How to get a loan for surgery

loan for surgery

To get a loan for surgery, usually you’ll have to inquire with a lender, verify important information, and then you’ll find out about approval. There are many loan options available for surgery. In general, having good credit will make it easier to get a loan for surgery, however, there are options for bad credit. 

Surgery can be an expensive medical procedure that, unfortunately, many people struggle to afford. Any form of invasive procedure can easily cost thousands of dollars. You may wonder if it’s possible to get a loan for surgery. The good news is that plenty of financing options are available if you need emergency cash to pay medical expenses! Keep reading to learn how you can get quick cash loans to pay for surgery. 

Common Surgeries in the United States

People have surgery for various reasons, but some medical procedures are more common than others. Read about some common surgeries in the United States below. Knowing how much common surgeries typically cost ahead of time can help you determine the best loan for you. 

Cataract Removal

A cataract is a clouding of the eye that typically occurs due to age or injury. Cataracts make vision blurry and worsen over time without treatment. Approximately three million people have cataract removal surgery every year.1 The average cost of cataract-removal surgery ranges from $2,300 to $3,000.


A Cesarean delivery, or C-section, is a surgical procedure by which a baby can be delivered. A C-section birth is either planned ahead of time or spontaneous if there is an immediate concern for the baby’s or mother’s health. As many as 1.3 million people have babies via C-section every year.2 A C-section is more complicated and dangerous than a vaginal birth, so it is generally more expensive. The average cost of a C-section is roughly $13,000.

Plastic Surgery 

The United States is one of the leading countries in plastic surgery. Numerous people get aesthetic plastic surgery every year to improve the appearance of their face or body. The cost varies depending on the procedure, but you can expect to pay thousands of dollars. Due to the high price and demand, you may find plenty of plastic surgery financing options even for bad credit online. Plastic surgery loans typically offer installment plans that allow you to make small monthly payments over a few years. Financing plastic surgery options are often googled by patients soon after their consultation. 

Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery is similar to plastic surgery, except that it provides aesthetic results instead of functionality. Popular cosmetic surgeries include breast augmentation, liposuction, tummy tuck, and facelift. A rhinoplasty, or nose job, is a popular cosmetic procedure with an average cost of $5,483. Elective cosmetic procedures can cost thousands of dollars, which is why many people look into medical financing. 

Joint Replacement

Joints allow our bodies to move, but they may need replacement as we age. A surgeon removes the damaged joint and replaces it with an artificial one made from metals, ceramics, and plastic materials. Approximately 720,000 knee replacements are done annually, as well as 330,000 hip replacements. The cost of joint replacement can range from $16,500 to $33,000. 

Does Surgery Require a Down Payment?

Many medical providers now ask patients to pay ahead of time. About three-quarters of hospital systems ask patients for a down payment or the total cost upfront. Requests for advance payments can be frustrating when you don’t have a lump sum to pay ahead of time. So are you required to pay before undergoing surgery? 

In most cases, hospitals and medical offices cannot force patients to pay in advance. You may have to provide insurance information upfront as proof of payment if you have health insurance. But withholding treatment is against federal law. If you have a medical emergency, a medical practitioner must have your condition stabilized and treated before asking you about payment. 

What to Do If a Hospital Asks You to Pay Surgery Up Front

The medical office may ask for payment upfront if you want to proceed with surgery. Before you provide any form of payment, no matter how small, consider your options first. 

Say “No”

You can deny paying for surgery in advance until you receive a medical bill after treatment. Many insurance companies advise consumers to wait because hospital estimates are not always accurate. You may end up paying more out of pocket than you should. In some cases, you may not have to pay anything due to insurance coverage.  

Ask About Refunds

If you have the financial means, you may consider paying for your surgery ahead of time. But ensure you first ask the hospital about refunds if you overpay. Ask how you will receive the refund and how long the process typically takes.  

