Medical emergencies bring out the best in some, the worst in others. Well, needless to say... CareCredit brings out the absolute worst!!! Simply and to the point, they take advantage of patients in a bad situation. CareCredit.com are vultures – and if you can avoid dealing with them, I advise making whatever effort is necessary to do so.
CareCredit.com has signed up medical providers – not just MDs, but dentists, therapists, and veterinarians. If you have a huge medical expense, and can't afford the entire amount, chances are your medical provider will probably mention CareCredit.com and their wonderful three- or six-month no interest plan. Well, I had an overwhelming amount in dental costs and my dentist suggested that I apply for Care Credit for part of the amount. When I called them, they were EXTREMELY pleasant! I was approved during that very phone call. I have excellent credit... but needless to say, that was NEVER even checked.
The concept sounds very much like an act of mercy, guaranteeing that people who are in desperate need of funds to pay for their medical procedures will get the help they need. CareCredit.com is actually GE Capital (the same people who made your ‘fridge lend out lots and lots of money). They're not in it for altruism – they're in it to make money – and make money they do. HOW? BY LYING TO YOU!!!!
This is not a loan, it's a credit card – in a few days, a MasterCard appears in your mailbox. In theory, you can use this card to charge more medical expenses. What's different about this card is that, unlike all those offers you're getting in the mail every day, the interest is GETTING ADDED EVERY SINGLE DAY at the maximum amount allowable under the usury threshold of 24% APY. That vaunted “interest-free” period is only “interest-free” if you pay off the entire bill within the no-interest period. Pay off all but A FEW BUCKS and you owe interest on the entire bill.
MY STORY: In my case, CareCredit.com never bothered to send me any form of information about the account AT ALL. Sure, they got the card to me, but nothing else. They never sent me any information about the payment plans, and more to the point, they've never sent me a BILL! I had less than $3,000 left to pay on the card prior to the "promotional period" ending. My dentist called up to add $9,000 to the card and asked if he did so, would they extend the promotional "interest free" rate for an additional 12 months. THEY GLADLY AGREED!
Well, one day, I go online and notice that they are charging me interest. I called and not only was the customer service agent extremely rude, he proceeds to insult my intelligence by stating that I should learn to read. (I'm sorry, last I checked I have my PHD! I am quite certain I KNOW HOW TO READ! This comment coming from a customer service representative who probably gets paid minimum wage at best.) Apparently, I was being charged "deferred interest" because, according to them, I never paid the prior balance off.
First of all, I sent them a payment of $3,000 (which was OVER the amount I owed) and they applied that amount to the NEW BALANCE! WHY??? I HAVE NO IDEA! In addition, WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO READ??? NOTHING WAS EVER SENT TO ME BUT REGULAR STATEMENTS!!! So in essence, I KILLED MYSELF PAYING MORE THAN THE AMOUNT DUE EVERY MONTH... Just to get slammed anyway.
THEY PROMISED MY DENTIST THAT THEY WOULD EXTEND THE PROMOTIONAL PERIOD IF HE ADDED MORE MONEY TO MY EXISTING ACCOUNT! Due to this, I am getting penalized for almost $3,000 in accrued interest. This is just ridiculous! My advice... Avoid these people like the plague! THIS COMPANY IS A SCAM!!! Not to mention that their customer service representatives are incompetent (if not merely stupid) and worse yet, LIARS!!!
You go to the dentist and she wants to do an expensive procedure that isn't covered by insurance. When you balk at the price, she has a cost effective alternative - CareCredit. DON"T DO IT - IT IS A TOTAL SCAM. I needed a $2,293 program for my gums. When I said it was too expensive, she came up with CareCredit. According to the paperwork (that I have in front of me now), I would be able to pay for the program over 24 months, interest free. It would cost me just $95.54 / month. She explained that if I hadn't paid it off after the 2 years, I would owe the deferred interest at 19.99% annual rate.
Knowing I could easily afford that, I signed up. Big mistake. The pamphlet CareCredit put out is very carefully worded to mislead. In fact, everything about this operation is designed to mislead. The pamphlet shows that they offer 3, 6, 12, and 24 month promotional periods of 0% interest and longer periods at 11.9%. The brochure implies that if you are not in good standing, you get a 22.98% interest rate slapped on. What is not clear is how you ever get the 11.9% rate - you go to the 22.98% rate regardless of your credit rating in my experience.
