Many pet owners treat their animals like children. They're part of the family. So when something unexpected happens, like a hurt paw or unexplained stomach issues, the first instinct is to rush them to the vet. Unfortunately, vet visits can get expensive fast.
Here's what you can do if your pet needs some costly medical care and you realize you need help with vet bills.
What to do before you see the vet
If your pet's condition is not life-threatening, like teeth cleaning or vaccinations, consider taking time to research the visit like you would any large purchase.
- Compare options - Pricing will be different from vet to vet, so try and shop around for the best deal. Get on the phone and price out services for various offices nearby to choose the most economical option.
- Apply for assistance - Non-profit organizations like The Pet Fund offer financial assistance to animals in need and make payments directly to vets. The application can be completed quickly online, but it's critical to understand they can only provide so much given the volume of applications. Keep a back-up plan in the event your case isn't approved.
How can you finance a vet bill?
Much like trying to cover an unexpected human medical expense, there are loans available to assist with pet expenditures if you don't have the cash on hand. Before you consider taking out an emergency loan, it's worth talking to your vet to see if:
- They offer payment plans - Not all vets provide this as an option, but if they do, the payment arrangement could end up being lower interest than traditional loans.
- They have a recommended company that can help with financing - There may be local organizations that your vet works with that could help your time of need.
If you determine that you'll need to finance the balance due, there are several options available to pet owners.
- Personal loan - Taking out a personal loan for an emergency vet bill is a viable option if you plan to have income to pay back the loan quickly. Since personal loans are unsecured, meaning they do not require collateral, like a home or a car, your credit score and income will be used to determine eligibility.
- Credit card - As with personal loans, you'll want to try and pay off the balance on credit cards as quickly as possible, especially since credit cards often have higher interest rates than personal loans. If you already have a credit card but need a more extensive line of credit, contact your lender.
- Title loan - If you have a clean title for your vehicle, you may be eligible for a title loan. These loans are based on a percentage of the vehicle's value and use the car as collateral until the loan is repaid. Title loans can be an excellent option for someone who needs a secured loan as they work to build their credit score.
Like any good pet owner, the health and safety of your animal is your first priority. Remember that emergency loan options can be used if necessary, but you may want to consider establishing a pet-expense emergency fund for inevitable issues that may arise. Having a cash fund on hand will ensure your pet's health and your financial health for the fur-seeable future.
Notice: Information provided in this article is for informational purposes only. Consult your attorney or financial advisor about your financial circumstances.
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Original Source: Need Help With Vet Bills? Learn What Kind of Emergency Loan Could Work Best for You