Over the course of their lifetime, pets can become very expensive. Between food costs, vet bills, and other assorted expenses, pet owners will spend $1,000+ on first-year expenses alone. That does't include unexpected vet bills for underlying conditions or possible issues that arise over time.
During 2017, U.S. citizens spent $69.51 billion on pet products and care. That number increased to $72.56 billion in 2018 and is expected to rise to $75.38 billion by the end of 2019. Therefore it is no surprise that companies and banks have created financing options for surprise costs, or overbearing costs, that may pop up during your pets’ lifetime.
As pet care becomes increasingly expensive, companies and banks have created options to help with the financial burden. They range from opening lines of credit to applying for personal loans. The top 7 financing organizations, based upon their approval ratings and interest rates, are provided to help you find the best option to suit your situation.
1. Lending USA
Lending USA can provide loans from $1,000 to $35,000, giving pet owners an advantage, especially for major surgery or long-term treatment. They offer no interest on the principal in the full amount is paid within the first six months, plus they give are lenient on monthly payment options for those who cannot easily budget out another payment.
Their programs have higher approval ratings as they allow different levels of credit, which you can also become preapproved without hurting your credit to see what your APR % will be before committing. They have a quick approval time and can be accessed and applied for 100% online.
The United Consumer Financial Services company is a reliable lending option. They provide financing for pet purchasing, allowing you to take home that day the pet that you pick. Their loans range from $1,000 to $7,000 and accept low monthly payments. UCFS offers lower interest rates, making the payback easier and quicker.
A UCFS loan can be applied for 100% online or through the pet company your shopping through (if offered). The payment is delivered to the pet retailer promptly and will be available for customer payoff after 30 days.
3. My Pet Funding
My Pet Funding is a uniquely styled financing program that works by leasing the money to consumers. They will fund between $300 to $5,000. One of the most forgiving programs, they accept applications and approve applicants with good, bad, and no credit. Like the other programs, they have flexible repayment plans so that you can efficiently work it into your monthly budget.
Applications for this program can be completed 100% online and can be approved within seconds of application completion, with the results being sent to your email. When approved, the program also offers early buyout options to prevent being stuck in a long-term agreement.
4. CareCredit Card
The CareCredit Card is explicitly provided for paying veterinary costs to the participating network of veterinarians. CareCredit does not have a specific limit that they max out on; instead, they function like a standard credit card, and purchases can vary from $1 to your determined credit limit, which is determined by creditworthiness.
The stand APR is 26.99% but can be higher or lower based on credit. They also offer special payoff programs, which includes a no-interest payment plan that allows borrowers to pay back the amount owed with no interest if the minimum payments are met and the balance is paid off within 24 months.
Scratchpay is a program offered through specific veterinary practices partnered with the company. They provide financing from $200 to $10,000 with varying interest rates and a term of 0-12 months for repayment. While the rates vary, they start at 5.9% APR, but it is ultimately determined by creditworthiness.
Their programs can be applied for online, and you can become prequalified in under two minutes without hurting your credit. Scratchpay accepts additional payments with no prepayment fees or penalties and will reduce your future interest payments. It can be used for as many vet bills that qualify but will require you to reapply each time.
6. First Look Approval
First Look Approval can cover both veterinary bills and the purchasing of pets and will finance up to $35,000. They offer different payment plans depending on the clinic or store that you apply with. They accept borrowers with a variety of creditworthiness, with some loans being available to those with FICO credit scores as low as 550.
Applications for their programs are available online or in their participating businesses. Creditworthiness for specific programs vary, but their interest rates begin at a 6% APR.
7. Wags Lending
Wags Lending can cover the cost of purchasing pets and pet supplies, but not veterinary bills. They will allow financing for up to $5,000 and offers both 24 or 48-month terms, with early buyout options available. Wags can be applied for online, and you can receive pre-approval before shopping around.
This is a lease and not a loan, which means that you do not own your pet until after the lease is bought-out or the final payment is made. Since it is a lease, there is not an interest rate; instead, there is a rental fee. The benefit is that Wags offers a pet warranty which allows customers to receive reimbursements for specific vet expenses if the illness or defect is covered and the pet is deemed unfit for sale.
When to Finance
Financing should be a last resort option unless trying to create a breeding business or starting any other type of pet related business ventures. Preferably, as a dog owner you would have a savings account with $1,000-$2,000 for unexpected pet expenses and costs as financing can cause the original amount to double, or triple depending on the company.
Building a back-up plan can help keep you out of the hole while also making sure that your pet gets the care they deserve. Even so, life happens and situations arise that we are not entirely prepared for and financing options are there to help us out.