical financing industry, along with a birdseye view of key factors like BBB rating, customer medical financing reviews, interest rates, and ease-of-use.

Top Options for Medical Finance

Patients have plenty of options when looking for medical financing for an upcoming procedure or treatment. Family loans or personal bank loans are both viable finance choices, and some physicians offer layaway plans that let patients pay in advance. Still others work out payment plans directly with patients, but for most that’s just too much time and hassle in an already very busy practice.

For the most convenience (if not always the lowest patient rates) the top options for medical finance are:

  • Dedicated medical finance lenders like CareCredit, ProsperHealthCare and AccessOne.
  • Medical credit cards like the Wells Fargo Health Advantage Care card or the Advanced Care medical credit card.
  • Low-interest personal loan sources like SoFi, Prosper, and Earnest.

We’ve collected details below, complete with interest rates, medical financing reviews, best medical loans, reputation rates, and pros and cons.

Our Picks

Via: Wikimedia Commons

Our top picks for medical finance? Two dedicated best medical loans companies and one personal lender. Patient rates are as low as 5.49%. The medical-loan-only companies come with added benefits for the private practice, like special attention to HIPAA.

  • AccessOne. This medical finance company offers several great low-interest and no-interest options, plus financial assistance. They’ve got a 92% patient approval rating and they’re serious about serving their private practice partners, with special attention to HIPAA and other concerns. This is one of the best medical loans available.
  • ProsperHealthLending. Interest rates starting at a low 5.99% and good provider service make this an attractive medical finance option. That said, a limited range of specialties mean it won’t work for everyone. Still one of the best medical loans around.
  • SoFi. This isn’t a medical-specific financing option, but personal loan rates as low as 5.49% with a $100,000 upper limit make it a good choice.

Pros and Cons of Medical Finance

The ethics of medical financing presents a legitimate dilemma for physicians. Many medical lenders charge rates well in excess of 20%, which puts an undue burden on patients. While that’s a relevant criticism, in a sense it’s got a head-in-the-sand flavor. Practices that rail against medical finance gladly accept credit cards. Many cards have even worse financing schemes than the much-vilified loans.

The fact remains that financing is a necessary evil in the medical world. The key is to find the best among bad choices so patients can get the care they need with as little fiscal hardship as possible.

Best Medical Finance Companies

Below are the ten most popular medical finance options, along with interest rates, reputation measures, and details of how each can help a private practice. CareCredit is by far the most popular with physicians for its speedy payment and hassle-free service, though it leaves patients holding an exceptionally high 26.99% interest rate.

AccessOne

  • Interest rate: Depends on amount and terms. Comes with low-interest and no-interest options, plus partial financial assistance for some.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: N/A
  • Patient reviews: Generally high reviews from patients. No physician reviews found.
  • Medical finance loan product.

AccessOne offers low-interest best medical loans. It has no interest promotional periods. It gives financial assistance to some patients. 92% of their account holders would use the service again, and their past due collection rate is over 80%.

This medical finance company pays special attention to HIPAA compliance concerns. It’s easy for patients to use and simple for practices to implement.

The service also drives a 300% ROI, according to their own data analytics.

Here’s another great way to save money: MedPro Disposal offers low-cost, secure medical waste disposal with predictable service and predictable cost. Check out our practice savings calculator here to see how much you could save on your medical waste disposal.

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ProsperHealthCare

  • Medical Financing Reviews: Good reviews from online rating agencies. Generally good marks from physicians.
  • Interest rate: Interest from 5.99% to 36%, depends on duration and payment plan. Generally a lot lower than credit card options.
  • Parent bank: WebBank of Utah.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating. A+
  • To apply call 888-602-6066.
  • Medical finance loan product.
  • Limited to: Medical financing for cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dental, bariatric surgery, fertility.
  • Zero cost to practice for patient finance plan. Can save a practice thousands of dollars per month.
  • Extensive customer support.
  • Online provider dashboard for access from any device.
  • Unlimited staff training and support.
  • Was “American Healthcare Lending.”

Apart from its limited scope, ProsperHealthCare provides an excellent medical finance option for practices and their patients. Available only to cosmetic dental, cosmetic, fertility clinics, and bariatric surgery docs, this popular financing service offers interest as low as 5.99% for medical loans.

ProsperHealthCare’s key feature is its “zero cost” initiative, with no fees for the practice. That can save thousands per month. Extensive customer support and unlimited staff training make this one of the best medical loans on offer.

CareCredit

  • Physician reviews: Very high ratings from physicians.
  • Interest rate: High interest of 26.99%.
  • Parent bank: Product of Synchrony Bank.
  • Legal issues: Target of legal action by the CFPB.
  • BBB rating: Not rated by the BBB.
  • Patient reviews. Gets generally very low ratings from patients on sites like Yelp and ConsumerAffairs.
  • To apply: Call (866) 853-8432.
  • 30-year company serving 187,000+ practices.
  • Provides additional marketing for member practices.
  • This is a medical finance credit card. Covers all medical specialties.

