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5 Dental Loans: Compare Financing Options for Dental Procedures

Annie MillerberndFebruary 25, 2020

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Dental loans are personal loans that can help fund expensive procedures. Find lenders that offer these loans and learn about other options to help you pay for dental work.

Dental loans are typically unsecured personal loans that you can put toward expensive dental procedures. They can fund emergency procedures or planned cosmetic work.

If you’re considering a procedure that your insurance won’t fully cover, a dental loan is a pricey option. You may want to explore other options before taking out a personal loan to fund dental work, especially if you have a low credit score or a lot of existing debt.

Here are some lenders that offer dental loans, as well as other options for funding your next visit to the dentist. For some lenders, rates and amounts for dental loans differ from their other personal loans.

Summary of Dental Loans: Compare Financing Options for Dental Procedures

Our picks for

Dental loans

Lightstream

on LightStream's website

LightStream

Lightstream

Min. Credit Score

660

Est. APR

5.49 - 20.49%

Loan Amount

$5,000 - $100,000

on LightStream's website


Min. Credit Score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees and low rates that vary based on loan purpose. Rates for dental loans start at 5.74% with autopay.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Low starting rates.

Cons

  • Does not offer pre-qualification on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 660.

  • Enough income to pay existing debts and a new LightStream loan.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio varies depending on existing assets and the reason for the loan.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Your loan terms are not guaranteed and may vary based on loan purpose, length of loan, loan amount, credit history and payment method (AutoPay or Invoice). Rate quote includes AutoPay discount. AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. To obtain a loan, you must complete an application on LightStream.com, which may affect your credit score. You may be required to verify income, identity and other stated application information. Payment example: Monthly payments for a $5,000 loan at 12.8% APR with a term of 3 years would result in 36 monthly payments of $168. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. SunTrust now Truist is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2020 Truist Financial Corporation. SunTrust®, Truist, LightStream®, the LightStream logo, and the SunTrust logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by SunTrust now Truist Bank.
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OneMain

on OneMain Financial's website

OneMain Financial

OneMain

Min. Credit Score

None

Est. APR

18.00 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,500 - $20,000

on OneMain Financial's website


Min. Credit Score

None

Key facts

OneMain is an option for bad-credit borrowers, but it comes with high starting rates and an origination fee.

Pros

  • May fund a loan the same day.

  • Offers joint and secured loan options.

  • Free credit score access.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Rates are high compared to other lenders that serve similar borrowers.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None, average is 626

  • Minimum credit history: Not provided.

  • Minimum annual income: None, average is $49,000.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: $25 to $400 or 1 - 10%

Disclaimer

Not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Maximum annual percentage rate (APR) is 35.99%, subject to state restrictions. APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $400. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Active duty military, their spouse or dependents covered under the Military Lending Act may not pledge any vehicle as collateral for a loan. OneMain loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z, such as college, university or vocational expenses; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase securities; or for gambling or illegal purposes. Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600. Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: Florida: $8,000. Iowa: $8,500. Maine: $7,000. Mississippi: $7,500. North Carolina: $7,500. New York: $20,000. Texas: $8,000. West Virginia: $14,000. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.
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Prosper

on Prosper's website

Prosper

Prosper

Min. Credit Score

630

Est. APR

7.95 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$2,000 - $40,000

on Prosper's website


Min. Credit Score

630

Key facts

Prosper is a peer-to-peer lender with rates and fees that compare to other loans for good-credit borrowers. Loan amounts for dental financing ranges from $2,000 to $35,000.

Pros

  • No prepayment fee.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Offers joint loan option.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee.

  • Charges late fee of $15 or 5% of the unpaid loan amount.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640, but average is 717.

  • Minimum credit history: Two years, but average is 11.

  • Minimum annual income: None, but average is $89,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 50% (excluding mortgage).

  • No bankruptcies filed within the last year.

  • Fewer than five credit bureau inquiries in the last six months.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2.41 to 5%.

  • Late fee: $15 or 5% of unpaid amount (whichever is greater).

  • Insufficient funds fee: $15.

Disclaimer

For example, a three-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.74% and a 5.00% origination fee for an annual percentage rate (APR) of 15.34% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 36 scheduled monthly payments of $330.90. A five-year $10,000 personal loan would have an interest rate of 11.99% and a 5.00% origination fee with a 14.27% APR. You would receive $9,500 and make 60 scheduled monthly payments of $222.39. Origination fees vary between 2.41%-5%. Personal loan APRs through Prosper range from 7.95% to 35.99%, with the lowest rates for the most creditworthy borrowers. Eligibility for personal loans up to $40,000 depends on the information provided by the applicant in the application form. Eligibility for personal loans is not guaranteed, and requires that a sufficient number of investors commit funds to your account and that you meet credit and other conditions. Refer to Borrower Registration Agreement for details and all terms and conditions. All personal loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC.
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Upstart

on Upstart's website

Upstart

Upstart

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

8.69 - 35.99%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $50,000

on Upstart's website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

A good option for those who have short credit histories and promising financial futures.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

Cons

  • Origination and late fees.