Here is what really happened to me. I got my CareCredit card with the opening charge of $2293. I began paying it off, $200 per month. That was over twice the rate I needed to pay it off over 2 years. I set up an auto-pay and after verifying that it was working, decided to just forget about it and let it run till it was paid off. I never missed a payment and never had a late payment. I always paid more than the minimum payment. I did everything as stipulated!
In reality, it didn't work like I expected at all. After 3 months, the promotional period ended and I was back charged $167 in deferred interest. And then I started accumulating interest on the balance at the punishing 22.98% rate. Just for the record, my credit score is 782-790 and I have an interest rate of 8.9% on my Visa card. I pay off my credit card in full every month. In all my 25 years of credit history, I have never once carried a credit card balance over.
CareCredit is a dishonest money making scheme. The entire operation - from the way local medical professionals sell it, the ambiguous brochures that are handed out, the manner in which customer service operates, and the way in which the program is run is all about deception. You are led to believe you are getting one thing when, in fact, they are setting you up for punishing charges.
I find it shocking that a company like GE puts their good reputation on the line by operating this fraud. The executives of GE Money Bank should be investigated for wrongdoing and thrown in jail. This is a total scam. Hopefully there is a class action lawsuit or some other way to end the fraudulent activity of this company!
There are a number of problems with CareCredit, (CC), none of which parent company, GE, apparently cares to change or address, so consumers beware. The premise of this card is based on whatever CC program your medical/dental/veterinary provider has chosen to participate in. For example, one doctor's office may provide patients a CC plan to charge balances of $300 or more at 0% interest for 18 months. Another office may offer it patients a CC plan of 0% interest for 6 months on charges of $1,500 or more.
At the end of those 0% interest periods, your rate on outstanding balances reverts to whatever astronomical percentage CareCredit has put in place. But the material point is that the CareCredit plan available to patients will differ from one provider to another. This may sound very attractive if you know you will be able to pay the balances in full by the end of the 0 & interest periodsit certainly did to mebut it is also tied to the first issue with CareCredit: How the payments are applied.
If you have multiple charges from multiple providers, all with different plans, you better be keeping track of your payments because CC may not be applying them as you would like. Another complaint on this site alluded to repeatedly contacting the company regarding the reallocation of payments: That is precisely what you will have to do if you want your payment applied to, for instance, the $1,500 balance coming due in 6 months as opposed to the $300 balance coming due in 18 months.
This in itself is a total pain, but making it even more enjoyable is that you get to deal with the unbelievably rude and obnoxious customer service (for want of a better term) staff. These people must have received special instruction on how to enrage their customers in as short a time span as possible.
I've never encountered anything like it before: No apologies for any confusion, no explanations for anything outside of scripted responseswhich they will repeat ad nauseam until you find yourself wanting to scream. There is quite obviously no incentive program in place for CC reps to even ponder customer satisfaction or the lack thereof. And before I go any further, let me just offer the fact that I AM in customer service so I feel totally justified in my criticisms.
Now let's get to the available credit portion of my review. If you set up an electronic payment for any amount of $500 or more, (I'm not certain, but this may also apply to large payments by check), you will see your bank account debited and the payment will be reflected as having been received by CareCredit, but YOUR AVAILABLE BALANCE WILL NOT INCREASE BY THE AMOUNT OF THAT PAYMENT FOR 10 BUSINESS DAYS.
So, using my balance figure examples above, if I pay the entire $1,800 balance by electronic transfer, my available credit will still be minus that $1,800 for the next 10 business daysdespite the fact that CareCredit has acknowledged receipt of payment by actually posting the payment to my account. So if you are using CareCredit for ongoing medical care, this becomes a major problem: You think you are paying balances owed in a timely fashion so funds will be available for your followup visit to the doctor butSurprise! you find that it just isn't the case, and you're left digging out your VISA card.
I always thought I was a fairly smart consumer: This experience definitely proved me wrong on that score! Bottom line--if something sounds too good to be true, it is. Walk away... very quickly. I've closed my account with CareCredit and hopefully, I'm the wiser for the experience.
EL PASO, TEXAS -- To whom it may concern: The purpose of this letter is to file a formal complaint on CareCredit for "TERMINATING PROMOTIONAL INTEREST FREE OFFER" without proper notification. (violation of statue 226.7 of the CCPA). I accepted this credit card only for dental services, with a 12 month term ending 3/11/2010. On the acceptance letter attached to the credit card I received by mail, there was no indication of a cut off time for payment due date. The minimum payment was from $20 to $30 dollars due on the 4th. I paid always around the 15th of the previous month, for the payment due the next month on the 4th and always paid $100 monthly.
