I recently sat down with a client to discuss her finances and as often happens, I learned more by listening. My client had recently been impacted by the economic down turn that started in 2008. Fortunately she was able to find employment, but like many Americans her salary post 2008 was substantially less in 2011. The cost of living has not gone down nor has the cost of her mortgage or food to feed her children.
We sat down to review her assets and retirement plan. Throughout our discussion several large expenses were troubling her. She has a daughter attending college within the next year, two kids in summer camp and now one is requiring $7,000 in Orthodontia work. Without the luxury of dental insurance, $7,000 was a huge hurdle. She was given several payment options that she wanted to discuss.
One option was to pay the $7000 in a check up front and receive a 7% discount; this was not an option, as she did not have the cash available. A second option was to place the $7000 on a credit card and receive a 5% discount; with credit card interest at 9% this was not a good option, she would end up paying more. A third option was to pay 40% up front and pay the remaining balance off over a 16-month period of time with no discount. Finally, a fourth option was to apply for a loan through Chase Health Advance.
As I’m listening to my client explain what she had been told about the Chase Health Advance program, I learned that there is such a thing as “Free Money”. Chase Health Advance offers up to a 24-month interest free loan with no down payment required for many treatments not cover by health insurance. Thinking this was too good to be true I did some investigating myself and it turns out I saw this as the best option for a parent with limited cash flow.
What I found was that it did not cost my client anything additional to participate in Chase’s program. The program is available for Dental, Orthodontics, Vision Correction, Cosmetic, Hearing Aids, Hair Restoration, Chiropractic and Veterinary. The only requirement besides having good credit is the provider of the services must be part of Chase’s program.
The next day, I called my client and suggested that she apply online for the loan, as spreading out the cost over 24 months without interest was an affordable solution. While on the phone, she went online and applied through Chase Health Advance website. After taking about a minute to enter her basic information, 90 seconds later she received an email approving her for a line of credit up to $12,000. Problem solved.
I am not endorsing Chase or saying this solution is for everyone, but when life throws you a curve ball, there are options. Always ask for all the options, this is one that I never heard of, but just might be one of the best-unknown programs available. Other than special 0% financing at car dealers, appliance stores or furniture providers, finding a bank willing to give money free of charges and interest is a true find.