Using personal loans for vet bills and other pet expenses

When a beloved pet suddenly gets sick or injured, medical expenses can add up quickly.  Whether your pet needs surgery, medical care or specialized training, a personal loan can help make the costs more manageable.

Some lenders offer “pet loans” or “pet financing” – these are typically personal loans you can use to cover pet expenses. Citi offers personal loans that can be used for almost anything, including pet-related costs.\

Let's look at how personal loans can offer quick, convenient funding to help pay for these expenses.

How to apply for a personal loan for pet expenses

You can typically apply for a personal loan through the lender’s website or in person at a brick-and-mortar location. You complete a straightforward application, providing any necessary documentation, such as a government-issued ID, proof of address and proof of income. You usually find out quickly whether you’re approved. Citi personal loan applicants who fill out an online application can get a response in less than 60 seconds.

Who can apply?

Most lenders (including Citi) require applicants to be at least 18 years old to apply for a personal loan. Other factors, such as creditworthiness, annual income and debt-to-income ratio requirements can differ from one lender to the next.

The benefits of using a personal loan for vet bills

Personal loans can help make larger expenses easier to manage and can offer quick, convenient funding for emergencies.

Make pet expenses manageable

Personal loans can help make certain pet-related expenses, like surgery, more manageable over the long term. Rather than having to pay a lump sum all at once, you can pay the loan back over time.

Personal loans typically come with a fixed interest rate and a fixed term. The interest rate stays the same over the life of the loan. You know exactly what you'll owe each month, making payments easier to budget around.

Pay for emergency expenses

When your pet has an emergency, personal loans can offer the quick funding you need. Citi personal loans have a straightforward, convenient online application process. If approved, Citi accountholders can get funds deposited the same day to their Citi account, and within two business days for non-Citi accounts.

Potential drawbacks to using a personal loan for vet bills

There are a few things to be aware of before applying for a personal loan, including loan interest and creditworthiness requirements.

Interest payments

Like most other loans, personal loans accrue interest, which means you’ll ultimately pay back more than the principal. Rates can vary based on your credit score, lender and other factors. In addition to interest, personal loans can come with additional fees, such as origination fees.

Creditworthiness requirements

Lenders have creditworthiness criteria that personal loan applicants must meet. The exact requirements will vary based on the lender and the type of loan, but in general it’s harder for someone with lower credit to get approved. It’s a good idea to research different lenders and their credit score requirements before applying for a loan.

When to consider a personal loan for pet expenses

A personal loan can be a way to cover one-time pet expenses, such as a medical emergency or necessary surgery. Pet surgery can easily cost thousands of dollars, and not everyone has the savings to pay vet bills outright. Knowing that you can quickly and easily secure a personal loan may help you make a fast, life-saving decision for your pet.

Alternatives to using a personal loan for pet expenses

A personal loan can be a good option for one-time expenses like a large vet bill. For smaller and ongoing medical expenses, you might want to consider credit cards or pet health insurance. You can also talk to your veterinarian about a payment plan for larger costs.

Credit cards

As a pet owner, smaller vet bills and regular pet care expenses should factor into your budget. These day-to-day expenses are typically better suited to a credit card. If you have a less expensive emergency cost, it might make sense to pay for it with a credit card, assuming you can pay it off in full by your payment due date.


With pet health insurance, you pay premiums. When your pet has a qualifying medical expense, the insurer either pays the vet directly or reimburses you. The treatments covered and the percentage covered will depend on your policy.

Vet payment plans

Many vets will offer their own financing options or payment plans, allowing you to pay your bill in installments.

While not always possible in an emergency, consider seeking care at a teaching clinic or nonprofit. These places often offer services at a lower cost, reducing your overall bill.

Citi offers personal loans to both existing Citi customers and new Citi customers that meet specific eligibility criteria, including an established credit and income history along with additional factors determined by Citi. If you think you could benefit from a Citi Personal Loan, apply online today.

Disclosure: This article is for educational purposes. It is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and is not a substitute for professional advice. It does not indicate the availability of any Citi product or service. For advice about your specific circumstances, you should consult a qualified professional.

Additional Resources

  • Start your personal loan application now!

  • Learn how FICO® Scores are determined, why they matter and more.

  • Review financial terms & definitions to help you better understand credit & finances.