CareCredit: Explored in Further Detail

CareCredit is unique in its approach to providing credit in that it is a service focused exclusively on purchases pertaining to the customer’s health.

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    Whether coping with on-going medical bills or locating the right company to assist in affording an upcoming procedure that one has an estimate for, CareCredit can offer a specialist hand. Doctor’s appointments, hospital bills, and veterinary services can all be managed with a CareCredit medical card.  

    The Types of Procedures CareCredit Can Be Used For

    CareCredit is a credit provider specializing in the costs associated with medical care and is accepted by a great number of health clinics nationwide. Consequently, CareCredit can be used to cover a number of medical procedures that the majority of healthcare insurers will not. 
    CareCredit can be used to fund cosmetic procedures, including plastic surgery and hair-restorative surgery, and a range of dentistry options also are covered, including orthodontics and pediatric treatments. CareCredit is accepted by LASIK, meaning costs associated with vision treatment and glasses upkeep are included. Hearing and ENT specialists, bariatric surgeons, and even veterinary practitioners that all accept CareCredit can be found at more than 200,000 locations in the US. 

    If credit is needed to afford the ongoing costs of medical procedures then CareCredit can almost assuredly have one covered.   

    CareCredit Refinancing Options

    CareCredit specializes in providing medical credit cards used to cover the costs of medical procedures, veterinary appointments, doctor appointments, and aftercare costs. Thus, CareCredit does not offer options for refinancing.  

    CareCredit Customer Service

    Customers can contact CareCredit through the following systems:

    • A telephone line for potential applicants seeking an immediate decision regarding approval, featuring a straightforward automated system. Alternatively, a caller can speak to a live agent. The latter option’s operating hours are Monday through Friday between 9 am and 9 pm (EST).
    • A telephone line for existing CareCredit customers, operating Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 am and 8 pm (EST).
    • A PO Box address for customers who wish to make payments via mail.
    • A helpful and thorough FAQ page with informative guides related to application, usage and the protection offered.
    • Online resources, including a mobile app for on-the-go convenience and a payment calculator.

    CareCredit Fees

    In regards to fees, CareCredit is less than forthcoming to customers with information pertaining to what charges can be expected and under what circumstances. At least when examining the website proper, no information can be found on the possibility or range of amounts for origination, late payment, or early repayment deposit fees. 

    Research across peer and customer review sources found there to be a late payment fee of $38 but zero charges for annual fees. 

    CareCredit Pros and Cons

    Pros:

    • Financing options: CareCredit offers multiple options for repayment terms ranging from 6 months up to 24 months with 0% interest for lower purchases (at least $200) and up to 60 months with 17.90% interest on larger purchases (minimum of $2,500). This allows the borrower to tailor the plan to their needs.
    • Cosigners accepted: As an arm of Synchrony Bank, CareCredit is one of the few credit card providers that offer the option for a cosigning. This allows for a greater chance of qualification for those that may have a poorer credit score.
    • Instant decision: Once the application has been submitted the prospective customer will have a decision immediately. If faced with a rejection the user can follow a link that provides an explanation as to their refusal and which key factors led to that decision. This is helpful for making future choices on creditor options and shaping your credit score. 
    • Use the CareCredit card number immediately: Though the physical card may take up to 10 working days to arrive via post, once the application has been successful, the customer is able to utilize their credit the same day. This negates the usual delay on funds and can make emergency payments achievable.
    • CareCredit reports to multiple bureaus: The cardholder’s activity on their card is reported to multiple major credit bureaus rather than a single bureau. This makes a CareCredit card more effective at building a holder’s credit rating.
    • No annual fee: This is an ideal option for those seeking a low-maintenance card. This allows for a CareCredit card to offer the benefits of a credit card without the usual fee for the convenience.  

    Cons:

    • High APR: A CareCredit card has a higher than average purchase APR, potentially making CareCredit a more expensive choice when looking for the right creditor.
    • Deferred interest: Deferred interest promotions can seem very appealing, but the discerning customer must be aware of the risk associated with such an offer. The misunderstanding of the terms of deferred interest can often lead to an unexpectedly large bill. 
    • No rewards: CareCredit does not offer any rewards or a sign-up bonus, as opposed to many of its competitors. 

    How to Apply for CareCredit

    The application process for a CareCredit card is incredibly simple, straightforward and user friendly. Firstly, as a service specializing solely in medical costs, the website will prompt the user to select the healthcare category that they are using the credit to fund from a drop-down menu. The user is then taken to a form requesting the estimated procedure amount, personal information, city and state, Social Security number and monthly net income. Once all the information is submitted and checked for accuracy, a decision will be made instantly.

    Applying to CareCredit with Bad Credit

    Information regarding the minimum credit score an applicant must have to be accepted by CareCredit is, again, not readily available through the CareCredit website. The research found, however, shows that CareCredit can qualify applicants with a rating as low as 607. This, in combination with the company’s option to allow for a cosigner on the card, make CareCredit an available choice for those with bad credit.

    Conclusion about CareCredit

    When faced with the uncertainty of medical procedures and the bills that come with them, CareCredit can afford borrowers a measure of stability. The straightforward application system and rapid decision on qualification make for a quick and stress-free process, stress that is further reduced by CareCredit’s option for cosigning and acceptance of those with poorer credit. 
    While CareCredit is one of the more convenient options and operates under the veneer of medical specialization, with a higher than average regular APR, it is often the more expensive option, especially for those that are unfamiliar with the stipulations of deferred interest.