What is a Soft Check?
Considering options to finance your cosmetic procedure? We answer your questions in our guide to soft checks.
Written by Medical Quality Manager, Clare Vogt , BN (Hons)
Published: Thursday, 10 June 2021
Besides deciding if cosmetic surgery is right for them, finding ways to pay for a dream procedure is probably the next most pressing issue for patients.
Every situation is different, but if the cost seems prohibitive, there are financing options available to suit every budget. Medbelle conducts a “soft check” to give the patient an idea of whether they’d qualify for a financing loan if they applied for one. Let’s take a closer look at what a soft check is and what you need to know about getting one.
What kind of financing does Medbelle offer?
The total cost of surgery may seem very intimidating for some patients until they understand that they can pay for their procedure in monthly instalments that can be easier to manage:
- It is at a fixed APR of 9.9%
- You may pay it back over 1 - 5 years
- You are welcome to make additional payments as and when you like
- There are also interest-free options to pay the loan back over 6, 10 or 12 months
Why does Medbelle conduct a soft check?
A soft check is a cursory look at the information on your credit report that stops short of being a full examination of your credit history.
This check is a quick, simple way of determining where a patient stands regarding their suitability for a financing loan. It estimates the likelihood of that patient being approved for a loan should they apply for one. The outcome is based on a traffic light system: green means it's likely to be approved, amber means further checks need to be made, and red means it’s a provisional decline. Importantly, the outcome of a soft check is provisional, and a full credit check will still need to be performed before approval.
What information do I need to provide for a soft check?
We only need your name, date of birth and home address to conduct a soft check.
Are there any requirements for Medbelle finance?
To be eligible for our financing, you need to be:
- Over 21 years of age
- Working a minimum of 16 hours a week
- Living in the UK for the past 3 years
What if I receive a red light?
A provisional decline simply means our financing is probably not right for you, but we will happily share other options with you.
Will a soft check affect my credit rating?
Getting too many hard credit checks in a short period of time may suggest to companies that you’re overspending or taking on too much debt. This harms your credit score and is understandably something that people want to avoid.
To complete a soft check, we may make confidential inquiries at credit reference agencies. However, even though you’ll be able to see the inquiry on your file, it won’t appear to any other organisation, no matter how many soft checks there are.
This means that a soft check by Medbelle has no impact on your credit rating, and the results will not be disclosed to any third party.
All personal medical information contained within this registration will at all times remain confidential and will not be disclosed to any third party without your express consent.
Loan eligibility and smart borrowing
Loan eligibility comes down to many factors, but income is the most obvious. If your employment circumstances change, it’s possible your credit score could improve, which increases your likelihood of being approved for financing.
Overall, the golden rule for borrowing is to borrow as little as possible and repay it as quickly as possible. Then, factor your repayments into your monthly budget and be disciplined about paying down your loan.
Compare different financing options carefully. Ask questions like: Would it be better to wait and pay in full? How does your credit card interest rate compare to getting a personal loan? What is the maximum you can afford as an immediate deposit? Also, be aware that most types of financing entail more comprehensive hard checks of your credit history that will be reflected on any future credit checks. As long as these hard checks are infrequent, though, they should not greatly impact your credit.
If you’re still unsure about financing
When it comes to any debt, it’s essential to understand exactly what it entails and properly research how the interest rates, terms and conditions will affect you. At Medbelle, we’re always happy to assist patients in finding a payment solution that works for them, but a financial advisor can also guide you.
In general, it’s better to apply for the shortest repayment period possible while keeping instalments at a level you can realistically manage each month because missing a payment can be costly in the long run.
Furthermore, you may consider simply postponing your procedure and waiting until you’ve saved enough to afford it outright or have enough savings to help buffer your monthly finance payments. Many patients also find that putting the full payment of their procedure on a credit card is more appropriate if they feel uncomfortable with finance or do not qualify.
Plastic surgery is a life-altering choice, not least because it requires considerable financial investment. In the same way, you’d research the best options for your health; it’s important to take the time to ensure you’re making choices that respect your financial wellbeing, too.
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