How has the Covid-19 pandemic impacted consumer financing?

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently issued a report examining the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on consumer lending. The report found that consumers have not experienced a significant increase in delinquency. These finding are in spite of the obvious increase in the unemployment rate throughout the country. Utilizing the Consumer Credit Panel, which is a nationally representative sample of over 5 million de-identified credit records, the report showed that delinquency rates actually declined from March 2020 thru June of 2020.

The report also highlighted that some financial institutions had reduced access to credit card debt by both closing existing accounts and by halting credit line increases for existing credit lines. However, the overall impact of these changes was viewed as small in magnitude. Account closings were generally targeted at inactive accounts or accounts with little activity over a period of time.

Credit card balances fell dramatically as the start of the pandemic, but have continued to be on the decline as the pandemic continues. This decline has been seen across all groups broken down by both credit score as well as various demographic factors.

Is Interest Free Financing Right for You?

While interest free financing always sounds attractive, it’s important to understand how the process works. Most interest free programs are very punitive to the patient if the patient fails to pay the loan off during the interest free promotional period. For example, if you have a 12 month interest free program thru Care Credit and you fail to pay the loan off in full during the promotional period, the interest will accrue from day 1 at 26.99% and be added to the back of the loan. In effect, you have not received interest free financing, but rather paid 26.99% interest on your loan. In addition, your provider has also paid up to 9.9% of their fee to provide you this interest free option.

Other programs convert the loan to a term loan after the interest free period expires charging you 26.9% interest on your remaining balance. While this is not quite as bad, nobody really wants to pay an interest rate of 26.99%.

Advance Care provides you a 14-month true interest free period with no cost to the provider. Everything the patient pays during the initial 14-month interest free period is applied to the principal of the loan allowing you to pay the loan off quickly. If you do have a balance after the 14-month promotional period expires, you simply are subject to interest only on the remaining balance. No accrued interest, you simply pay interest only on your remaining balance. Interest rates start at 13.74% and can go up depending on the credit of the patient. You can see the advantage that Advance Care provides the patient and the provider. Even if the patient takes 24 months to pay the loan off and pays 15% interest the last 10 months, the blended interest rate is still less than 5% which is very competitive. The sooner you pay the loan off, the less expensive it is.

When patients consider interest free financing as opposed to a fix rate installment loan, its important they have an idea of how long it will take them to pay the loan off. For example, if the patient borrows a large amount and still has a large balance at the end of the interest free period, they could pay a higher rate than they would with a long-term installment loan. Here’s an example:

Loan amount: $10,000

Installment Loan Interest Rate: 6.9%

Term: 48 months

Monthly Payment: $235

Total Interest Paid: $1,273

Loan amount: $10,000

14 Months Interest Free

Interest Rate After Interest Free Period: 16%

Remaining Balance After 14 Months: $7,500

Blended Interest Rate: 12%

Interest free financing can be a great way to save money, but it’s important you consider the total cost of the loan when deciding if interest free is right for you.

How Long Will It Take To Finance Your Medical Procedure

The Advance Care Card is a great solution for financing an elective medical procedure, but one if the important issues that patience face is timing. By definition, an elective procedure is not urgent, but patients still want to secure their financing in a timely manner, and schedule the procedure as soon as possible.

How this card works

Once patients and their doctors have agreed on a treatment plan that requires financing, patients can immediately apply for the Advance Care Card. In most cases, an online applicant will receive an immediate decision, however some applications may require an additional 24- 48 hours. Once approved, patients and health care providers can schedule the procedure with the confidence that financing is also available.

When does the financing period begin?

The most qualified applicants will receive a card with 14 months of interest free financing on their medical procedure, while less qualified applicants may only be approved for a card with a six month promotional financing period. The 14 month period begins on the date the account is approved, not when the card is mailed, received, activated, or used. During this time, interest is not being accrued, but cardholders will be responsible for making a minimum payment each month.

At the end of the promotional financing period, interest will begin being charged on the remaining balance, as the standard interest rate. And unlike other competing financing products, cardholders who still have a balance at the end of the promotional financing period will only start to incur interest charges on the remaining balance, and will not be responsible for paying interest on the entire amount from the date of purchase. This is an important distinction that can represent hundreds of dollars of interest charges.

Other things to know about this financing program

To apply, patients must be at least 18 years old, and have no bankruptcies in the last five years. Applicants must also have a monthly income of at least $1,500. Those who do not meet these requirements can apply with a co-signer. In addition, the card  can also be used to finance procedures for other family members.


