Best Pet Loans of 2020

Man’s best friend and all other furry, scaly and feathery creatures we keep for companions can be expensive, but worth it. Whether you’re looking for pet loans to buy a new pet, financing to cover animal medical bills, loans for dogs or puppy financing with poor credit, lenders are out there ready and willing to help. As long as you have a steady income and an active checking account, you should be able to secure the money you need fast to cover your pet-related costs from top lenders with great pet loans reviews. Using our proprietary SimpleScore method, we reviewed the best pet loan providers by comparing interest rates, loan amounts, customer satisfaction and fees for major lenders.

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The 5 best pet loans of 2020

The best pet loans at a glance

Provider APR Loan Amount Terms SimpleScore
LendingUSA Not Listed $1,000–$35,000 Not listed 4/5
ScratchPay’s Take 5 Starts at 0% 100% of vet bill Up to 24 months 4/5
OneMain Financial 18%–35.99% $1,500–$20,000 24–60 months 3/5
LightStream 3.49%–19.99% $5,000–$100,000 24–84 months 4.8/5
Wells Fargo 5.74%–20.24% $3,000–$100,000 12–84 months 4/5

*Rates accurate as of August, 2020

Best for 0% intro APR

LendingUSA

LendingUSA has higher APR rates on loans, but the company offers a promotion of 0% interest if your loan is paid off within the first six months.

APR
Not Listed
Terms
Not listed
Loan amount
$1K–$35K
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
LendingUSA
4
  • Rates
    4
  • Loan Amount
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Support
    3
  • Fees
    4
LendingUSA offers pet financing to cover anything and everything you could need for your little friend. Loans are available up to $35,000 and start as low as $1,000. While the overall APR rates are higher than many other lenders, there’s a diamond hidden in the rough. If you pay off your loan within the first six months in full, you’ll be charged 0% interest. If you have a short-term financing need for your pet, this is an ideal solution. What’s also great about LendingUSA is preapproval happens in seconds, and the application takes just minutes.
Full review

Our Two Cents — You won't find 0% financing for six months on most personal or pet loans, so LendingUSA has a leg up on the competition.

Best for direct bill payments

ScratchPay's Take 5

ScratchPay’s unique system for covering vet bills can help you spread out costs with no hidden fees, deferred interest or prepayment penalties.

APR
Starting at 0%
Terms
Up to 24 months
Loan amount
Varies
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
ScratchPay's Take 5
4
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Amount
    N/A
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Support
    3
  • Fees
    4
ScratchPay operates quite differently than the other pet loan lenders. Instead of getting a lump sum of money to use how you see fit, ScratchPay provides funding directly to the provider to cover the costs of specific services or vet visits. Repayment is broken down into three different plans — Pay Later, Take 5 or Pay Over Time.

Take 5 is the most convenient plan that ScratchPay offers — simply pay 20% of the vet bill and then the rest will be broken up into bi-weekly payments with no interest charged, as long as you pay on time. Even if pet insurance or the vet clinic adjusts the amount you owe, ScratchPay will then adjust the remainder of your payments accordingly.

Full review

Our Two Cents — When your furry friend needs vet assistance, don't worry about the bill — ScratchPay will let you pay it back over five payments so you can focus on your pet's health.

Best for emergencies

OneMain

When you need financing for pet needs in a pinch, OneMain Financial can deliver up to $20,000 with quick approval decisions and money the same day.

APR
18%–35.99%
Terms
24–60 months
Loan amount
$1,500–$20K
SimpleScore
3 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
OneMain
3
  • Rates
    2
  • Loan Amount
    3
  • Customer Satisfaction
    N/A
  • Support
    5
  • Fees
    3
If you need emergency pet funds fast, OneMain Financial should be toward the top of your list. When you get approval by noon, you can get your cash the same day. When you’ve got a sick pet or are in a serious bind, this can really help out. Prequalification is available online to give you a quick idea of what you can get approval for. An additional perk about OneMain Financial is the company not only does business online but has over 1,500 branch locations where you can walk in and out with cash in one visit.
Full review

Our Two Cents — When time is critical, and your pet’s health and safety are on the line, OneMain Financial may be the lending partner you’re looking for.

Best for good credit

LightStream

LightStream offers pet loans as well as specialized horse financing with the best industry rates and funding available the same day.

APR
3.49%–19.99%
Terms
24–84 months
Loan amount
$5K–$100K
SimpleScore
4.8 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
LightStream
4.8
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Amount
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    4
  • Support
    5
  • Fees
    5
LightStream has more tricks than just sit, stay and lend. The company offers a really incredible rate beat guarantee where it vows to beat any company’s rate by 0.10%, as long as someone with a similar credit profile as you can get that loan easily. What does this mean? It means that no matter how low another comparable company’s rate is, LightStream can fetch a better rate. Additionally, LightStream offers horse ownership loans at the same impressive rates and with the same guarantee. Loans can be used to purchase the horse and/or horse equipment.
Full review

Our Two Cents — When a company vows to beat any other company’s rates, it gets our attention. When you couple that with flexible payment terms and a trusted name to back things up, you’ve got our tails wagging.

Best for existing customers

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is a big-box banking solution offering personal loans for pets (and other needs) up to $100,000 with some of the best APR rates in the business.