In September 2009, I posted my payment on the 4th at 7pm. Not knowing that in the statement in very small letters on the left hand side under "account information" stated "payment due by 5pm", (this note has been moved now after the February/2010 credit amendment, to the right hand side IN BIG LETTERS under payment information). The following month when I see a late charge on the statement, I called and was informed of such clause. I sent a letter of complaint and received a month later a generic letter with a denial for my request to have the late fee reversed.
No other notification of change in terms for my account Then to my shocking surprise on the December 2009 statement, they added $209.35 finance charge. I called and was advised that because the issue with the September statement my promotional "no interest" offer was terminated. I asked why I was not properly informed of such change and they replied that a letter was sent in November. There was no such letter and this is another scam from this credit card company.
I requested to close my account immediately and I will pay off the remaining balance $439.99, that same day as long as the reversed that finance charge. The supervisor I spoke with ** stated he did not have the authority to reverse the charge, that I will have to send my request in writing. There was no other manager or director that could speak with me. I sent a letters that was answered again by a generic response. Stating they regret to inform me that the charges could not be reversed. Never received a courtesy phone call from a human, in order to discuss this matter.
A formal complaint was filed on the Consumer Protection website # **. I paid off the balance on 2/15/2010 before the end of the 12 month contract 3/11/2010. I will continue to fight this fraudulent charge on my account and will file a lawsuit on small claims court if necessary. By the way, last week I did receive a phone call from somewhere in India, asking if I wanted to make a phone payment on the remaining balance. I told the representative to write down on his comment for the call, that I will be filing a legal action against CareCredit and NO PAYMENT!!
I needed a bridge. It was going to cost $2,500. but I would only put half that on this card that I got from the dentist office. The office worker said "It's 18 months w/no interest." Wow, this is just what I would need. I had done that w/ Home Depot w/a small hitch. I call those places to make sure what the rules are so there is no mistake about the terms.
After Home Depot told me the terms, I made the payments and then paid off the remainder before the end of the time period. There was no problem w/Home Depots two credit cards that I had and once I paid them off, I cancelled them so I wouldn't be tempted to buy anymore stuff at the regular percentage rate. So, I hoped that CareCredit would be the same. It was easy to get a credit line of $5,500. online. I assume that even someone who didn't have great credit would probably have gotten at least a small credit line.
I stay on top of these places and I hate credit cards in general, so I didn't think I'd have a problem. I was going to use my equity line of credit w/my bank at 3%. Why didn't I? Nope, I had to be stupid and get the CareCredit Credit Card.
There were problems. When I called the first time, I got an American w/a slight southern accent. She told me that I couldn't pay payments in advance because the company would think it is a principle only payment and then at the regular time, my payment would be due. Can I write "Payment, not principle only payment." on my check?
Nope was the answer. Just don't make them too soon she said. Okay. But with further inquiry I also found out that I had a small window in which to get the payment there, and I had to allow them 10 days in which to make the payment, but it better not be late, during those ten days. So don't send the payment too early or too late. Send it just right.
Okay, I think I can do that. My husband needed an upper plate. So I put an additional $1,100. on the plan. Interest started showing up. Wait, I called to ask why I was being charged interest when it's supposed to be 18 months w/no interest. I get someone from some country who sounded suspiciously like India. The woman said in her broken English, the second loan was not on the special. I said I didn't see that on my statement, nor on line.
She get irritated and said "It is clearly marked on the statement and online. Is there anything else I can help you with." I said "Yes, learn better English." She said "Excuse me?" I said it again, and again "Excuse me?" I thought what part of Learn better English didn't she understand. She said "Have a good day and hung up."
When I looked at my account the next day, an additional $90. showed up I guess because I made her mad, but she had made me mad by stating that it was clearly printed both in my statement and online that no other loan on the account will be under the 18 months, no interest. I took the rest of my balance minus the $90 and paid it off w/a letter that I didn't feel that just because I irritated that woman that I should have to pay the $90. so they took it off. However, I still had a balance of a little over five dollars. I paid that gladly to get them out of my hair.
Now my interest on $1,800 on my home equity loan is less than $4. per month. I should have done that in the first place. Now I've learned my lesson, but wait, there's more. I was talking to my nephew and told him about that experience and he told me he had a very, very similar experience w/the same exact company. And he did the exact same thing as I did. So just go to your bank, not CareCredit, Please.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- Care Credit/ G. E. Financial. They are complete crooks. Extremely deceiving. Judging from the cold tone of their customer service reps, I knew they get these calls all the time disputing their unethical and probably illegal way of doing business- which is why I just searched the internet, which just confirmed that.