There is no cost to apply for the Advance Card Card, and there is never any annual fee. Once approved, cardholders will be informed of their credit limit and the duration of their promotional financing period. After a charge is processed, the balance can be paid off at any time without incurring a pre-payment penalty.

What procedures are covered?

Covered procedures can include nearly any type of medical treatment including cosmetic surgery, cosmetic dentistry, chiropractic care, erectile dysfunction treatment, hair restoration, hormone therapy, infertility treatment, lasik surgery, psychiatry, and weight management.

Bottom line

Don’t let financing hurdles come between you and the medical care you want and need. The Advance Care card is the solution to your patient financing needs, and it only takes a few seconds to apply online. By applying now, you can have your financing in place immediately so that you can schedule your procedure as soon as possible.

What To Look For In A Patient Financing Plan

When you are looking to finance an elective medical procedure, you have the advantage of being able to take some time to compare various patient financing options. Certainly, there are many companies that offer some sort of patient financing, but there are some key differences that every patient should be aware of.

Here are some of the most important factors to consider when selecting a patient financing option:

“Same as cash” financing or true 0% APR financing

There are two types of promotional financing plans that are typically offered to patients. Many financing programs advertise so-called “same as cash” financing, which is different than true 0% APR financing. With “same as cash” financing programs, interest begins to accrue on the balance from the day of the transaction. In the even that the cardholder is unable to pay off his or her entire balance before the financing period ends, than the charges are waived. Otherwise, cardholders are billed for all of the interest dating back to the medical procedure, including any portions of the balance that have already been paid for.

On the other hand, programs that offer true 0% APR financing, such as the Advance Care Card, do not begin incurring interest charges until after the promotional period concludes. Under no circumstances is the cardholder responsible for any interest charges accrued during the true 0% APR promotional financing period.

The standard interest rate

With many traditional patient financing options, the standard interest rate is in the 20% – 30% range. This means that cardholders will be responsible for interest charges at that rate, on their daily balance, if they fail to pay off their entire balance in full before their promotional financing period expires.

Alternatively, the Advance Care Card offers a more competitive interest rate as low as 10.99% for the most qualified buyers. Furthermore, cardholders will never be incurring interest charges during the promotional financing period, even if they are unable to pay off their entire balance before it ends.

Penalty interest rate

Some traditional patient financing programs seize on customer’s misfortune by imposing a much higher interest rate if they fail to make a payment on-time. In contrast, customers of the Advance Care Card will have their first late payment waived automatically each year, and there is never any penalty interest rate applied.


There are no application fees or annual fees for the Advance Care Card.

Customer service

Advance Care cardholders always have 24 hour access to US based customer service representatives. Other programs rely on outsourced call centers that may not be available at all times.

Length of promotional financing period

The Advance Care Card offers most applicants 14 months of true interest free financing, although some less qualified applicants will receive six months. Other traditional patient financing options may offer longer promotional financing options, but this can be a double-edged sword. Since traditional patient financing programs impose interest charges from the date of the transaction, those who opt for a longer promotional financing period will owe even more money in interest charges in the event that they are unable to pay off their entire balance in full before their financing offer ends.

By taking into account all of these key factors, you can choose the best product for your patient financing needs.


Woman getting ultrasonic and laser face treatment at beauty salon.

“Same As Cash” Patient Financing Or A Risky Bet?

When patients need a medical procedure, one of their largest concerns can be how to finance it. An entire industry has sprung up around this need in order to offer patients what seems like a quick and easy way to finance their surgery, dental work, or even their pet’s veterinary bill. In many cases, these traditional patient financing options can advertise “same as cash” terms that promise extended payments with no interest rates. This can lead many patients to believe that that this is an interest free promotional financing offer.

What’s really behind these offers

When you take the time to read through most of these traditional patient financing offers, you will learn that “same as cash” is not the same thing as interest free. In most cases, interest will accrue on the balance from the day of the charge. Over the months or years that the patient has to pay off the balance, interest continues to build and be compounded.

Worse, the interest rates on many of these products are not very competitive with other forms of financing. For example, people with good or excellent credit would never tolerate an interest rate of 20%-30% for a home, card, or even a credit card loan, yet that is the interest rate being applied to their balance with many traditional patient financing options. Unfortunately, many applicants don’t bother to scrutinize these rates because of the misleading “same as cash” advertising.

Then, the promotional financing period ends, and the music stops. Patients who have paid their entire balance will have their accumulated interest charges waived. Everyone else will be responsible for all of the interest charges that have accrued at the high interest rate. Those who have paid off most, or nearly all of their balance can owe hundreds of dollars of interest charges that will not be waived after that promotional financing period ends.

