LAST UPDATED: June 27th, 2019
Intro to Reliance Medical Finance
Reliance Medical Finance is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, and is a partner company of Med Loan Finance. The company offers mainly medical loans, as opposed to medical credit, and is a direct lender. While some competitors in this industry just match you with a direct lender, Reliance handles all loans by themselves. These loans can fund cosmetic surgeries and elective procedures, though the company doesn’t really fund loans for other medical treatments.
Ultimately, Reliance strives to instill trust in its customers. One of their goals is to assist customers of all backgrounds—even those who may not have a great reputation with other financing or credit companies. They want their service to be true to their name—reliable—and offer almost two decades of experience in the industry, having been founded in 1998.
- Business experience
- Easy application process
- Patient resources
- Interest rates
They were created back in 1998, which means they have had almost two decades of business experience. The longer a company has been in business, the more time they have had to learn what customers really want, to hone their business practices toward success, and to develop their products to be more satisfactory. In addition, they've proven that they can stay afloat in a changing industry. Reliance is also a national company. With this come both pros and cons (for example, fees and terms are state-specific, which may be a pro or a con). However, it means the company is more widely available than a local financer.
Easy Application Process
You can apply for a loan here online, which is actually the way the company encourages you to apply, or you can apply through your doctor's office if that's easier. But aside from being conveniently online, the application is also free, and you will receive an answer (approval or denial) within 15 minutes of submitting it! That's record-fast time and prevents you from waiting around to see if you even qualify for a loan here.
The company doesn't make a lot of mention about a patient portal, but aside, from this, they have several conveniences for patients. First of all, you can contact the company by phone, fax, in person of course, or through their online contact form. The phone number they provide is for their collections department, so you might have an easier time getting specific answers by submitting a question online. Aside from these, there is a handy payment calculator on the company's website, and they allow you to payments by check or money order, with a credit card, over the phone, or even via automatic withdrawal. The flexibility with that is really nice.
Any interest is too much interest if that isn't the truth! However, the interest rates at Reliance are comparatively low for the industry. They start as low as 6.9% but depend on your credit score coming from the loan. Fortunately, though, there are some payment plans for those eligible that come with zero interest for the first three, six, or twelve months. This helps curb the costs for some customers.
- Only cosmetic and elective procedures
- Lack of control over funds
- Lack of information
- Missing customer service tools
Only Cosmetic and Elective Procedures
First of all, the company only handles loans and not credit, so if you prefer a credit option, you'll have to move on from Reliance. Perhaps a more widely affecting limitation, though, is that their loans only cover cosmetic surgeries and elective procedures. They list off several examples of these: liposuction, urology treatments, dental and vision treatments, rehabilitation, fertility procedures, and rhinoplasties are just a few. Some customers, however, may need something like a veterinary expense covered or a more rare medical treatment. If your treatment doesn't fall under one of these two categories, then the company can't fund your loan.
Lack of Control Over Funds
Once you are approved for a loan, the funds for it are actually paid right to your doctor; they aren't deposited into your bank account to be spent at your discretion. Now, for some people, this is nice because they might otherwise misspend the money and run into further trouble. However, self-control implied, it would be nice if your loan was given directly to you so you could use it how you prefer. This format creates a lack of control that you might prefer to have.
Lack of Information
Reliance isn't very upfront about some details that will affect the price you pay (and the experience you have) getting a loan. For example, fees for late payments are specific to each state, so those aren't given out until you apply for and are approved for a loan. In addition, the company really doesn't mentioned a patient portal for managing your loan. Potential and new customers want to know these details so they can know what to expect out of their loan; it would be nice if the company were more transparent about these details.
Missing Customer Service Tools
Aside from being a bit avoidant about some information, the company is also missing some essential resources for contacting customer service. First of all, they aren't available 24/7; they're only around during certain business hours to help you. In addition, they don't have a clear way for you to search through their provider network to see if your doctor is enrolled; this would be a good tool to provide, since they prefer that your doctor be enrolled with them to use their loan.
The Bottom Line
All in all, Reliance Medical Finance would be a good company to get a loan from. They do have their weaknesses, but overall their positive points outweigh these and make them a viable partner for your medical financing. To be specific, the company is worth a positive recommendation because of the amount of time they have been in business, because of their low-ish interest rates, and because they make patient logistics fairly easy to sort through. They may not have a patient portal or 24/7 services, but they do have easy ways for you to make payments and calculating payments.
Reliance is not recommended for people looking for credit financing rather than a loan, and it wouldn't be sufficient if the medical treatments you need fall under a different category than cosmetic procedures or elective surgeries. On a minor note, you also have to be 21 to qualify for a loan here, so you of course have to meet that requirement as well.
So long as your needs as a patient meet these provisions, this company comes with a great background and their loans have very manageable terms. That being the case, Reliance could use some work with their customer service tools and transparency, but they are nonetheless a reliable option for medical financing.
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