Question: How do you handle patient financing fees in your dental office?

How do you guys do it for the financing part when it comes to the office fees? For example, if you sell a case for $3,680.00 and you put them on 18 months with no interest, but we have to pay the finance charge of $496.80… How can I charge more or charge the patient the finance fee? How does your office handle this?

ANSWER:  When we offer financing to our patients, we are doing it as a service to be able to help our patients get the treatment done. The idea behind offering financing options is to hope that we are closing cases that we might not have closed if we did not have these options and to not do in office payment plans, which ultimately turns our office into a bank, not a dental office. Therefore, for those reasons, I highly recommend that you offer finance options. [mepr-show if=”loggedout”]Members only resources[/mepr-show] [mepr-active memberships=”629,630,37388,37393,37672,37676,37670,37668,37674,44674,232156″ ifallowed=”show” unauth=”message” unauth_message=”Answer hidden, please login or purchase a membership to view.”]I do however have a few thoughts specifically on offering them.

  • ) You have to consider the fee you pay as a price of doing business. This fee is much like the fee we incur when we process credit card payments, however it is just higher. Again, you have to recognize it as a fee that you have to just be “okay” with in order to get this patient to do their treatment. More than likely, this patient would have not accepted this treatment if they had not had this option.
  • ) You want to make sure your team is not using financing as a crutch to close cases. You want to make sure that your team offers financing as one of the payment options but does not “push” the financing as the best way to pay to the patient because many of your patients might opt to pay via check or credit card, which costs you less.
  • ) I personally would not offer 18 months interest free financing in my office because it does cost so much. We limit our interest free financing to 12 months only and if they need to finance their payment longer than that, then they need to pay the interest.
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