Monday, July 14, 2008

Credit Crunch Means People Are No Longer Keen To Trade Plastic For Plastic

Plastic Surgery Mock Credit Card
As with other large ticket items like houses, automobiles and vacations, it was once common practice for Americans to pay for their cosmetic procedures through loans and credit cards - it's still a popular payment method for the British and other Europeans - but the sword hanging just above the global economy may soon burst that bubble.

Many plastic surgeons and casual analysts have attributed the dramatic fall of the number of Americans seeking cosmetic surgery to both the fear of financial ruin and the shrinking amount of discretionary income American households currently command, due to a crippled housing market, an anemic job market and the depressing state of inflation. But I would venture to say that most have overlooked the fact that many Americans could not afford the procedures even during the boom.

Only a few short years ago, creditors were extending lines of credit to people whom they knew couldn't really afford to buy the houses they were bidding on in the event of a financial crisis, gambling that the good times would keep on rolling. It's my feeling that cosmetic surgery financers have made and are making the same mistake. To add insult to injury, many cosmetic surgery loans are offered at outrageous intrest rates above 20% APR!

It's important for every potential patient to ask themselves whether or not they can afford the procedure they want, performed by the surgeon they choose. Allowing an outside force, even a creditor (creditors often have a network of doctors that the patient must choose from and will only cover the procedure if they choose someone with their network) to choose your surgeon is inviting disaster. Out of all the plastic surgery horror stories I've heard, a good 90% always involve the patient having their doctor chosen for them.

Of course, the best way to pay for your cosmetic surgery is 100% out-of-pocket, in cash if you can. If you cannot, the second best option is to wait until you can. Failing that, should you be keen to have the surgery right away and cannot afford the cost out-of-pocket, then you also have the option to take out a loan from your chosen surgeon's choice of finance company only for the portion of the surgery that you cannot afford and pay for the rest with cash or credit - credit cards can be a better option over loans, as you will have more control of interest rates and fees. The last thing you want to do is take a loan to cover all of a procedure, or procedures. The best of the bad situations that decision may leave you in is the instance in which you cannot afford to pay the monthly payments, or you fail to pay on time and damage your credit. The worst situation is one where your surgery encounters complications, or is botched and you have to cover the cost of a surgical failure while living with its consequences.

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