For many people, the desire to invest in a cosmetic or elective treatment isn’t the most difficult part of the process — it’s paying for it. Without a doubt, some procedures can come with a significant price tag. Fortunately, there are many ways to go about financing plastic surgery that will fit your timeline and budget.

How much will it cost?

The cost of any cosmetic or elective procedure is impacted by several factors, including geographic region, the complexity of your treatment and your medical professional.

We have price information on those treatments, aggregated on both a local and national level. Here are a few of our most popular procedures and national average costs, as reported by people on RealSelf, to date. Click on prices to see averages near you:

How does financing plastic surgery work?

Applying for cosmetic or elective procedure financing is similar to applying for a car loan or mortgage. The financing company will ask for personal information, including your name, address, birthdate and Social Security number, and will then run a credit check.

If you have good credit, you should be approved almost immediately. Most reputable financing companies can help you pay for several procedures, from rhinoplasty to Botox. They’ll cover the costs upfront, so you can spend your time preparing for surgery and recovering without worrying about writing a big check before your big day.

Of course, as with any other loan, these companies charge interest. While it’s possible to find companies with no-interest and deferred-interest options, including CareCredit, most will expect you to pay a fee on top of your minimum monthly payment.

As with any other loan or credit card, it’s important to keep up on payments, so interest or penalty fees don’t rack up.

Related: What you need to know about paying for plastic surgery

What does financing cover?

Every company has different parameters for what they will finance.

Generally, you can expect standard cosmetic, elective and dermatological treatments to be covered. Most companies pay for the following procedures and then some:

Related: 5 cosmetic and elective treatments that insurance may cover

What are the pros and cons of financing a procedure?

If you are committed to the procedure and the payments fit your budget, the pros can be numerous. When you make payments on time, financing offers many people a manageable way to achieve the objectives they otherwise couldn’t afford.

The cons can include changes you might not anticipate: Job loss and/or other major unexpected expenses cropping up that might put a ding in your monthly budget. If you are unable to pay your minimum monthly balance, you could rack up fees and get in over your head.

When financing a procedure, it’s important to remember that, like with credit cards and home loans, failed payments can also negatively impact your credit score, making it harder to get loans in the future.

“The biggest downside is choosing the wrong surgeon and having done a really poor loan that will take many years to pay off,” says Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Moises Salama. “Have you found the most reputable surgeon for the desired procedure? And have you explored all the financing alternatives?”

What if I have bad credit?

Unfortunately, bad credit isn’t ideal when it comes to finding financing. Companies want to see that you’re able to make payments and will judge your ability to do so based on your credit score.

What qualifies as bad credit? It depends on which company you’re dealing with, but “fair credit” is usually considered 620 and above.

Some companies might still offer financing if you have bad credit. However, you might also be saddled with a higher interest rate, therefore making your payments more. Additionally, some people might go contact two separate companies to finance a procedure. While it’s possible that strategy might work, it will impact your credit score to make multiple inquiries.

With bad credit, you also might have the option to get a co-signer, a family member or friend with good credit who is willing to help take on the risk and responsibilities of the loan.

Check out where you land on our credit score chart below:

Related: Plastic surgery financing: Who are some reputable lenders?

Which companies should I consider?

Take your time when researching the right financing company for your cosmetic or elective procedure.

Ask friends and family for referrals, read other people’s reviews online, and pick a company that isn’t taking you to the cleaners with interest. It might sound great only paying $350 per month for a $10,000 surgery, but you don’t want to come out the other side actually having paid close to $20,000, thanks to excessive interest rates.

You might even want to consider using more traditional means already at your disposal: Tapping an existing credit card, or even getting a personal loan from your bank.

For those looking to finance their treatments, there are plenty of great options, but always make sure your provider’s office accepts it first. And it’s always a good idea to ask them what financing company they prefer to work with. People on RealSelf, both patients and providers, have reported good experiences with the following companies:

Ready to get started? Request a quote from a doctor today.