  • No secured or co-sign option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Minimum credit history: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000.

  • Max debt-to-income ratio: 45%.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 8%.

  • Late fee: 5% of past due amount or $15, whichever is greater.

Disclaimer

1)This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website. 2) § Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5,100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100. 3) ‡ The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 15% and 36 monthly payments of $33 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
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Lending Club
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

LendingClub

Lending Club

Min. Credit Score

600

Est. APR

10.68 - 35.89%

Loan Amount

$1,000 - $40,000

See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. Credit Score

600

Key facts

The pioneer of peer-to-peer lending, LendingClub is a strong option for good-credit borrowers.

Pros

  • Offers direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Joint loan option.

  • Soft credit check with pre-qualification.

Cons

  • Charges origination fee and late fees.

  • Does not offer mobile app to manage your loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score of 600. LendingClub uses FICO 8 credit scoring model.

  • Minimum credit history of three years.

  • Debt-to-income ratio of less than 40% for single applications, 35% combined for joint applicants.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 2% to 6%

  • Late fee: Greater of $15 or 5% of payment after 15-day grace period.

Disclaimer

*All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage and history. The APR ranges from 10.68% to 35.89%. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long-term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: 595 Market St suite 200 San Francisco Ca 94105. **Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between Jan. 1, 2018, and July 20, 2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
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Factors to compare between personal loans

Annual percentage rate. A loan’s APR is typically higher than its interest rate because it encompasses the entire cost of a loan, including the interest rate and any fees. Compare different lenders’ APRs to find the least expensive loan.

Fees. Find out any additional fees the lender charges before taking out a loan. For example, some lenders charge a late-payment fee and others charge an origination fee. An origination fee is typically 1% to 8% of the loan amount and is reflected in a loan’s APR.

Borrower requirements. Some lenders have a minimum income or credit score requirement. Or there may be a limit to the amount of debt you can have, expressed as a debt-to-income ratio.

Time to fund. While some lenders offer same-day funding, others can take up to seven days to fund. You can speed the application process by gathering all the required documents and promptly responding to lenders' questions.

Pre-qualify for a dental loan

Pre-qualifying for a loan lets you see a loan’s terms, interest rate and monthly payments so you can determine whether it’s right for you. You can pre-qualify with NerdWallet to see which loans are available to you and find the one with the lowest APR.

Alternative dental financing options

Personal loans are low on the list of inexpensive ways to finance dental work, says Minneapolis-based financial planner and owner of Abundo Wealth, Eric Simonson. He says it’s important to weigh other options before going with a personal loan.

Here are some other ways to fund dental work.

Finance through your dentist. Some dentists offer an in-house payment plan that you can sign up for when faced with a big bill. Unlike regular dental insurance, you can take advantage of these plans when you learn you need expensive work done, Simonson says. They can be a good option if you don’t have insurance or would rather make monthly payments toward the procedure.

Negotiate. The cost of dental work isn’t regulated by the government, so there may be room for negotiation if you’re quoted a price that you think is too high.

Look around. Compare prices across different dentists in your insurance network to see whether the procedure is offered at a lower price elsewhere.

Dental school. Dental schools offer procedures at a reduced price so students can get experience under the supervision of skilled dentists. You can check the American Dental Association’s list of dental programs to see whether there’s a school near you.

A medical credit card. Some offices offer financing through a medical credit card, like CareCredit. CareCredit lets you pay back purchases of $200 or more at 0% interest as long as you pay the full balance by the end of the term.

If you don’t pay the balance by the end of the term — CareCredit offers short-term financing for 6, 12, 18 and 24 months — you’ll be retroactively charged all of the interest. New accounts come with a 26.99% interest rate, according to the company’s website.

The APR on longer term financing with CareCredit depends on the purchase amount and the term.

Save for cosmetic work. As a general rule, Simonson says, incurring debt for cosmetic work is unnecessary unless you’ll somehow benefit from it financially in the future. In these cases, it’s best to save for the procedure to avoid racking up credit card debt or taking out a high-interest loan.

Saving money in an emergency fund can also give you a safety net if you ever need to pay for an urgent procedure.

Last updated on February 25, 2020

Methodology

NerdWallet's ratings for personal loans award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including soft credit checks, no fees, transparency of loan rates and terms, flexible payment options, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider the number of complaints filed with agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation of any sort for our reviews.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Dental Loans: Compare Financing Options for Dental Procedures

Further reading.

How to Get an Unsecured Personal Loan

By Claire Tsosie & Jackie Zimmermann