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Dental Financing: Best Loans for Dental Costs

Find lenders that offer dental loans, and compare other options to help pay for dental work.

By Chanell Alexander and  Ronita Choudhuri-Wade 

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Dental loans are unsecured personal loans that you can use to pay for expensive dental procedures. They can fund dental emergencies, planned cosmetic work or other procedures.

Here are lenders that offer dental financing, as well as other ways to pay for your next dentist or orthodontist visit.

Dental Financing: Best Loans for Dental Costs

Our pick for

Dental loans for good credit

Lending Club
Get rate

on LendingClub's website

LendingClub

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lending Club

Est. APR

8.30-36.00%

Loan amount

$1,000-$40,000

Min. credit score

600
Get rate

on LendingClub's website


Min. credit score

600

Key facts

LendingClub is a strong option for good-credit borrowers who need a small- to medium-sized loan.

Pros

  • Joint loan option.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Option to change your payment date.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • Late fee.

  • No mobile app to manage loan.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 600.

  • Maximum DTI: 60%; 40% for joint applicants.

  • Minimum credit history: 37 months and 2 accounts.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 3% to 6%.

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

Disclaimer

Between April 2022 and June 2022, Personal Loans issued by LendingClub Bank were funded within 44 hours after loan approval, on average. The time it takes for a loan to be funded is not guaranteed and individual results vary based on multiple factors, including but not limited to investor demand. A representative example of payment terms for a Personal Loan is as follows: a borrower receives a loan of $16,980 for a term of 36 months, with an interest rate of 13.49% and a 6.00% origination fee of $1,019, for an APR of 17.89%. In this example, the borrower will receive $15,961 and will make 36 monthly payments of $576. Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $40,000 and loan term lengths range from 24 months to 60 months. Some amounts, rates, and term lengths may be unavailable in certain states. For Personal Loans, APR ranges from 8.30% to 36.00% and origination fee ranges from 3.00% to 6.00% of the loan amount. APRs and origination fees are determined at the time of application. Lowest APR is available to borrowers with excellent credit. Advertised rates and fees are valid as of July 11, 2022 and are subject to change without notice. Loans are made by LendingClub Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender (“LendingClub Bank”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of LendingClub Corporation, NMLS ID 167439. LendingClub Bank is not an affiliate of NerdWallet Compare, Inc. which is an unrelated third party (“third party”). LendingClub Bank is not responsible for any products and services provided by this third party and may receive compensation if you visit the third party’s websites or use any of its products or services. Credit eligibility is not guaranteed. Loans are subject to credit approval and may be subject to sufficient investor commitment before they can be funded or issued. Certain information that LendingClub Bank subsequently obtains as part of the application process (including but not limited to information in your consumer report, your income, the loan amount that your request, the purpose of your loan, and qualifying debt) will be considered and could affect your ability to obtain a loan. Loan closing is contingent on accepting all required agreements and disclosures at Lendingclub.com. “LendingClub” is a trademark of LendingClub Bank.

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Our pick for

Dental loans for bad credit

Upgrade
Get rate

on Upgrade's website

Upgrade

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Upgrade

Est. APR

7.96-35.97%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

560
Get rate

on Upgrade's website


Min. credit score

560

Key facts

Upgrade accepts bad- to fair-credit borrowers. Loan amounts for dental financing range from $1,000 to $50,000.

Pros

  • Secured and joint loans.

  • Multiple rate discounts.

  • Mobile app to manage loan payments.

  • Direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No option to choose your payment date.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 560.

  • Minimum number of accounts on credit history: 1 account.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 75%, including the loan you're applying for.

  • Minimum length of credit history: 2 years.

  • Minimum income requirement: None. Lender accepts income from alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security and other sources.

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1.85% to 8.99%.

  • Late Fee: $10.

  • Failed payment fee: $10.

Disclaimer

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.96%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8.99% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Personal loans issued by Upgrade's bank partners. Information on Upgrade's bank partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/bank-partners/.

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Our pick for

Dental loans for thin credit

Upstart
Get rate

on Upstart's website

Upstart

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Upstart

Est. APR

6.50-35.99%

Loan amount

$1,000-$50,000

Min. credit score

None
Get rate

on Upstart's website


Min. credit score

None

Key facts

Upstart has no minimum credit score requirement and offers small loans you can use for dental work.

Pros

  • Accepts borrowers new to credit.

  • Fast funding.

  • Option to change your payment date.

