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Personal Loans

Dental Financing: Compare Dental Loans and More

Updated Jun 16, 2023   |   5-min read

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 work

Compare Dental Loans

LightStream logo

  • Fixed-rate loans starting at 5.95% APR with AutoPay and excellent credit
  • Loan amounts from $5,000 – $100,000
  • Funds available as soon as the same day
Upgrade Personal Loans Logo

  • Fixed-rate loans starting at 7.99%
  • Loan amounts from $1,000 – $35,000
  • Funds available as soon as the next day
Upstart logo

  • Rates are typically between 8.41% and 35.99% APR
  • Get funds as fast as 1 business day
  • A minimum credit score of 600 in most states

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.


  • Rates (APR): 8.49%24.49%
  • Loan amounts: $5,000 – $100,000
  • Credit 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, good
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Not available
  • Deposit time: As soon as the same day
  • Origination fee: 0%
  • Late fee: None
  • Discounts: 0.50% interest rate reduction for enrolling in autopay
  • Repayment terms: 24 – 144 months


  • Rates (APR): 8.49%35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000$50,000
  • Credit 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, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates: Yes
  • Deposit time: As soon as the next day
  • Origination fee: 2.9% – 8%
  • Late fee: $10
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months


  • Rates (APR): 6.12% – 35.99%
  • Loan amounts: $1,000$50,000
  • Credit 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, bad
  • Soft credit pull to check rates? Yes
  • Deposit time: As fast as 1 business day
  • Origination fee: 0% – 8%
  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of payment
  • Repayment terms: 36 or 60 months

Pros & cons of dental loans


  • 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.


  • 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.