Ask About Discounts

Paying upfront can help you obtain discounts! Approximately 44% of hospitals offer prompt-pay discounts if you pay upfront. You can save as much as 20% on your medical bill! However, this option may only be suitable for people with limited or no insurance coverage.

Call Your Insurance Provider

Some hospitals have aggressive billing departments that will hound you for an advance payment. If you are getting nonstop calls, you can call your insurance provider. The insurance company can contact the medical office to request they cease contacting you. You may also contact your state insurance regulator to file a complaint. 

Do Medical Providers Offer Financing Options?

You will need a couple of thousand dollars if you want to schedule an elective surgery, such as bariatric surgery. You may wonder, “How do most people pay for medical care?” Many people get a payment plan through a medical provider or direct lender

Some medical offices offer low-interest or interest-free payment plans to help patients afford the high cost of surgery. However, medical bill payment plans may not be convenient. The repayment length for hospital bills can be incredibly short, meaning the minimum monthly payment on medical bills can be astronomical. If you fail to keep up with your payment plan, your unpaid medical bill can end up at a debt collection agency. If you cannot repay your medical debt within a few months, consider applying for a long-term installment loan. 

Loan Options for Surgery Financing 

If you need a sizable loan amount for surgery, know you have plenty of financing options available. The best surgery loan for you offers sufficient money, affordable monthly payments, and manageable interest rates. Here are some examples:

Financing OptionEligibility CriteriaAdvantagesDisadvantages
Medical Credit CardsCredit report information and income.Quick access to funds for medical procedures. May offer special financing options.Limited coverage and compatibility. Interest rates may be high.
Personal LoansCredit history and income.Flexibility in spending. Extended repayment terms. Options for bad credit borrowers.Interest rates may vary. High rates for bad credit loans.
Home Equity LoansSufficient equity in home. Home appraisal required.Potentially higher loan amounts. Lower interest rates compared to unsecured loans.Longer processing time due to appraisal. Risk of losing home if unable to repay.
Auto Title LoansCar’s equity and income.No requirement for excellent credit. Quick access to funds.Risk of car possession during repayment. High-interest rates.

Below is more information on each loan type:

Medical Credit Cards

A medical credit card is exclusively meant for surgical and nonsurgical procedures. Medical credit cards are only available from participating healthcare providers and cover specific procedures. If you want to pay for surgery using a medical credit card, ensure it is compatible with your provider and procedure before applying. Credit approval for a medical credit card depends on your credit report information and income. 

Personal Loans

Personal loan options offer flexible spending amounts to borrowers that need money quickly. A personal loan can help you get extended repayment terms that result in low monthly payments. There are multiple personal loan terms to choose from, so consider how long you want to borrow money. In general personal loans are installment loans which means they will be repaid in steady monthly payments. Eligibility for a personal loan depends significantly on your credit history and income. There are all kinds of lenders for personal loans. If your credit score is low, know that there are personal loans for bad credit online—also called bad credit loans

Home Equity Loans 

A home equity loan can provide eligible borrowers with enough money to cover surgery costs. If you have sufficient equity in your home, you can use it as collateral to get funds for surgery. The loan amount for home equity loans depends on the market value of your home. To get a loan offer, most financial institutions require an appraisal. Due to the long appraisal process, getting a home equity loan can take time. However, you may be able to obtain more money through a home equity loan than through an unsecured loan. 

Auto Title Loans 

Do you have a valuable car? You can use that vehicle as collateral to obtain money for a medical procedure! Auto title loans do not require excellent credit since approval depends mainly on your car’s equity and income. During the repayment process, a lender places a lien on the car title and provides a lump sum for cosmetic procedures or other high-cost expenses. The downside is that some financial institutions require possession of your car during the repayment process. You may also have to contend with high-interest rates that make repayment harder. 

What Happens To Unpaid Medical Bills/Medical Loans?

Your finances can suffer if you receive your medical bill after surgery and it goes unpaid. Medical offices sell outstanding medical debt to debt collection agencies that use debt collectors to recoup unpaid debts. The collection agency may pursue legal action against you if the debt is high enough. 

