Need Braces? How to Fit the Cost of Invisalign Into Your Budget

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

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Having a smile you don’t like can impact more than just your confidence. A quarter of adults avoid smiling because of the condition of their teeth, and 28% of young adults say the appearance of their teeth affects their ability to interview for a job, according to an American Dental Association survey.

Despite these statistics, the cost of Invisalign and similar teeth-straightening products can seem prohibitive. Here’s an overview of the cost of Invisalign and related dental products as well as tips for fitting this dental care into your budget.

The cost of Invisalign and similar products

Invisalign is a brand name for a dental treatment that uses a series of clear, removable aligners to progressively straighten your teeth. Related products, such as ClearCorrect and SmileDirectClub, could achieve similar results at different costs.

ClearCorrect, for instance, estimates average costs ranging from around $2,000 to $8,000. Alternatively, SmileDirectClub cuts costs by allowing you to take your own dental impressions at home and assigning you to a remote dentist. Because of this, it can offer treatments ranging from $1,850 to $2,170.

Your dentist or orthodontist is the best person to talk to about the cost of Invisalign or other methods for straightening your teeth. The cost will depend on your case. There are several factors that impact how much you’ll pay to have your smile corrected. They include:

  • How long you’ll need treatment: If your teeth are severely misaligned, you’ll likely need more sets of aligners to straighten them. More aligners and dental visits could lead to higher costs. If you’re only straightening a few teeth, you may be able to use a program that requires fewer visits to the orthodontist.

  • The complexity of your treatment: If you have other oral health issues, such as teeth grinding, dead or missing teeth, or gum disease, they could increase the cost of your treatment.

  • Your dentist or orthodontist: Each oral health provider sets their own fees. Your location, the type of health professional you visit, and your dental insurance coverage could affect how much you’ll pay.

How to pay for teeth straightening

Once you know the service you want to move forward with, the next step is determining how to pay for it. Depending on your financial situation, you have a few options.

1. Review your insurance plan

Not every dental insurance plan will cover orthodontic work, but some will cover all or part of the cost (either a dollar amount or a percentage of your bill). Do your research to determine what your insurance plan covers.

Don’t know where to start? Talk to your HR department or benefits administrator. You can also call your insurance company to figure out what its dental policy is. Then, crunch the numbers to determine if an insurance plan that covers some orthodontic treatment will help you afford the cost of Invisalign.

2. Use tax-free dollars

You could use funds from your health savings account (HSA) to cover the cost of Invisalign. You don’t pay taxes on the money you put into an HSA as long as the funds go toward qualified expenses, and you can contribute up to $3,450 annually as an individual or $6,900 as a family.

An HSA often comes with a debit card, which you can use to pay your dentist directly. You could also pay for services out of pocket and then reimburse yourself from your HSA.

3. Ask about payment plans at your dental office

Some dental offices offer payment plans if you don’t want to pay the full cost of Invisalign all at once. It might not impact your credit to pay your dentist this way. Your dental office might not report payments to credit agencies.

But if your dentist has partnered with an outside financing company to provide this service, it might perform a credit check or report payments to the credit bureaus. When you ask your dentist about financing options, make sure you learn how your credit may be affected.

4. Consider a low-interest personal loan

If you’ve weighed your financing options and come up short, a low-interest personal loan could be a reliable solution. You can compare rates for personal lenders and apply online.

As you shop around, consider the interest charges and fees you’ll pay for dental work. Our personal loan calculator can help you estimate your monthly bill and total interest costs.

5. Check out low-interest credit cards

Another option is to use a low-interest credit card to pay for your dental work. Some credit cards have a zero-interest introductory period. If you pay off the credit card before the introductory rate expires, you won’t pay any interest. With some cards, you may even be able to earn airline points or cash back on your purchases.

Knowing how much to budget for dental work

The most important thing to remember when you’re budgeting for dental work is to avoid taking on more debt than you can afford. If you opt for a personal loan or a low-interest credit card, determine what your monthly payments will be before you commit.

Consider your finances to determine how much you can afford to pay for dental care each month. Set up a budget and factor in your estimated dental costs.

Then, take the first step by talking to your health care provider about what options are best for your smile. They’ll be able to steer you in a direction that hopefully balances the quality of the treatment with your budget.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal LoansFixed rates from 6.58% APR to 14.87% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.275% APR to 12.575% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of July 16, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.275% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 2.10% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

  • Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  1. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  2. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.28% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
6.87% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% – 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% – 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% – 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.