How the Advance Care Card is different

The Advance Care Card offers true 0% APR financing for as long as 14 months. Cardholders do not accrue any interest charges on their procedure during this promotional financing period, regardless of whether or not they are able to fully pay off their balance before the standard interest rates apply. Then only the remaining unpaid balance is subject to the standard interest rate, and there is never any penalty interest rate.

Furthermore, the Advance Care Card offers applicants a competitive range of interest rates, depending on their credit worthiness at the time of the application. In this way, those who have good or excellent credit do not have to worry about paying the same interest rate as those with lesser credit scores.

Other reasons to consider the Advance Care Card

Patients can be approved immediately for this card, and then schedule their procedure. Customer service is also excellent, with 100% US based telephone representatives. In addition, cardholders will automatically have their first late payment fee waived, rather than being penalized for the slightest mistake.


Doctors frequently advise patients that there is always risk with any major surgery. It is difficult enough to worry about that risk without having to consider the risk of incurring huge interest charges with traditional patient financing options. By using the Advance Care Card instead, patience can know for sure that they will enjoy a truly interest free promotional financing period and not be burdened with costly interest charges if they fail to pay off their entire balance in time.

Father with glasses being kissed on the cheek by son.

Don’t Squander Your Good Credit With Inferior Patient Financing

You worked hard to establish and maintain a good credit history by always paying your bills on time and staying out of serious debt. And when you need to finance an important medical procedure, it is nice to know that you can qualify for financing options with the most favorable terms.

Unfortunately, many of the traditional patient financing options offer a single rate to all qualified applicants. By doing so, it offers the most qualified applicants the same rates as the least qualified. Sadly, those rates can be as high as 25% – 30%.

Alternatives to traditional patient financing

A popular alternative to traditional patient financing is the Advance Care Card. It offers interest rates of 10.99% – 22.99%, depending on the customer’s credit worthiness at the time of application. Those with excellent credit should qualify for a competitive interest rate. In fact, even those with some credit problems can still be approved at rates that are still lower than traditional payment financing options.

Other ways applicants waste their good credit on traditional patient financing

The goal of traditional patient financing programs is to offer some form of “same as cash” promotional financing, so that patients don’t take the time to notice the exorbitant interest rates. Since patients are focused on their medical procedure, they may not realize that the high interest rate is being applied to their balance the entire time, and that they can only avoid all of these interest charges by paying the entire balance before the promotional financing expires.

In contrast, the Advance care card features true 0% APR financing for periods as long as 14 months. Once patients are approved, they can immediately schedule their procedures. Over the next 14 months, they do make a minimum payment, but they will not be incurring interest charges whether or not they are able to pay off their balance within the promotional financing offer.

Even when patients carry a portion of their balance beyond the promotional financing, the standard interest rate only applies to the unpaid portion of the balance.

Other features

There are other features of the Advance care card that appeal to those with good credit histories. For example, traditional patient financing options can include large late payment penalties and penalty interest rates. The Advance Care Card has no penalty interest rate, and cardholder’s first late payment is automatically waived.

Finally, the Advance Care Card has no pre-payment penalties. Cardholders can pay their balance off quickly, or extend it as long as they want so long as they always make their minimum payment each month.

Having excellent credit means that you have managed your finances responsibly, and that you deserve to receive the most preferred rates when you need them. By utilizing the Advance Care Card, you can finance your procedure at the lowest possible cost.

Don’t Finance Medical Procedures Like You Pay For A Couch

Every furniture store lures new customers with big advertisements of “One year same as cash!” and “No payments until 2016!” These tactics may work great for stores selling furniture, electronics, or hot tubs, but is this really how you want to finance an important medical procedure?

How traditional patient financing is like retail store financing

With popular retail financing options, the store’s goal is to make shoppers commit to purchase something by showing them that they won’t have to make any payments or incur any interest for a long time. This is an effective strategy, but lost in the fine print are many ways that customers can end up paying a lot more than they expected to.

Most retail financing options actually incur interest charges from the date of purchase, but customers can have those charges waived if they pay their entire balance in full before the promotional financing runs out. Of course, the institutions offering these financing options know that many customers will ultimately end up paying interest on their charges, otherwise these companies would not be in business and these offers would not be as popular as they are.

Furthermore, retail financing options tend to offer very uncompetitive interest rates compared to other types of consumer loans. They can do this because they know that customers will dismiss the possibility that they will ever pay interest by focusing on the “same as cash” promise.

