Mar 01, 2023

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Doctor examining patient in consultation

Figuring out how to pay for plastic surgery can be challenging, because the procedure may not be covered by insurance. The costs can be thousands of dollars, but if it is a high priority to you, there are options to pay for it.

Plastic surgery falls into a few categories: Reconstructive surgery, also called plastic surgery, is a type of surgery designed to reconstruct parts of the face or body. Plastic surgery can address defects due to birth disorders, burns, diseases or other trauma. Cosmetic surgery is often designed to enhance one’s appearance; according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, reconstructive surgery’s aim  is to correct existing problems.

We’ve laid out some approaches to plastic surgery financing to help you determine what is best for your situation.

Table of contents

Personal credit cards

Personal credit cards are one popular way to finance plastic surgery quickly. You may have enough credit to cover the cost of the surgery, or you could apply for a new line of credit. This can be an especially attractive option if you open a line of credit with an initial 0% APR offer. However, if you exceed the introductory offer or finance your plastic surgery on an existing line of credit without such an offer, you could be paying significantly more in interest charges over time.

Medical credit cards

Medical credit cards can provide an easy-to-obtain method of financing for qualified individuals, and they help to pay for procedures that are either not covered by a patient’s medical insurance or not entirely covered. However, as with all contracts, it’s important to read the fine print when obtaining a medical credit card. The terms of many of these types of credit cards may include harsh penalties for a missed payment, according to The Balance. Additionally, interest can be applied to prior expenses if the balance of the card is not paid off in total by the end of the promotional period.

401(k) account loan

Many 401(k) accounts will let you borrow up to a certain amount of your vested balance with minimal difficulty and at low interest rates. Loan repayments are then automatically deducted from your paycheck until the balance is paid off. This can be an effective method to finance your plastic surgery. However, there are additional factors to consider. You will want to look carefully at any taxes or penalties that you may potentially encounter.

Home equity loan

If you are a homeowner, a home equity loan is another possible financing option. It can offer significant credit over a longer period of time at low monthly payments because the value of your home is used as collateral for the loan. Keep in mind that home equity loans may either use a fixed interest rate (as Discover Home Loans does) or a variable rate which is commonly based on the current prime rate (the index) plus a certain amount of percentage points (the margin). Having a variable interest rate means your interest rate and your payments can change during the course of your loan. Additionally, if your overall home value decreases significantly, you could end up with negative equity in your home. However, financing through home equity may be an option to consider if you need more than $40,000.

Doctor’s payment plan

Some plastic surgeons offer in-house financing options for their patients. Be sure to ask your doctor about the possibility and what interest charges may apply. But, if additional procedures are needed, you could be in a difficult position if you haven’t yet paid off your first procedure in full.


If you can pay out-of-pocket, you won’t have to take on any additional debt. You also won’t have to pay any extra in interest costs. You should consider how much of your savings you are willing to devote to the plastic surgery. Spending your savings means that you may not have immediate access to cash should an emergency occur.

Personal loan

Generally, a personal loan can provide a better interest rate than higher-rate credit cards. Additionally, some lenders—including Discover® Personal Loans—offer fixed interest rates and repayment terms. This means you will know exactly what your set regular monthly payment will be for the life of the loan, making budgeting for this big expense easier and more predictable. With a Discover personal loan, you can check your rate before you apply without affecting your credit score. If your application is approved, the money can be sent as early as the next business day after you accept the terms of your loan.

Like the procedure itself, deciding how to finance plastic is a highly personal process. There are pros and cons to each option. Consider how each option will impact both your well-being and your personal financial situation.

As you look for the option that best fits your life, and your budget, try our Personal Loan Calculator to get a sense of what your monthly payments might be.  

Personal Loan Calculator