CareCredit is by far the most popular medical finance option with physicians and their practices for one excellent reason: It makes everything easy. CareCredit takes the burden off practices by offering fast approval (or denial), then paying doctors in a lightning fast 2 days. Even better, if the patient defaults on the payment, the physician still gets paid and has no responsibility to deal with collections.

The dark side of CareCredit falls entirely on patients in the form of a high 26.99% interest rate. With that rate, most patients would be a lot better off using their own credit cards or taking out a personal loan.

Even worse for patients, in 2013 the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered CareCredit to pay out over $34 million to patients for deceptive practices. These factors keep CareCredit low on the best medical loans list.

Alphaeon Medical Finance

  • Interest rate: High interest of 27.44%. No interest in 6-12 months, lower interest in 24-60 months.
  • Physician reviews: Gets decent reviews from doctors online.
  • Parent bank: Comenity Capital Bank.
  • Patient reviews: No reliable medical financing reviews from patients.
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • Limitations: Only for dentistry, dermatology, ophthalmology, plastic surgery, and bariatric surgery.
  • Medical finance credit card.

Alphaeon offers a medical finance option in the form of a high-interest credit card. It’s only available for dermatology, plastic surgery, dentistry, ophthalmology, and bariatric surgery.

It’s got a high variable interest rate of 27.44%, which is bad for patients. On the upside, physicians can offer 6-12 month no-interest promotional periods and lower interest of 14.99% for up to 60 months.

UnitedMedicalCredit.com

  • Interest rate: Depends on loan term.
  • Parent bank: UnitedMedicalCredit
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Patient reviews: Gets generally positive reviews on Yelp. No physician medical financing reviews found.
  • To apply: Call 855-503-1800.
  • No monthly fees for practices.
  • Medical finance loan product. Not limited by medical specialty.

UnitedMedicalCredit offers medical finance loans not limited to any particular specialty. They’re a 30-year company with several flexible options for physicians and their practices.

Practices pay no enrollment fee, no monthly fee, and no annual fee. They claim to be a good option for those with poor credit and they even provide occasional referrals. According to Yelp reviewers, it’s one of the top 10 best medical loans options.

LightStream

  • Interest rate: 2.19% to 14.34% depending on amount and terms.
  • Parent bank: SunTrust Bank.
  • Legal issues: Major CFPB order for SunTrust to pay $540 million to homeowners for illegal foreclosure practices. Bank has been involved in other lawsuits as well.
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Patient reviews: Mid to high reviews from CreditKarma and Yelp. No physician reviews found.
  • Not strictly for medical financing.

LightStream gets generally high marks from patients and online reviewers. A service of SunTrust Bank, LightStream isn’t a dedicated medical finance service, but instead offers loans to all comers. As such there’s no built-in service for integrating it with a physician practice.

Interest rates are generally very low, though securing a loan may require a higher than normal credit score.

MedicalFinancing.com (Medical Financing Bad Credit)

  • Interest rate: Varies depending on loan terms.
  • Parent bank: Cross River Bank, New Jersey.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: N/A.
  • Reviews: No medical financing reviews found.
  • To apply: Call 888-502-8085
  • Medical finance loan product. Not limited by specialty.

MedicalFinancing.com offers healthcare loans from $1,000 to $35,000 for general and specialty medical needs. They require physician/practice enrollment and offer several payment options with subprime options for those with bad credit.

We can’t say this is one of the best medical loans out there, not because it’s a bad choice, but because there’s so little data on it.

MedLoanFinance.com (Another Medical Financing Bad Credit Option)

  • Interest rate: Varies based on credit history and other factors, with a base rate of 11.99% plus fees. No interest for 6-21 months depending on promotions.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: A+
  • Reviews: None available.
  • To apply: Call 800-504-4053
  • Medical finance loan product. $500 to $100,000.

MedLoanFinance has a no-frills website, but they’ve got a very high BBB rating and attractive interest rates for patients starting at 11.99%. While that’s not as rock-bottom as some other options on our list (see ProsperHealthCare above) this is still a decent option for your patients. That’s especially true when considering their leniency toward those with bad credit.

CiterraFinance.com

  • Limits: Cosmetic, weight loss, dental, knee, hip surgery, LASIK, bariatric surgery, prostate cancer.
  • Interest rate: Depends on credit score and terms of loan.
  • Parent bank: CiterraFinance is a 10 year company that sources medical financing from various lenders.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: N/A.
  • Reviews: Positive from the few patient reviews available. No physician reviews found.
  • To apply: 877-534-1993
  • Medical finance loan product.

