Pet Financing: What Are the Pros & Cons?
Bringing home a pet can be one of your family's best decisions. When done properly, buying or adopting a pet can guarantee years of happiness, joy, and love for your home.
But pets can be expensive. When you consider the purchase price, supplies, vet bills, and pet health insurance, you quickly see how expensive the cost of owning a pet can become.
Fortunately, there are alternatives to saving up for months or years for a pet, and you don't have to rely on putting pet ownership costs on a credit card. When done right, pet financing can help enhance the chances of responsible pet ownership by making it easier for individuals to afford a pet and save money for other important pet-related costs.
However, there are real risks of pet financing. And so it's worth considering its pros and cons before moving along in this process. This is what we'll delve into in this article.
If you have already decided to use pet financing, check out our introductory pet financing 101 guide, or for a more comprehensive review, our complete guide on pet financing to learn how to navigate the process.
Pet Financing Use Cases
Pet loans can help with more than just the initial purchase of a puppy. You can often use pet financing to help with various pet-related expenses.
Purchasing a Puppy
The primary benefit of pet loans is that they can make it easier for you to afford the potentially significant cost of purchasing a pet puppy. In many instances, you can find low-interest pet loans that are affordable and have favorable terms that can help put your dream puppy within financial reach.
Like it or not, your pet will get sick at some point. You will always have to find the most affordable vet care, but even in the best circumstances, you may have to manage emergency vet costs.
In extreme cases, your pet may get very sick, and you may need an emergency veterinary visit, which can easily run $1,000 or more. In these cases you can consider pet surgery financing. Pet insurance is also a great option to help reduce and manage these costs, but it won't outright eliminate them.
Equipment & Supplies
A huge part of affording a pet has to do with monthly pet costs like food, supplies, leashes, tows, and more. These expenses can easily go into the hundreds of dollars annually, and you should consider them as unavoidable parts of pet ownership costs.
If you are lucky enough to have your pet until the end of his or her natural life, you will have to deal with end-of-life care. This includes medication costs, and if required, euthanizing, which can be very expensive, potentially costing over $1,000.
Pet Financing Options
There's no doubt that pet care costs can get extremely expensive. Fortunately, you can take advantage of various pet financing options to help manage these costs.
Pet Credit Card
Pet credit cards come in multiple varieties. Some companies, like CareCredit, create specific credit cards that you can use in certain veterinary and pet supply offices. Using a CareCredit card, or some similar variety, can make it easier for you to pay for medical expenses.
Some of these cards carry promotional financing terms where no interest is charged if the balance is paid off in 6, 12, or 18 months. Otherwise, the interest rates are comparable to normal credit card rates, which are typically up to 29.99%. Also, there is no guarantee that you will be able to qualify for a pet credit card.
Buy Now Pay Later Options
Some pet vendors or pet supply stores offer buy now, pay later options. Depending on your needs, these options will be customizable, and you may be able to delay payment for a substantial period.
The shorter-term or Pay-In-4 options can come with zero interest. However, the long-term financing options will carry interest and have you paying more over the financed period.
If all else fails, you can potentially explore personal loans. Personal loans will allow you to afford purchasing a pet, and personal loans for pet expenses are also an option.
However, these generic products are not necessarily meant for pet purchases. This means that these financial products may have stringent restrictions, higher interest rates, and you may lose ownership rights in the event of non-payment.
Pros of Pet Financing
When done right, pet financing can be a godsend: It can allow you to afford the pet of your dreams, protect your pet's health, and ensure that you can afford a variety of pet supplies that will enhance and enrich your pet's life.
Quickly Access Funds
Saving up for a pet can be time-consuming, and there may be times when your ideal pet becomes suddenly available. Yet, buying from a responsible vendor can be expensive.
If you qualify for a pet loan, you may be able to afford the full cost upfront, secure your pet, and get him or her in mere days. This helps ensure that you can reserve your dream pet before someone else does.
Afford Higher Priced Pets
Many pets, particularly those perfect for kids or hypoallergenic, are more expensive than even the most sought-after purebreds. Affording these pets can be a challenge under the best of circumstances. Fortunately, you can purchase a high-value pet and then pay it back over time with pet financing.
The potential for no-interest pet financing can enhance these benefits. Some pet financing programs allow you to purchase a pet and pay it back at 0% APR. Accessing these programs requires good credit, and you will have to make regular repayments on your loan, lest you need to pay additional interest payments.
Removing interest from the repayment equation expands your budget, potentially giving you more money to afford the pet breed you truly want.
Afford the Best Supplies, Insurance, and Treatment
No one wants to buy lower quality food, supplies, pet insurance, and even life insurance on their expensive animal. With pet financing, the amount you can spend on your dog is no longer limited by what you have in your bank account at that exact moment. Instead, you can budget out your expenses to be repaid over time.