APR
5.74%–20.24%
Terms
12–84 months
Loan amount
$3K–$100K
SimpleScore
4 / 5.0
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SimpleScore
Wells Fargo
4
  • Rates
    5
  • Loan Amount
    5
  • Customer Satisfaction
    3
  • Support
    4
  • Fees
    3
While online banks tend to offer better rates on most lending products, Wells Fargo has a thing to say about that when it comes to pet loans and personal loans. The bank offers pet loans with APRs starting as low as 5.74% for amounts anywhere from $3,000 to $100,000. When you add the 0.25% autopay discount onto this, the rate gets better. All personal loans from Wells Fargo come with no origination fee and no prepayment penalty. In most cases, you can get the pet financing you need by the next business day. If you are already a Wells Fargo customer, you can get that money lightning quick to your checking account, and you may qualify for special relationship discounts.
Full review

Our Two Cents — Turns out you can teach an old dog new tricks. If you’re already a customer with the long-standing bank, Wells Fargo, the added perks you may qualify for are an added treat.

What is a pet loan?

A pet loan is a personal loan that provides funding to individuals who want to purchase a pet, cover emergency medical costs, pay vet bills or handle any other miscellaneous pet-related expenses that may come up. Generally, these loans are unsecured personal loans that do not require any collateral. Pet loans are paid back on a fixed and scheduled basis. The cost of your loan is made up of an interest charge (a percentage of the total loan) and any applicable fees the lender chooses to charge.

[Related: Quick Personal Loans: Best Fast Cash Lenders]

How pet loans work

Pet loans work much like any other form of personal loan. In exchange for quick access to funds, you agree to pay the money back with a little extra in fees and interest as the cost of borrowing. After applying and accepting your pet financing loan, the money is transferred into your checking account. From there, you can take the cash and use it as you need for your new or existing pet.

Vet bills

Even if you have pet insurance, your deductible may be expensive, or it may not cover all of the costs. If you don’t have pet insurance, unexpected medical needs can be expensive, while companies drag feet about paying you back. Pet loans can help to cover vet bills for routine procedures, elective treatments and emergency medical needs.

Buying a pet

Getting a loan for a pet purchase can help you overcome the steep, one-time financial costs of buying a pet. Depending on the type of pet and breed you choose, the price tag can be high. Secure your personal pet loan and have the money transferred into your account within hours or days to fund the purchase.

APR vs. interest

It’s important you understand the difference between APR and interest when assessing the cost of your pet loans. Both terms refer to the cost of your loan, but one is a more accurate depiction. Interest refers to the added percentage cost of your borrowing. While this number is important, it fails to include the costs of any annual fees you might incur. Your APR (annual percentage rate) takes care of this. APR includes the cost of your interest and any fees and gives you the most accurate look at the cost of your loan every year.

[Read: APR vs. Interest Rates]

How to choose the best pet loan for you

  1. Determine your financial needs for your pet. Whether it’s puppy loans, purchase loans, medical needs or any other pet-related costs, it’s important you dial in exactly how much you need. Additionally, ensure you are in the financial position to cover the costs of the loan all the way until it is paid off.
  2. Choose a lender by using the preapproval process. With your financial needs figured out, start shopping the available lenders to see which companies meet your criteria. If you’re looking for pet loans for bad credit, you may need to shop a bit harder to find a lender that works for you (but they do exist). Use the preapproval options to get a ballpark of what you can be approved for with each lender.
  3. Accept the terms of your loan. When you find the right lender, complete the application process. When you are approved, accept your loan terms and wait for your funding. Generally, funding shows up within a few hours or a few days, depending on the pet lender you choose.

Pet loan FAQs

Are pets really that expensive?

Just paying to get a pet can be expensive, but the costs don’t stop there. You will find yourself having to pay for food, toys, medicine, vet bills and sometimes unexpected medical expenses. You can use a pet cost calculator to get a better idea of what you may be signing up for.

Is dog financing expensive?

The amount you pay on your pet loans depends on your credit score, past payment history, how much you borrow and what your lender is willing to offer you. The better your credit profile and past borrowing behaviors, the less expensive your dog financing will be.

Is pet financing unsecured or secured?

Most pet loans will be unsecured. You will not need to put up any collateral like your house or car (or your pet) in order to get your loan. While this may result in slightly higher interest rates, it does protect you from losing anything valuable in case you default on the loan.

Too long, didn’t read?

Pets can be expensive, but the joy and love they bring are often well worth it. If you need help covering the costs of buying a pet or handling planned and emergency needs, lenders exist to help you get a pet loan to cover those costs.

Keep reading

Methodology

The SimpleScore is our proprietary scoring metric to compare products and services at The Simple Dollar in a transparent, evidence-based way. Our editorial team identifies five quantifiable aspects to compare for every brand, determines the rating criteria for each aspect score, then averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore. For pet loans, we compared interest rates, loan amounts, customer satisfaction and fees for every major lender. Our ratings are meant to be a directional tool to help you in the process of choosing a pet loan provider. Be sure to continue your research and shop around for the best pet loan that fits your specific needs.

We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the pet loans we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

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Jason Lee
Jason Lee
Contributing Writer

Jason Lee is a U.S.-based freelance writer with a passion for writing about dating, banking, tech, personal growth, food and personal finance. As a business owner, relationship strategist, and officer in the U.S. military, Jason enjoys sharing his unique knowledge base and skill sets with the rest of the world. Follow Jason on Facebook here

Reviewed by

  • Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.