Many or all companies we feature compensate us. Compensation and editorial research influence how products appear on a page. Personal Loans Dental Financing: Compare Dental Loans and More Updated Jun 16, 2023   |   5-min read Written by Jamie Johnson Written by Jamie Johnson Expertise: Mortgages, loans, insurance, credit cards Jamie Johnson is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance and small business. She’s been writing professionally since 2016 and has been featured on some of the top finance and business sites in the country. Learn more about Jamie Johnson According to the Department of Health & Human Services, 108 million Americans don’t have dental insurance. As a result, many Americans are forgoing dental care altogether. Paying the full cost for major dental procedures is out of reach for most Americans, who may need financing, such as a dental loan, to afford the necessary treatments. However, taking out the wrong loan can cause more harm than good, so you should know what you’re getting into before accepting a dental loan offer. On this page: Using dental loans to finance dental workAlternative dental financing optionsHow to choose the right dental financing plan Using dental loans to finance dental work Compare Dental LoansFixed-rate loans starting at 5.95% APR with AutoPay and excellent creditLoan amounts from $5,000 – $100,000Funds available as soon as the same dayView Rates Fixed-rate loans starting at 7.99%Loan amounts from $1,000 – $35,000Funds available as soon as the next dayView Rates Rates are typically between 8.41% and 35.99% APRGet funds as fast as 1 business dayA minimum credit score of 600 in most statesView Rates Many lenders have begun offering specific dental and medical loans. Even if a personal loan lender doesn’t offer a “dental loan,” most will allow you to use the funds from your loan however you’d like—including for dental expenses. Applying for a personal loan is simple. Since personal loans are unsecured, you’re evaluated based on your credit history and income. Here are specific lenders to consider for dental work financing. LightStream View Rates Rates (APR): 8.49% – 24.49%Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000Credit score: 660+ LightStream provides low rates, no fees, and a program where it will beat any rate a competitor offers by 0.10 percentage points. LightStream’s medical financing loan might be the ideal option to cover dental work expenses if you have good to excellent credit. Credit score category: Excellent, goodSoft credit pull to check rates? Not availableDeposit time: As soon as the same dayOrigination fee: 0%Late fee: NoneDiscounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopayRepayment terms: 24 – 144 months Upgrade View Rates Rates (APR): 8.49% – 35.99%Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000Credit score: 580+ Upgrade is a solid option for borrowers with bad or fair credit and those needing smaller loans. Once you accept the loan offer, you could get loan proceeds as soon as the next day. You can check your rate without affecting your credit score; Upgrade does an initial soft pull on credit. Credit score category: Fair, badSoft credit pull to check rates: YesDeposit time: As soon as the next dayOrigination fee: 2.9% – 8%Late fee: $10Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months Upstart View Rates Rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%Loan amounts: $1,000 – $50,000Credit score: 580+ Upstart is an online lending platform that partners with banks to provide personal loans you can use for almost anything. Upstart’s lending model considers education, employment, and other variables when determining eligibility. This model leads to 27% more approvals and 16% lower rates than traditional models. Credit score category: Fair, badSoft credit pull to check rates? YesDeposit time: As fast as 1 business dayOrigination fee: 0% – 8%Late fee: $15 or 5% of paymentRepayment terms: 36 or 60 months Pros & cons of dental loans Pros Low rates Many personal loans have lower rates than credit cards, so you’ll save money in interest. Flexible repayment terms You may be able to secure more flexible repayment terms than you would financing through your dentist. Wide range of loan amounts Many personal loan lenders offer a wide range of loan amounts. Get fast funds Most lenders offer fast access to cash, sometimes in as little as 1 business day. Predictable repayment Personal loans often come with fixed monthly payments, which make budgeting easy. Cons Lenders may charge high rates Finding a personal loan with an affordable interest rate is possible, but you’re still taking on financial risk. If you don’t have a good credit score, you may end up with a high interest rate. You may have to pay fees Some lenders may charge an origination fee that increases the total cost of your loan. Since it may be possible to find alternative financing forms, consider all your options before you commit to a personal loan. Alternative dental financing options If a dental loan doesn’t feel like a suitable fit, here are a few alternative dental financing options to consider: Line of credit If you’re nervous about taking out a personal loan, you could apply for a line of credit. This is similar to a personal loan, but instead of getting a lump sum, you only withdraw (and pay interest on) what you borrow versus the full line of credit you’re approved for. A personal line of credit often has lower interest rates than most credit cards and is more flexible than personal loans because it allows you to access cash as you need it versus in one lump sum. However, ensure you understand the terms and conditions of a line of credit. Depending on your lender, the fees can be high. Some lines of credit come with variable interest rates, which could increase the overall costs of repaying the loan over time. Health care credit cards Many dental providers offer credit cards with special payment plans. These are designed for the dental industry, and you can use them for any procedure. Some dental offices offer these cards at a limited 0% interest rate, so if you can pay off the loan in the stated time (e.g., 12 months), you won’t pay any interest. However, only consider this option if you can repay the loan within the specified time frame. If not, you’ll pay the full interest on the original balance. In-house financing Some dental offices offer in-house financing through third-party lenders. You’ll fill out a credit application, and it will match you with a dental financing company. This may be suitable for patients with less-than-stellar credit histories. However, be prepared to pay more interest; APRs on in-house financing can be high. Installment payments Many dental offices offer interest-free installment plans for ongoing procedures such as braces, dentures, or bridges. You’ll pay an initial deposit fee—often one-third or half of the total amount—then you’ll pay the rest in monthly installments. This isn’t a loan, so you won’t need to fill out an application or undergo a credit check. You can contact your dentist to see whether they offer monthly installment plans. How to choose the right dental financing plan Dental procedures can be expensive, even with dental insurance. A root canal can cost more than $1,000 in some cases. Multiple dental financing options are available to help you afford the cost of care. If you have excellent credit and can qualify for a low interest rate, a dental loan might be the right choice. You can qualify for financing if your credit score is lower, albeit with a higher interest rate. Check with your dentist to see whether they offer installment plans or other forms of financing. Anytime you take out a loan, you want the best personal loan rates and terms. It’s important to consider all your options and make sure you find a payment plan you can afford.