When summoned to court, the creditor will attempt to convince the judge that you have the financial means to pay the unpaid medical debt. Unfortunately, the debt collector can garnish your wages if you lose the court case. Wage garnishment is a process that involves your employer restricting money from your paycheck to pay off the unresolved debt. Wage garnishment can unnecessarily complicate your life and increase your work stress. 

In addition, a collection account on your credit report can decrease your credit score by many points. The collection account will be visible to future employers, landlords, and lenders who pull your credit reports. You may lose out on financial opportunities due to unpaid medical bills. The good news is that the collection account will fall off your credit reports after seven years. 

FAQS: Medical Loans for Surgical Procedures

What are the typical origination fees for medical loans, and how do they affect the overall cost? 

Origination fees for medical loans can vary by lender. These fees are a percentage of the total medical loan amount and are either deducted from the loan proceeds or added to the overall loan balance, affecting the total cost of the medical loan.

Can I obtain a medical loan for surgery with a bad credit score?

Obtaining a medical loan with a bad credit score can be challenging, but some lenders offer medical loans specifically for individuals with lower credit scores. These loans might have higher interest rates or require a co-signer.

Are there specific financial assistance programs available for covering medical expenses from surgery?

Yes, there are various financial assistance programs designed to help cover medical expenses from surgery. These programs may be offered by government entities, non-profits, or even hospitals themselves.

What is the minimum credit score required to secure the best medical loans for surgery?

The minimum credit score required for the best medical loans typically ranges from 600 to 680. However, the most favorable terms are usually reserved for those with scores above 700.

How do personal loans for medical bills compare to medical loans in terms of interest rates and terms?

Personal loans for medical bills often have similar interest rates and terms as medical loans. The main difference may lie in the flexibility of use, as personal loans can be used for a variety of expenses beyond just medical costs

What are the advantages of using unsecured personal loans to finance medical expenses over other types of loans?

Unsecured personal loans to finance medical expenses typically don’t require collateral, offer fixed interest rates, and have a variety of lenders to choose from. This makes them a flexible and accessible option for many borrowers.

How can I manage medical debt / a medical loan effectively if I’ve already undergone surgery 
and am struggling with repayment?

To manage medical debt post-procedure, consider negotiating the bill with the provider, exploring consolidation options, or contacting financial counselors for guidance. Some hospitals also offer hardship plans for those struggling with medical bills.

Are there personal loan providers that specialize in loans for surgeries?

Yes, there are personal loan providers that specialize in loans for surgeries. These personal loan lenders often understand the specific needs and challenges associated with financing medical costs and may offer tailored personal loan products.

What should I look for in the terms and conditions when selecting a medical loan for surgery?

When selecting a medical loan for surgery, pay attention to the interest rate, repayment terms, origination fees, any penalties for early repayment, and the flexibility of the loan in case of unforeseen medical expenses.

Medical Loans: The Bottom Line With CreditNinja

You can use medical loans to finance the cost when you need emergency money to finance a medical procedure! The best loan for medical bills depends on your existing budget and desired loan amount. 

Keep in mind that some loan options offer promotional financing for new applicants. While you have to pay interest with any financing option, some lenders can set you up with a zero or low-interest period. You don’t have to pay interest on your loan or credit card for a brief time. However, the interest rate can skyrocket after the promotional period ends, so ask what the rate is after the first few months. 

Many financial institutions provide payment calculators online so prospective borrowers can see how much they may end up paying. Knowing how much it costs to borrow money can help you make the best financial decision with your money. In conclusion, CreditNinja wants you to know that there are medical loans out there to pay for surgery, and there are various financing options to choose from.


  1. Cataract Surgery | USF Health
  2. Cesarean Section – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf
  3. The 10 Most Common Surgeries in the U.S. | Healthgrades
  4. What Is a Medical Credit Card? | Experian 
  5. Should You Ever Prepay a Hospital Bill? | Consumer Reports

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