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Offers free financial education

Cons

  • May charge origination fee.

  • No joint, co-signed or secured loans.

  • No mobile app to manage loan.

  • Only two repayment term options.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: None.

  • Minimum annual income: $12,000; this lender accepts income from employment, alimony, retirement, child support, Social Security, rentals, trusts, pensions, disability and scholarships.

  • Must have a full-time job or be starting a full-time job in six months.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 0% - 10%

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

  • Returned check fee: $15.

Disclaimer

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. Minimum loan amounts vary by state: GA ($3,100), HI ($2,100), MA ($7,000), NM ($5,100), OH ($6,000). The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 5-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 25.05% and 60 monthly payments of $25.80 per $1,000 borrowed. For example, the total cost of a $10,000 loan would be $15,478 including a $804 origination fee. APR is calculated based on 5-year rates offered in June 2022. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. 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. 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 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 Upstart.com website.

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Our pick for

Large dental loans

Lightstream
Get rate

on LightStream's website

LightStream

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Lightstream

Est. APR

6.99-23.99%

Loan amount

$5,000-$100,000

Min. credit score

660
Get rate

on LightStream's website


Min. credit score

660

Key facts

LightStream targets strong-credit borrowers with no fees, low rates and large loan amounts.

Pros

  • No fees.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Long repayment terms on home improvement loans.

  • Rate Beat program and Experience Guarantee.

Cons

  • No option to pre-qualify on its website.

  • Requires several years of credit history.

  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 660.

  • Several years of credit history.

  • Multiple account types within your credit history, like credit cards, a car loan or other installment loan and a mortgage.

  • Strong payment history with few or no delinquencies.

  • Investments, retirement savings or other evidence of an ability to save money.

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

Available Term Lengths

2 to 7 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: None.

  • Late fee: None.

Disclaimer

Rates quoted are with AutoPay. 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). AutoPay discount is only available when selected prior to loan funding. Rates without AutoPay are 0.50% points higher. 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 $25,000 loan at 4.98% APR with a term of 20 years would result in 240 monthly payments of $164.71. Some additional conditions and limitations apply. Advertised rates and terms are subject to change without notice. Truist Bank is an Equal Housing Lender. © 2022 Truist Financial Corporation. Truist, LightStream, and the LightStream logo are service marks of Truist Financial Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Lending services provided by Truist Bank.

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Our pick for

Dental loans for fast funding

RocketLoans
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website

Rocket Loans

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
RocketLoans

Est. APR

7.73-29.99%

Loan amount

$2,000-$45,000

Min. credit score

640
See my rates

on NerdWallet's secure website


Min. credit score

640

Key facts

Rocket Loans’ personal loans can be inflexible compared with competitors, but they stand out for fast funding.

Pros

  • Option to pre-qualify with a soft credit check.

  • Rate discount for autopay.

  • Fast funding.

  • Wide range of loan amounts.

Cons

  • Origination fee.

  • No direct payment to creditors with debt consolidation loans.

  • No option to choose initial payment date.

  • Only two repayment term options.

  • No co-sign or joint loan option.

Qualifications

  • Minimum credit score: 640; borrower average is 750.

  • Minimum credit history: Over two years.

  • Minimum annual income: $24,000; borrower average is $110,000.

  • Maximum debt-to-income ratio: 70%; borrower average is 18%.

  • No bankruptcies in the last two years.

Available Term Lengths

3 to 5 years

Fees

  • Origination fee: 1% to 6%.

  • Late fee: $15 after 10-day grace period.

  • Unsuccessful payment fee: $15.

Disclaimer

All personal loans are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey state chartered commercial bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loans are unsecured, fully amortizing personal loans. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Please refer to our Disclosures and Licenses page for state required disclosures, licenses, and lending restrictions. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident alien at least 18 years of age (in Nebraska and Alabama a borrower must be at least 19 years of age). All loan applications are subject to credit review and approval. Offered loan terms depend upon your credit profile, requested amount, requested loan term, credit usage, credit history and other factors. Not all borrowers receive the lowest interest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have excellent credit, meet certain conditions, and select autopay. Rates and Terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Please refer to RocketLoans.com and our Terms of Use for additional terms and conditions.

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How do dental loans work?

A dental loan can be a fast and flexible way to pay for dental expenses not covered by insurance. Among the procedures a dental loan might cover are:

  • Dental implants.

  • Veneers.

  • Teeth aligners.

  • Braces.

