4 Solutions For Unexpected Vet Bills
Discussion of unexpected pet health bills usually involves a mention of the need for pet insurance. This is all well and good – and if you can, pet insurance is well worth having – but it doesn’t really help in the moment. When you are facing a bill to get your pet back to health, you can’t turn back time, buy an insurance policy, wait for it to become effective and then claim. So we’ll leave aside talk of insurance policies.
Instead, let’s focus on the real options you have in front of you when your pet is unwell. For the sake of clarity, we’ll suggest that you don’t have any savings either – if you do, then the solution is fairly obvious. Given the fact that seven in ten Americans have less than $1,000 in savings, it seems fair enough to assume that you don’t have easy access to cash when confronted by a bill. So what can you do?
Tell The Vet
Vets have to make money; it’s how they keep their practice operational and allows them to continue serving the needs of pet owners. However, they’re not just in it for the money. The money is a means to an end. All vets will have had experience of an owner who is unable to pay a bill.
Few vets will just shrug their shoulders, tell you it’s your problem, and send you and your poorly pet on your way. You have to be honest with them about the issue. Ask if they have any installment plans, or if there is anything you can do to secure credit from them. This might be a statement from a guarantor who will be liable for the costs if you don’t pay them back in time, for example. Most vets will be flexible and do all they can to ensure they are paid, but without harming the health and prognosis of your pet.Is this conversation easy? No. It can feel uncomfortable and make you nervous, as well as make you think that your pet is going to suffer for your lack of funds. Nevertheless, it’s a conversation you need to have, so take a deep breath and dive right in.
When you receive the news that your pet is going to need expensive treatment, it’s worth taking the time to consider personal loan offers that could help you meet the financial need. Personal loans have the upside of being able to give you the funds quickly. You will know how much you have to pay back each month, so it’s easier to keep track of them too. It can help spread the cost and ensure that your pet is back on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.
To be able to have access to a loan, your credit score and history is going to need to be good. If that’s the case, then you shouldn’t have a problem. If your credit history is spotty however, then this might be difficult.
Specific Pet Care Credit Cards
So many owners have found themselves with a dilemma about how to pay for care costs that there are now specific credit cards for pet healthcare expenses. These are not without their problems. While some run on 0% interest, they tend to require a stellar credit history for this to be offered.
Even if you can secure one of these cards, then you have to be very careful with them. Often the charges and fees are not clearly laid out. One of the best known in the industry, CareCredit, was ordered to repay over $30m in refunds due to their lack of clarity in the terms and conditions. They might have sharpened up their act, but the fact remains you have to be on your guard. A loan is better, but if you have to use a credit card, then these services can be better than going without.
Family and Friends
- If you don’t feel comfortable directly asking family and friends for money, then consider setting up a crowdfunder. In the blurb, you can explain that – in lieu of future birthday and Christmas presents – you would appreciate any donations to your pet’s health fund. This can be uncomfortable to do, but again, needs must in times like these. At least with this strategy, you don’t have to go through the discomfort of actively asking individuals for money.Fingers crossed one of the above solutions will work for you, getting your beloved pet back on the road to recovery in no time at all.