Pet owners try their best to keep their beloved furry friends in good health: giving them healthy food, daily exercise, and all the toys and love they need. Unfortunately, illnesses and accidents can still crop up unexpectedly.
Vet bills can get shockingly high for certain medical conditions. As a devoted pet owner, the lack of finances should not stand in the way of your pet’s optimum health and treatment.
If you’re stressing about funding a veterinary surgery or treatment and you feel like you have exhausted all your options, we are here to help you out.
We have put together this guide to help you figure out how can you do payment plans for vets and continue to give your pets the care they deserve.
Not all vets offer payment plans for pet owners. And those who do only consider it after closely evaluating the particular case and the pet’s needs.
Healthy cash flow is vital for vets because running a veterinary practice has very high overhead costs and a relatively low profit margin. They cannot risk not getting paid for the treatments and medication they provide as they would likely pay out of their own pockets.
Furthermore, if they offer payment plans, they are not the vet’s responsibility alone—they need to partner with credit companies. This might not be in the interest of the vets and even the customers. This is why most vets do not offer payment plans.
The few vets that offer installment or credit-based plans also conduct a thorough credit check. Some pet owners do not meet these qualifications and lack options for treatment and care.
There is little you can do about the vets that do not offer payment plans. Instead, here’s what you can do to get approved by those that do.
How to Get Approved for a Vet Payment Plan
Your chances of getting approved are higher if the vet knows you well and considers you a reliable customer.
The only way to build familiarity is to schedule regular visits to the vet and build a good payment history over several months or even years. It also helps if the vet knows that you’ve been paying for the treatments and taking proper care of your pet from the beginning.
Most vets or payment providers will conduct a credit check before approving a payment plan. Whether it is a soft pull or a hard check, it helps to be prepared.
You can do this by clearing all your debts and staying on top of your expenses. Pay all of your bills on time and maintain your budget.
You will also have more power to negotiate a favorable payment plan when you have a healthy credit score.
CareCredit is a healthcare financing program that provides coverage for medical expenses for people and pets. Their short-term payment plans span 6, 12, 18, or 24 months. Best of all, purchases above $200 incur no interest when minimum monthly payments are made and the full amount is paid at the end of the promotional period.
CareCredit is accepted at over 250,000 locations. Prequalification checks have no impact on your credit score.
VetBilling.com offers payment and budgeting plans to cover vet expenses at select veterinary practices and nonprofit animal welfare organizations. All offerings are managed in-house and reduce the hassle users often face when working with third party financers.
The best thing is you can avail a range of services, including payment plans, prepayment plans, wellness plan billing, pet savings accounts, and more.
AZPetVet is a network of animal hospitals that provide interest-free payment plans, so clients’ pets get the TLC they need. They currently serve 22 locations in the Greater Phoenix Area.
The best feature of their services is they are managed in-house, so you will not have to coordinate with a third party. They do not conduct credit checks to facilitate the process.
Scratchpay is a pay-over-time service that covers emergency vet services in clinics registered on their platform.
Application is easy and can be done online. Scratchpay only does a soft credit pull, so it doesn’t reflect on your credit report, and your credit score will not be affected.
The repayment plan and interest charged are determined based on your qualification terms. The term of repayment typically ranges from 5 to 24 months. Their Take 5 plan (20% down payment, further payments on a bi-weekly basis) incurs no deferred interest or hidden costs.
If you can’t find or cannot get approved for these pay later services, these alternate options might be worth looking into:
- Pet insurance
- Non-profit organizations
- Personal loan
- Credit card
Some vets may also allow you to make the payment in installments if your pet’s treatment takes place in stages. You can request depositing a down payment at the beginning and the remaining costs at discharge if no other option remains. This will give you some time to collect the needed funds without halting your pet’s treatment.
Doing the research and looking up pay later options when you have an injured or sick pet can be a tiring ordeal.
We hope with this guide, your search becomes a little easier and gives you the peace of mind you need to manage your finances.