In fact, there are very few differences between this type of retail purchase financing and most traditional patient financing options. Most patient financing options will have the same high interest rates, and nearly identical interest free promises. Yet these promises are really just high-stakes wagers that you will be able to pay off the entire balance before a certain date.

Those who don’t will owe interest on their balance from the date of purchase, which can add up to hundreds of dollars, just for being a few days late or a few dollars short.

How patient’s financing needs are different

First, patients don’t need to walk out the door with a new big-screen television or dining room table. When patients successfully obtain financing, their goal is to schedule their procedure that day, usually for at least a week in advance.

Furthermore, undergoing a medical procedure is a more important decision than buying luxury goods, and it is often more expensive as well. Patients should be taking the time to investigate their options and choose the plan that makes the most sense for their needs. Inevitably, this means scrutinizing the fine print and learning the downsides of traditional patient financing terms.

How the Advance Care Card is different

With the Advance Care Card, patients still receive instant approval, so they can schedule their procedure immediately. In addition, this card offers true 0% APR financing, not a high interest rate that may or may not be waived in the future. The standard interest rate is competitive, and will only begin to apply once the promotional financing period ends.

Financing an elective medical or dental procedure is not the same buying a new couch, and you shouldn’t settle for the same costly financing options.

Interest Charges With The Advance Card Card Versus Others

There is a big difference between the way that a traditional patient financing card assess interest and the way that the Advance Card Care does. With most traditional patient financing options, interest begins accruing from the day of the transaction. These options can offer some form of “same as cash” financing in which interest charges can be waived, but only when patients pay off their entire balance in full and within the promotional financing period.

On the other hand, the Advance Care Card offers true 0% financing for as long as 14 months. This interest free promotional financing even applies when cardholders continue to have a balance after the promotional financing period ends. Only then does the standard interest rate apply.

What traditional patient financing costs

Let’s take a look at the costs to a patient who finances a procedure that takes him two years to pay off. With a traditional patient financing option, he is offered $5,000 of one year of “same as cash” financing, after which he incurs interest charges at the standard rate of 24.99% APR.

If he is somehow able to pay off his entire balance within a year, then he owes no interest. But if he pays it off steadily over two years, he must pay $267 a month for a total of $6,408. Of that amount, he has paid $1,408 in interest charges.

What patient financing costs with the Advance Care Card

Now let’s consider what would have happened had he chose the Advance Care Card. With good credit, he will qualify for a card with 14 months of interest free financing. Only after 14 months will interest begin to accrue, based on the unpaid balance at that time.

So if the cardholder made the same $267 monthly payments, he will have paid off $3,738 and have a remaining balance of $1,262.  The cardholder will then be incurring interest on that balance at a rate of between 10.99% and 22.99% APR, depending on his credit worthiness at the time of his application.

So in the best case scenario, he makes 5 more monthly payments of $267 and incurs only $35 in interest charges at 10.99%  APR. Yet even if he received the less favorable 22.99% rate, he would still only incur $74 in interest charges. The likelihood is that most applicants will receive rates between 10.99% and 22.99% APR


The differences between the Advance Care Card and traditional patient financing options are not minor, they are dramatic. In the above scenario, a patient saves over $1,300 in interest charges by choosing the Advance Care Card. Certainly, patients who can pay off their entire balances within a year will not pay any interest with either of these patient financing options.

The corporations that offer traditional patient financing programs only do so because they know that many patients will fail to pay their balances in full during the promotional financing period, and their costs will be far from “same as cash.” Are you willing to bet hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars that you will be able to pay off your financing in time?

Comparing The Advance Care Card To Traditional Patient Financing

When you need to have a medical procedure that is not covered by insurance, it can cost thousands of dollars. Many patients simply do not have that kind of money available, and must consider a patient financing option. Traditional patient financing options can offer “same as cash” offers, while the Advance Care card offers its own form of interest free financing. Lets see how these patient financing options compare:

How traditional patient financing works

With most forms of traditional patient financing, applicants receive six months or longer to pay their entire bill before incurring interest charges. With these types of plans, interest is actually accruing from when the procedure is processed, it is just waived when patients pay off their entire balance before the promotional financing expires. Nevertheless, many patients fail to notice this detail hidden in the fine print.

If the patient fails to pay off the balance by just a day or two, or the amount paid is just short of the entire balance, their costs increase dramatically. In this case, interest is applied on the entire balance, over the entire time that since the procedure was paid for. To many patients, it can seem like interest is actually being charged retroactively. One day they can pay their bill without being charged interest, but the next day they could owe hundreds of dollars in interest charges accrued months ago.

