6 Ways to handle unexpected vet bills
By: Alive Credit Union
If you’re an animal lover with a few pets, you do your best to take care of your furry or feathered friends. Like you, they’ll need health check-ups and will get sick or injured at some time, requiring medical attention.
To make sure those expenses don’t become a financial burden or are so costly that you can’t afford the treatment, here are six ways to help you prepare for and deal with them.
1. Create a savings account specifically for pet expenses. If you have many pets or one with a known medical condition, put aside a set amount each pay period in a separate account just for those expenses.
2. Pet insurance. There are quite a few pet insurance companies to choose from, like Figo Pet Insurance, Healthy Paws, and Trupanion. Many won’t cover pre-existing conditions, so choose an insurance company before your pet develops a chronic condition.
3. Negotiate an installment plan. If you’ve been a customer in good standing, your vet may be willing to accept payment in monthly installments.
4. Find animal welfare organizations or charities in your community. Some animal shelters offer veterinary loans and grant programs, and many veterinary schools run low-cost clinics.
5. Care Credit. Many vets accept this credit card which is specifically made for health care expenses, including your pet’s. It offers different financing options, some even foregoing interest charges for 24 months, as long as you make minimum monthly payments and pay the amount in full by the end of the promotional period. If you do not, interest is charged from the original purchase date.
6. Apply for a medical loan. If your pet’s treatment is going to be a major expense, then consider asking the credit union for a medical loan. The loans usually have a fixed rate and must be repaid in monthly installments within a set amount of time.