CiterraFinance is an experienced medical finance company that sources loans from a number of different lenders. While not a general medical loan option, they do serve a wide array of different specialties, including hip and knee surgery, weight loss, medical financing for cosmetic surgery, dental, bariatric, and prostate surgery. Interest rates vary depending on credit score, amount borrowed, and length of loan.

AmericanMedicalLoans

  • Interest rate: APR’s start at 5.99% but vary based on credit score and other factors. Medical financing bad credit options available.
  • Legal issues: None found.
  • BBB rating: N/A.
  • Reviews: No medical financing reviews found.
  • Medical finance loan product. Not limited by specialty. $40,000 limit. Also offers financing for practices.

American Medical Loans presents an attractive option for medical finance with interest rates starting at a low 5.99%. That said, it’s hard to find any background on the company – good or bad. They’re not rated by the BBB, and though there’s no record of any CFPB action or lawsuits against the company, there’s just plain no info on them at all.

The absence of medical financing reviews online by either doctors or patients rounds out the big question mark around this firm. They definitely look worth a try, but if you feel best working with a company that has a proven, easy-to-find track record, this isn’t the one.

They’ve got a medical loan calculator here.

Add to Your Practice’s Bottom Line

Apart from finding medical financing for patients, one of the biggest money challenges faced by a practice is what to do with medical waste. Removal costs have risen astronomically in recent years, and there’s no sign they’ll stop climbing in the near future.

In that environment, a company like Medpro Waste Disposal that offers predictable service at predictable rates can save thousands for a practice. To see just how much your practice could save, see our handy savings calculator here.

Medical Finance Credit Cards

The medical finance options above present a good start in terms of services that dovetail with a physician’s practice or offer outright loans to patients. Below, we’ve included a few options for straight up credit cards.

Some of these cards are strictly for medical use, while others are more general but have attractive features like low interest medical loans or high rewards points.

Note that Capital One, Chase, and Humana all dropped their medical-only credit cards during the 2008/2009 recession. There are no dedicated Capital One medical loans as of 9/5/17.

  • Wells Fargo Health Advantage Care. This medical finance credit card works only for dental, eye surgery, hearing care, and veterinary needs. Rates were cut recently from a high 27.99% to 9.99%.
  • Advance Care medical credit cards cover a wide range of procedures with interest as low as 11.73% and no interest for up to 21 months. No charge to providers and no practice fees.
  • Discover it secured card. This isn’t strictly a medical finance card, but it’s nonetheless a solid option for those who need medical financing with bad credit. Requires a down payment.
  • Citi Simplicity Card. This is another non-medical-specific card, but we include it here because there’s no interest for 21 months and interest rates are a competitive 14.24% to 24.24%. That puts it in the running with some of the other medical financing loan and card options above.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Again, not strictly a medical financing card, but competitive interest rates of 16.74%-23.74%, with up to $611 per year in cash back rewards.

Refinancing for Medical Needs

As an alternative to the medical finance credit cards and loan companies above, consider discussing medical loan refinancing with your patients. The companies below all offer refinancing and outright loans. Most have very low interest.

  • SoFi. Not specific to the medical world, SoFi offers no-fee personal loans with fixed rates from 5.49%-14.24%. Loans can be from $5,000-$100,000, with instant approval and no fees.
  • Earnest. Another non-medical lender that specializes in student loan refinancing, Earnest also serves up personal loans with fixed APR’s starting at 5.25%.
  • Prosper is a Person to Person (P2P) lender that offers general and medical loans with low interest and 3-5 year terms. They can be used for anything from buying a car to financing a medical procedure.

Medical Financing No Patient Left Behind Reviews

The “No Patient Left Behind” program from MyMedicalLoan.com gets mixed reviews from patients and doctors alike. One review we read said the medical finance company funds only half of the procedure’s cost, then charges 10% on the total. That amounts to a 20% fee if true. In general it seems like a legitimate service, but the fees seem high.

Conclusion

There are several medical finance options out there that physicians and practices can recommend to their patients. While the best, low-interest options are generally personal loans from reputable banks, the convenience of other offers often holds sway.

Medical lending companies like CareCredit heap extremely high-interest rates on patients, but in the end they win out because they make life so easy for providers. A combination of quick payment, solid practice integration, and no responsibility for physicians in the event of patient default form a winning combination. In the end, it’s all about convenience for both the practice and the patient, and that convenience comes at a price.

Another win for a practice’s bottom line happens when they start to question what they’re paying for their medical waste disposal service. Re-examining the high prices charged by most companies can lead to an online search for better rates. Such a search invariably ends at MedPro Waste Disposal, a reliable service at a predictable price. Interested in how much you could save? Check out their handy savings calculator here.