How the Advance Card Card works

Cardholders apply for this card and receive a quick decision. They can then schedule their medical procedure as soon as they are approved. Patients receive either six or 14 months of interest free financing for their procedure, depending on their credit history and the offer they apply for.

Their balance is then subject to a 0% APR for the entire duration of the promotional financing period. Interest does not accrue, and patients will never be responsible for interest costs during their promotional financing period, even if they fail to pay off their entire balance during that time.

Once the promotional financing period expires, only then will the standard interest rate begin to apply, but just to their remaining balance. If patients pay off their balance before the promotional financing period ends, then they will not pay any interest charges at all. If patients pay off most of the balance, interest will start accruing, but only on the remaining balance, and only starting on the date that the promotional financing period ended. This can be the difference between paying a few dollars in interest charges, or a few hundred dollars.

Other key features of the Advance Care Card

Besides the differences in how interest is charged, there are still some important distinctions between the Advance Care card and other patient financing options. For example, with the Advance Care card, the standard interest rate for the most qualified patients can be as low as 10.99% APR. With traditional patient financing options, the standard interest rate is often 25% APR or higher, even for those with excellent credit. In fact, those who qualify, but have less perfect credit will only receive a maximum interest rate of 22.99%.

Also, the Advance Care card, has no penalty interest rate that is applied when cardholders fail to make a payment on-time. Furthermore, cardholders will even have their first late payment fee waived, since we all can make mistakes. Finally, the customer service telephone line for this card is staffed by 100% U.S. based representatives.

Making the decision

Traditional patient financing options can seem attractive, until you understand the consequences for not paying the entire balance before the promotional financing ends. The entire case for using these types of financing programs rests on patients not considering the tremendous interest charges they could face if they don’t pay their entire balance on-time.

In contrast, using the Advance Care card almost always results in fewer interest charges. Not only will patients be guaranteed an interest free promotional financing period, but even if they do eventually accrue interest, it will be at a rate that is more competitive.

Authorizing a medical procedure and applying for a loan are both very important decisions that must be taken seriously. Only by taking time to understand the differences between  traditional patient financing and the Advance Care card, you patients make the best decision.

Finding The Right Patient Financing Option For You

Medical procedures are expensive, but we cannot put a price on our health and happiness. Whether you need dental work, LASIK surgery, or a cosmetic procedure, patients need to take the time to research their financing options and choose the one that works best for their needs.

What to look for in patient financing options

All patient financing options are not equal, and applicants need to understand the terms and conditions of these products before they apply. Here are a few of the factors you should consider when shopping for patient financing:

Decision time

If you have a painful dental condition, or need chiropractic care for an injury, you need a financing option that offers a quick decision time. The cards we offer have a simple application process and feature quick decisions, so you can get the care you need as soon as possible. Once approved, you can immediately schedule your medical procedure. In contrast, other patient financing options have lengthy applications and a time consuming process before approval.

Promotional financing terms

Many products on the market offer 0% APR financing, but they are not all created equal. For example, many competing patient financing options offer “no interest if paid in full” within a specified period of time. However, if patients fail to pay the entire amount before the promotional financing period expires, they will be charged interest from the original payment date. That means that patients who are short just a few dollars could face hundreds of dollars of interest payments.

Our patient financing option does not work that way. Patients receive either 6 or 14 months of interest free financing on their procedure, which applies whether or not they pay the entire balance in full during the promotional financing period. Only after the promotional financing expires will their remaining balance be subject to the standard interest rate.

Interest rates

As with any loan, borrowers should always focus on the standard interest rate. Our cards offer a standard interest rate of between 10.99% – 22.99% depending on the applicant’s credit worthiness at the time of application. In contrast, other competing products offers impose a standard interest rate of 26.99% or higher on all cardholders, regardless of their credit history.

Late fees

We all can make mistakes, but most patient financing options will impose a late fee on customers of up to $35. Our patient financing card offers to automatically waive customer’s first late fee and does not have a penalty interest rate.

Other factors

Our patient financing option offers 100% US based customer service agents. Furthermore, this card can be used to pay for multiple procedures from multiple clinics, and even be used to finance prescription drugs purchased from pharmacies.


Perhaps the most important distinction between our patient financing card and the competition is the promotional financing terms. With other options, patients face an all or nothing deadline where they will either receive the interest free financing they were promised, or be forced to pay hundreds of dollars in retroactive interest charges. Our solution offers a guarantee of interest free financing during the promotional period and a competitive standard interest rate thereafter.

By comparing the Advance Care Card solution to the competition, the best patient financing option will become clear.