The biggest obstacle facing the nearly 4 in 5 people who suffer from hearing loss and don’t wear hearing aids is the ability to pay for the devices and treatment. The upfront costs of paying for hearing aids can be as much as $6,000 for the device alone. More than half of Americans have less than $1,000 in their bank account, making paying out-of-pocket a considerable financial burden. Credit-based lenders offer a solution for this dilemma, but they have limitations.
Why Does Your Patient’s Credit Score Matter To Your Practice?
Credit-based lenders like Wells Fargo, CareCredit or GreenSky have strict criteria for approval based on the applicant’s credit score. The belief is the better the credit score, the more likely a patient is to meet the obligations of their loan.
Only 50% of patients are approved because most lenders require a minimum score of 640-660. The interest rate for those that get approved is also determined by credit score. Interest rates can range from 5%-6% for patients with excellent credit but can be as much as 30% for those with less-than-stellar credit. Patients with bad credit or no credit won’t be approved, meaning they likely won’t be able to afford treatment.
Other Ways To Pay For Hearing Aids
Patients who are unable to pay cash for their hearing aids and don’t quality for traditional credit-based financing do have other options, but they’re not perfect.
One choice is for the patient to try and go through a non-profit organization, a state rehabilitation department, or hearing loss associations like the Hearing Loss Association of America. These organizations usually have an income level requirement for assistance, meaning some patients with bad credit may earn too much to qualify.
Another option is researching refurbished hearing aids for your patient. They can be available at a lower price than brand-new devices, but there’s no guarantee the exact hearing aids your patient needs are available.
There’s a Better Way to Pay – Partner With HFD
The best solution for taking on patients with bad credit is through a pay-over-time lender like HFD. HFD offers payment plans that are based on the applicant’s total credit profile, not just their credit score.
HFD uses an advanced algorithm to determine the likelihood a patient will default. This allows more applicants to be approved for a flexible payment plan, even those with low credit scores. More patients means more revenue for your audiology office.
In this scenario, patients who are denied a loan through a traditional credit-based lender are offered the option to sign up for a payment plan. The monthly payments are then debited from their account until the full balance has been paid.
To learn more about how HFD can help your Audiology practice treat more patients, read this eBook.