Costhetics’ research into the latest news, tips and information about cosmetic enhancement always includes a look at what people are searching for on Google.
In the age of COVID, more people than ever are exploring options for cosmetic surgery and non-surgical treatments. They want to be ready to move forward towards their enhancement goals as soon as conditions permit.
Part of being ready is answering these important questions:
- Which cosmetic surgery or non-surgical treatment can deliver the results I’m looking for?
- Which surgery or treatment is best suited to my unique physiology?
- Which doctor has the training, experience, and positive track record with other patients who have had this surgery or procedure?
- What will my upfront and total costs be?
- What part, if any, of my costs will be covered by Medicare or private insurance?
- Do I need help financing my cosmetic surgery or cosmetic treatment?
This last question is the one we’re answering today.
Why Banks & Credit Cards are Not the Answer
When you need money, your first thought may be, “I’ll get a bank loan.” It’s a sensible impulse, but one that may not yield the results you want. Banks calculate risks when it comes to opening their vaults when it comes to a loan, and surgery is considered high risk because of the many complications and negative outcomes that are possible. You’re likely to be turned down, even for less invasive, less risky treatments such as dermal fillers or muscle relaxing injections.
Another option you may consider is putting your expenses on a credit card. There are some significant downsides here, too. The APR (annual percentage rates) of credit cards can add significantly to your overall cost if you carry a balance for a number of months. You may also run afoul of late fees if you miss a payment. You should make certain you can afford the monthly payment due along with the interest without tanking your household budget.
Don’t worry, you’re not at a dead end. Costhetics wants to show you a different route…
Beauty Pay Pals: Australia’s Cosmetic Surgery Loan Providers
Australia is rich in many things, including cosmetic surgery loan providers. They were created to meet an increasing demand for cost-effective financing options in the world of beauty. The competition among cosmetic surgery loan services is good for you, but possibly confusing. Which lender should you choose? Ultimately, that’s up to you.
Costhetics does not endorse any specific lender. That being said, we’ve taken the liberty of putting together information on several of Australia’s top lenders. We’ll start with MacCredit, one of the country’s biggest cosmetic finance providers. We hope this snapshot will give you an idea of information you can compare when you’re evaluating lenders yourself.
MacCredit – Making Finance Simple
MacCredit is the MacDaddy of personal loans for plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancement. The company is really more of a broker than a loan company. They work with a panel of lenders to provide personal loans of $4,000 to $50,000 for things like:
- Consultation fees
- Hospital stay fees
- Surgeons fees
- Assistant fees
- Anaesthetist fees
- Procedural costs
- Follow up appointments
- Travel and accommodation
MacCredit may be right for you if you’re someone who’s not comfortable doing compare-and-contrast research yourself. If you prefer to assess your options yourself, you can look at rate aggregators. These websites allow you to search the offerings of a variety of cosmetic surgery personal loans.
4 Factors to Compare when Getting a Personal Loan
Once you’ve identified lenders that are a good fit for your financial needs, there are five things to look at before moving forward with your application:
Type of Personal Loan – Lenders offer two types of loans:
- Unsecured Personal Loan – In this arrangement, you don’t provide any security for the debt. This is considered a high-risk loan and lenders may charge higher interest than for the same amount of money paid through a secured loan.
- Secured Personal Loan – In this arrangement, you agree to ‘asset security.’ This means that should you default on your debt, the lender may step in and claim that asset (car, house, etc.) to recoup the debt.
- Repayment Flexibility – If Auntie Doris dies and leaves you a bucket of money or you win big in an office sports pool, you may find yourself in a position to pay off your loan before it’s due. Avoid lenders with contracts that include an early repayment fee which may range from zero to $800, depending on the size of the loan.
- Applications Fees – Application fees vary widely, typically maxing out at about $400.
- Term of the Loan – The appeal of the low monthly payments offered by a long-term loan are undeniable. However, it’s important to remember that the longer it takes you to pay off your debt, the more it will cost you in the end. Let’s look at a $10,000 loan with a 12% interest rate:
Repaid in 2 years (monthly cost $474) – $11,380 total
Repaid in 5 years (monthly cost $226) – $13,569 total
Repaid in 7 years (monthly cost $180) – $15,159 total
As we mentioned above, MacCredit finances relatively large amounts of money. If you are considering non-invasive treatments whose impact on your wallet is smaller, there are other options that may be a better fit.