  • Dental crowns.

  • Emergency procedures.

Online lenders, some banks and some credit unions offer personal loans that can be used for any purpose, including dental care. Each type of lender has different borrower requirements, rates and loan terms, so it’s best to pre-qualify with multiple lenders and compare your options. Personal loan rates generally range from 6% to 36%, and terms can be two to seven years.

Pre-qualify with NerdWallet to see your potential loan offers and find the loan with monthly payments that fit in your budget.

To qualify you, lenders consider your credit score, income and existing debts. If approved for a dental loan, you’ll receive the money in a lump sum in your bank account, typically within a few days. You then use the loan to pay for your dental or orthodontic care. Going forward, you’ll make fixed monthly payments to your lender until the end of the contract term.

How to compare personal loans for dental work

Annual percentage rate and fees. A personal loan's APR can be higher than its interest rate because it reflects the entire cost of a loan, including the interest rate and any fees. Some lenders charge origination fees that can range from 1% to 10% of the loan amount. Other possible fees include late payment and returned payment fees.

Borrower requirements. Some lenders have minimum income or credit score requirements. Or they may allow a maximum amount of debt compared to your income, expressed as a debt-to-income ratio.

Time to fund. While some lenders offer same-day funding, others can take up to a week to fund. You can speed up the application process by gathering all the required documents before applying and by promptly responding to lender questions.

Repayment term. A longer loan term can mean smaller monthly payments, but it can also result in more interest over the life of the loan.

For example, a $2,500 loan with a five-year term and 8% APR will require a $50 monthly payment and cost $541 in total interest. The same loan with a seven-year term would put the monthly payment at $39, but cost $773 in interest.

A personal loan calculator can help you decide what repayment term fits best with your budget

Dental loans for bad credit

If you have fair or bad credit (a score of 689 or below), you may still be able to get a loan for dental work; however, you’ll likely get a rate that’s on the high end of a lender’s APR range. If you have bad credit and decide to pursue a dental loan, consider a co-signed loan to potentially receive a lower rate.

Avoid loans with APRs above 36%, which is the maximum rate deemed affordable by financial experts and consumer advocates. A three-year, $3,000 loan with a 36% APR costs almost $2,000 in interest.

Alternative dental financing options

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

Here are some other ways to fund dental work:

Financing 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.

You may also be able to negotiate a lower cost with your provider. Check the prices in your area using a site like fairhealthconsumer.org, and see how your dentist's costs compare.

Dental school. Dental schools offer procedures at reduced prices 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.

Medical credit card. Some offices offer financing through a medical credit card, like CareCredit. The standard APR for CareCredit financing is 26.99%, but some dental providers may offer 0% interest if you pay the full balance by the end of the term. CareCredit offers terms of six, 12, 18 and 24 months. Be sure to ask your dental care provider if 0% financing is available as some locations may not participate in the promotion.

0% credit card. If you have good or excellent credit (a score of 690 or above), you might qualify for a 0% APR credit card. These cards have an introductory period — usually 15 to 18 months — when you won’t accrue interest on purchases. If you can pay off your balance within the specified time, you’ll pay for the procedure interest-free.

Dental savings plan. A dental savings plan could be an affordable option to cover dental costs, as they allow you to pay an annual fee to receive discounts from dentists in the plan’s network. You can get a dental savings plan through some insurance companies.

Last updated on December 21, 2022

Methodology

NerdWallet’s review process evaluates and rates personal loan products from more than 35 financial institutions. We collect over 45 data points from each lender, interview company representatives and compare the lender with others that seek the same customer or offer a similar personal loan product. NerdWallet writers and editors conduct a full fact check and update annually, but also make updates throughout the year as necessary.

Our star ratings award points to lenders that offer consumer-friendly features, including: soft credit checks to pre-qualify, competitive interest rates and no fees, transparency of rates and terms, flexible payment options, fast funding times, accessible customer service, reporting of payments to credit bureaus and financial education. We also consider regulatory actions filed by agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We weigh these factors based on our assessment of which are the most important to consumers and how meaningfully they impact consumers’ experiences.

This methodology applies only to lenders that cap interest rates at 36%, the maximum rate most financial experts and consumer advocates agree is the acceptable limit for a loan to be affordable. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for our star ratings. Read more about our ratings methodologies for personal loans and our editorial guidelines.

To recap our selections...

NerdWallet's Dental Financing: Best Loans for Dental Costs

Frequently asked questions