WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET? Third Party Dental Payment Plans

Third Party dental payment plans are a very good option for patients to obtain needed services. There has been an “evolution” in this industry. Five years ago there was “good old American competition” between companies that financed dental services: CapitalOne Health Care finance, Dental Fee Plan, Unicorn Financial, CareCredit, and Wells Fargo.
Through bank mergers and economic changes it seems like today CareCredit is as synonymous with 3rd party dental lending as Kleenex is with facial tissues. Most dental personnel don’t use the term “Third Party Lender” anymore. It makes me smile a little when I hear one of my clients tell a patient they can “help them apply for a CareCredit Loan”. The Power of Branding! We have to speak a language that the patients understand.
Here are some of the main “pros”:
1. Quick payment, up front, for large cases.
2. CareCredit has one of the highest approval ratings.
3. Patients may be eligible for 12-24 months non-interest loans
4. “Patients that have paid you, will like you, and they like your dentistry.” Did you ever notice that dentures that are fully paid for fit better than those you are owed money for?
5. These patient financing plans are non-recourse. This means that if the patient does not pay off their credit line as promised, these companies cannot come back to your office and demand the payment.
Interview the Reps from several companies- they will be happy to meet with you. Look them up.
Enroll in several plans. You may able to do a “wrap around”. If your patient accepts a Treatment Plan of $10,000 and is approved by Company “A” for $8,000, Company “B” may lend another $2,000.

You can do some shopping around to see which of the existing companies can provide your office with the best services.
These companies will provide your office with applications. The patient fills out the application with all the necessary information, and the form gets faxed over to the company. Usually within 10 minutes you will have an answer from these financing companies as to whether or not the patient can receive financing, and what their line of credit will be. You can even apply over the internet and literally have an answer within a minute.
Some “Cons”:
1. A major consideration is what it costs your office to provide these plans. There are many fees that can be involved with these financing companies; you must look carefully at these so you can get the best deal. Some charge up-front fees as well as a percentage of the credit line used.
2. Care Credit can charge a fee of up to 14.9% to the practice (YOU) for some interest free financing to the patient.

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Remember that Visa, MasterCard, Amex, Discover, and Credit Unions are also “THIRD PARTY LENDERS” and most patients carry one of those cards in their wallets.

2 thoughts on “WHAT’S IN YOUR WALLET? Third Party Dental Payment Plans

  1. My kids’ orthodontist uses OrthoBanc to draft payments from our bank account. So I don’t pay any interest for “financing”.

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