One of the biggest benefits of a properly structured pet financing program is that they don't come in a one-size-fits-all package. Different options can help you find the most affordable program for you and your family. These options include flexible repayment programs, changing availability of terms, and variable or fixed interest rates — even for individuals with poorer credit.
Can Be Good for Credit
Contrary to popular belief, taking out a loan is not necessarily bad for credit; in fact, it can be just the opposite. Remember, the top factor determining your credit history is your history of making payments and ensuring that you make your payments on time. To that end, if you regularly make your payments, and on time, you can improve your credit score.
However, if you miss your payments, you may fall deeper into debt, and your credit score may suffer. This simply means you have to do your homework and budget properly to make all your payments.
Cons of Pet Financing
As beneficial as pet financing can be, the risks of pet financing are real. You must do your homework and ensure that you understand and are ready to manage these risks to effectively afford your pet.
Potential for Predatory Financing
One of the worst challenges in the financing world is simply that there are too many bad actors. Indeed, there is no shortage of people who understand just how desperate some are to own a dream pet, and these companies may take advantage of naïve individuals willing to take out any loan necessary.
How does predatory financing work? There are many examples, but among the more common ones are teaser interest rates, where an individual will get a loan at an extraordinarily low rate only to see that rate spike massively under a very likely set of circumstances.
How can you protect yourself from predatory financing? Simple: Do your due diligence, read reviews about the company, and carefully review loan terms, to make sure they suit your financial situation.
Can Be Expensive
Some no-interest loans will enable you to repay quickly on a pet financing plan. However, some loans — particularly longer ones — will require that you pay a far larger amount than you would have otherwise.
The best way to avoid such an unpleasant situation is to shop around and find a loan or financing program that matches your financial situation. You will want to keep your interest rates as low as possible, ensuring that you can pay your loan off as fast as your finances allow.
May Go Over-Budget
You can take a loan out for a certain amount, but it is always possible that you won't ultimately borrow enough money to manage your expenses. In that case, you may need to borrow more money. Alternatively, you may miss a payment and face higher interest rates, causing you to go over budget.
So, how can you protect yourself from going over budget? A basic tenet of budgeting is creating a highly conservative budget, over-estimating your expenses, and building a regular cushion to help you manage high costs. This ensures that your expenses stay under budget. Furthermore, you should engage in extensive research to confirm the accuracy of your budget. Doing so will allow you to have the most accurate budget possible.
Negative Impact If Unable to Pay
As noted above, an inability to pay your loan may damage your credit profile. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances of your loan, you may face dire financial or personal repercussions, including potentially having your pet repossessed.
Not Available for All Credit Profiles
Financing agencies will check your credit score before offering you a loan. These credit checks are usually soft credit checks that don't impact your credit report.
But if your credit score is too low, you may not be able to get a loan. Alternatively, you may be able to get a loan, but you may have to pay very high-interest rates.
Alternatives to Pet Financing
Pet financing — including pet loans or pet credit cards — may allow you to afford a pet. However, you don't necessarily need to take out a loan or open a new line of credit to afford the puppy of your dreams. Indeed, there are multiple other forms of savings or payment plans that you may be able to utilize.
Pet Savings Fund
A pet savings fund is a place where you save money specifically earmarked for your pets. Some businesses offer specific pet savings funds, but you can create a pet savings fund by keeping money aside in your bank account. Indeed, in most cases, you can open a pet savings fund by budgeting appropriately.
When used properly, you can use a pet savings fund to save money for larger purchases, including that of purchasing a pet. You can also use a pet savings fund to prepare for an emergency or handle unexpected payments.
Veterinary Payment Plans
Major veterinary expenses are sadly common. In many instances, veterinarians will offer payment plans, allowing someone to pay for major medical expenses on an installment basis. Different plans have different requirements, but in most cases, individuals must make regular payments towards paying off pet-related medical debt.
Remember that these payment plans almost always have interest payments. As such, it is in your financial interests to pay them off as quickly as possible.
Explore Mawoo Pet Financing
At Mawoo Pets, we get it: Affording a pet is critical in bringing home the new companion of your dreams. And we understand the major expense that may be associated with pet financing. That's why we offer a variety of benefits and programs, including:
Interest-free options that allow you to keep as much money in your pocket as possible
No credit check options that don't impact your credit profile
Flexible terms that fit your financial situation
Instant decisions that immediately let you know if you can access funds to purchase your puppy
Coverage of all credit profiles through multiple programs that support wide-ranging credit
Use of multiple lenders that compete against each other to offer you the best financing program possible
Top-notch transparency that ensures you know exactly what to expect when you take out a loan from us
World-class customer service that can answer any questions and ensure you can make the best decision for you and your future pet
Check out our financing options and learn more about how Mawoo Pets can work with you to help you get the pet of your dreams and ensure that you can afford vet bills, supplies, and more.
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