Paying for Orthodontic Braces on a Finance Plan

Paying for dental braces via financing means choosing between personal loans, credit cards, and in-house prepayment plans offered by local orthodontists.

Consider the pros and cons of each alternative before completing an application.

Financing allows you to spread the cost of treatment out over time. Smaller, bite-sized chunks makes it easier to budget for high-ticket treatments such as Invisalign, ceramic, and lingual braces.

Patients and families with a bad credit history will find it more challenging to win approvals. Still, they can improve their chances by lowering treatment costs and working with lenders who do not pull a copy of your mainstream consumer report and score.

Orthodontic Braces Financing Options

The three primary financing options can help you pay for orthodontic braces, whether you have insurance or not. Most dental plans (if you have one) leave you with plenty of unreimbursed expenses.

Plus, most treatment plans recommended by orthodontists are front-loaded with fees even though they provide care over at least eighteen months. Hence the need to borrow money.

Personal Loans

Request a personal loan (Sponsored Link) to help you pay for your orthodontic treatment. This financing alternative features fixed installments, which means that you will retire the balance in full within three to five years.

Be prepared when completing the online personal loan request form.

  • Submit your credentials to an intermediary company
    • The company markets the information to a broad lender network
    • Volume helps to improve the likelihood of loan approval
  • Show sufficient income and provide employment verification
  • Provide bank routing and account numbers
    • Verifies your identity and limits fraud
    • Allows lenders to transfer money quickly
    • Ensures prompt monthly payment

Credit Cards

Credit cards are a second way to pay for expensive orthodontic treatment. This form of financing features flexible installment amounts, which means that balances could swell via interest charges if you revolve the account (pay less than the full amount owed each period).

Patients have two primary options.

  1. Most orthodontists happily accept general-purpose credit cards, which work perfectly fine, provided you have sufficient “open-to-buy” (the difference between the account limit and the balance).
  2. Some orthodontists offer medical credit cards such as Care Credit, which sometimes feature zero-interest promotional offers to qualified patients. Read the fine print about what happens if you still owe a balance at the end of the introductory period.


In-house payment plans are a third alternative for paying for pricey dental braces. However, your neighborhood orthodontist is probably not offering to finance because they are not lending money in most cases. Instead, you will be prepaying for services after making a sizeable down payment.

Orthodontists treat patients over three years on average and bill accordingly. They perform significant work upfront for diagnosis and installation and then follow up with each patient regularly.

  • Make tension adjustments
  • Perform minor repair
  • Remove the appliances
  • Fit and fabricate retainers

Orthodontic Financing Bad Credit

Paying for expensive orthodontic braces with financing will prove challenging if you have a bad credit history or low scores. Finance companies are reluctant to approve patients and parents with a consumer report full of adverse entries.

Applicants with low credit scores can boost their approval odds by minimizing the amount of money they must borrow or charge to a card. Explore three cost-cutting options before completing an application.

  1. Choose the most affordable form of treatment
  2. Medicaid covers braces in many states for children
  3. Financial assistance programs can help low-income families

No Credit Check

It is possible to finance orthodontic braces with no credit check. Patients with derogatory history can seek out lenders that consider income only and do not pull a copy of your consumer report from one of the big-three bureaus (Equifax, Experian, TransUnion).

No credit check companies specialize in serving people that cannot win approvals from traditional banks and loan companies. They operate under a different model. Therefore, expect to encounter these tradeoffs.

  • Pull financial data from an alternate report provider
  • Pay higher origination fees (the amount subtracted from the initial proceeds)
  • Pay higher interest rates (up to 36% in some states – depending on qualifications)
  • Provide more information about yourself during the underwriting phase
    • Proof of income
    • Proof of employment
    • Bank account and routing numbers

Building Credit

Paying for dental braces with one of these financing options can sometimes build credit, which could prove helpful for patients with an adverse history on their consumer report – and for those hoping to establish a record.

Two factors determine whether your experience will build your credit profile.

  1. Does the entity report to the bureaus? Most finance companies (personal loan and credit card) report to all three major repositories, while orthodontists with in-house prepayment plans do not – since they are not lending money.
  2. Will you repay the obligation according to terms? A positive record of on-time behavior reported to the bureaus helps all scores.

Meanwhile, consider what happens if you stop paying for your braces? The derogatory mark will appear on your consumer report and hurt your score if you use a finance company. Or, the friendly, neighborhood orthodontist may refuse further treatment, leaving you with a mouthful of metal for life – if you enrolled in their prepayment plan.  

Final Thoughts

Financing programs make it easier to pay for dental braces when the family lacks the cash to fund the down payment and other upfront costs. Personal loan obligations end according to a fixed schedule, while credit cards could lead to ballooning debt.

Most orthodontists do not extend credit themselves but can bill you in advance for future treatments that happen naturally over time.

Families with bad credit often have lower incomes, which helps them qualify for other programs that reduce costs. No credit check lenders can fill in any remaining holes – but please pay on time lest you make things worse.