Zip Pay – 3 Ways to Beautify Now & Pay Later
Zip, a company that provides consumers with a buy now, pay later service called Zip Pay. Zip Pay provides interest-free credit on purchases up to $1000. This can be used for a wide range of cosmetic enhancement services and products offered by clinics and individuals that are part of the Zip family. Common Zip Pay purchase are:
- Dermal fillers
- Anti-wrinkle injections
- Laser treatments
To use Zip Pay, you will need to create an account for which you will pay $6 per month, unless your balance is zero. Zip Pay charges a minimum monthly repayment amount of $40. Zip also has:
- Zip Money – For purchases between $1,000 and $30,000, Zip Money will provide loans with an initial interest-free period, before carrying charges are applied.
AfterPay – Interest-Free Sounds Good to Me
Like Zip Pay, AfterPay works with a select group of aesthetic enhancement providers and also retailers offering:
- Skin minerals
- Super foods
There are fewer checks and balances in place when compared to credit cards which may make Afterpay more appealing to some people. Purchases are limited to $1,500. The cost of your purchase is divided into four equal payments which are due every 14 days. AfterPay does not charge any interest.
However, if you miss a payment, you are charged a $10 fee. If you fail to make a repayment within a week, an additional $7 is charged to your account. Your ability to make other purchases will also be suspended under your payments are up to date.
Providers’ Financing Options – What to Look For
Many cosmetic surgeons and aesthetic professionals are now offering finance and payment options of their own. Guidelines have been established to help patients from finance ‘schemes’ which have hidden costs or are misleading.
When assessing your provider’s payment options on their website, you can feel comfortable if you see:
- The list of accepted payment methods – Your best choice is a provider who accepts a variety of payment methods such as:
- Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Amex)
- Buy now pay later options (Zip Pay, AfterPay)
- Medical loans (MacCredit)
- A list of companies that have labelled the practitioner an “approved merchant” (This is the practice at OpenPay, AfterPay, Zip Pay and Zip Money)
- A list of ways that patients may wish to source funds – This can include a personal loan or a payment plan
- Information on finding finance providers
Your doctor’s practice should not endorse any payment method, merely outline which ones are acceptable. Beware of:
- Hyperlinks or website addresses of finance providers
- Recommending one or more finance providers or payment methods, rather than just listing payment methods and company names
- Highlighting perceived features or benefits of a particular payment method, e.g. phrases like ‘simple application,’ and ‘easy payment plan’
- Approval guarantees such as ‘instant approval’ and ‘guaranteed approval’
- Apply now buttons
A doctor who endorses a specific company may have a financial incentive to do so, e.g. a ‘reward’ for every patient who signs up. That’s not in your best interest.
Online Applications for Cosmetic Surgery Financing
The vast majority of lenders have online applications. Though each company is unique, all will expect you to meet these basic criteria:
- Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident
- Be over 18 years of age
- Be employed or self-employed
- Earn a minimum of $25,000
- Have a current driver’s license, passport, or Medicare card
- Not have filed for bankruptcy
- Not be a party to a court judgement
After you clear the initial hurdles of the application, you’ll also be asked to prove the information you provided including:
- Recent pay slips
- Australian Driver’s License
- Australian Passport
- Medicare Card
- 90 days of bank statements
- Loan statements
- If you’re self-employed you’ll need your last two year’s financials and tax returns
Most applicants receive a response within 1-2 days and are told the terms of the loan. In some instances, you may be able to re-negotiate the terms, including your interest rate.
When negotiations are complete, you can choose a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly repayment option with a duration of one to seven years. Worried your situation might change? Cosmetic surgery loan providers have customer care teams that can help should you have a change for the worse (or better) in your finances.
Costhetics Says: Proceed with Caution
The surge of excitement that comes when you’ve been approved for a loan is great. The thrill of looking and feeling better after cosmetic surgery is great too. What’s not so great is feeling crushed under the burden of a financial obligation that’s more than you can handle.
That’s why Costhetics suggests that you stop and take a deep breath before moving ahead with your plans. When you’re certain you can meet your obligations, go for it!