I send payments well in advance, but they PROCESS my payments the day AFTER the due date, constantly, to charge MASSIVE penalties... Their bills (for dental care done) are so very misleading- I thought I was paying as scheduled to avoid finance charges, long story short, I wanted to review my account - which I thought I was current on. I called and asked for them to go over my payment history and the customer service person tells me he can only look at my payment history for the last 90 days, anything before is "archived" and I have to write a whole letter by snail mail of course, and wait for a letter back.
He added that if I didn't pay the remaining 500 bucks they allege I owe by the next day (when they ALLEGE) it's due, I would be hit with more charges- 39 late fee plus finance charges as well- EVEN though I'm disputing it! He says the dispute doesn't start until they confirm that they receive and process my letter- what a joke.
I already paid them much more than I borrowed and I CAN NEVER GET A Straight answer from them, other than recommending I write letters... Oh, and whenever you call, you'll hear a message something like "that due to high call volume it can take a long time to speak w/ a rep.." Gee, I wonder why they get so many calls... Do not use care credit. It is a scam. They will suck the life out of you and you will somehow owe them a lot more than you think you will have to pay. Even if you read the fine print with a fine toothed comb. **
CAPE CORAL, FLORIDA -- Hi, my name is **. 33yrs Male, Florida. I have worked since Age 14. Recently I needed a Root Canal. Cost: $1900. In this economy I just do not have it. All in all I need braces... badly & I've never had a cavity until I turned 30yrs old. Anyway, due to my financial status right now I could only afford to get the tooth pulled for $245. I am currently on unemployment and my fiancee works 2 jobs to keep it all together for now.
With her 3 kids and our 1 yr old girl together we're just making it. At the end of 2008 she applied for CARE CREDIT for the kids and was turned down. NOTE: She holds 2 JOBS & is a HOMEOWNER by Private Lender who doesn't report to credit agencies. I myself who has a better Credit Score than she does 662+... 700+ at other credit reporting agencies, was turned down by Care Credit. Therefore resulting in an extraction instead of a root canal saving my rear right bicuspid. YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE THIS!!!
What they don't know is... My fiancee is a Veterinarian Tech who deals with applying with CARE CREDIT on a regular basis. She told me, recently a man came into the Vet's Office with his dog who needed a $300 job done. My fiancee applied for CARE CREDIT for him there in the office and they gave him a $4000. Credit Limit.
THE REASON WHY SHE APPLIED FOR CARE CREDIT: The man stated to her that "He had no money what so ever." "Because he just got out of PRISON serving a 5 YEAR TERM & he didn't have a job at all?" I have credit. I pay my credit cards on time. I've NEVER been arrested for anything!! SO TELL ME... CARE CREDIT... HOW MUCH ARE YOU GETTING FROM THE GOVERNMENT FOR DELINQUENT ACCOUNTS.
FROM PEOPLE YOU KNOW WILL NEVER PAY 1 PAYMENT. I'm not one to point fingers but someone needs to investigate CARE CREDIT's FRAUDULENT ACTS against the American Taxpayer. BERNIE MADOFF WITH MY TEETH. This is one reason why America is in the hole we're in.. RIGHT NOW!
VIRGINIA -- I had Lasik surgery in October of 2006. I set up a financing plan through the doctors office with Care Credit (GE Money). The plan was set up for 48 months at 9.9% financing. In May of 2007 my husband had dental surgery in which I placed the balance of that surgery onto the Care Credit card. My husband's parent were going to pay the balance off immediately so I only set that plan up for 18 months, 0% interest.
In June of 2007 they sent in a payment for the exact amount of the surgery. Well, in December of 2008 I received my Care Credit that had $1,067 of additional finance charges tacked on. Apparently when my in-laws sent in the payment for the dental surgery Care Credit applied that to my Lasik surgery which ended the 48 month financing plan and switched over to 18, 0%.
Therefore, since I did not pay off the balance in 18 months the finance charges were accessed. I have been on the phone with Care Credit many times and they have refused to work with me. I have offered to pay the balance in full before the finance charges were accessed. They refused. If I had known they could allocate the payments wherever they please I would not have used the card to begin with for my husbands dental plan. I don't think that it is fair that I should have to pay over $1,000 worth of charges. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.
***UPDATE*** I received a response from Care Credit/GE via the OTS (fair crediting organization) that they were refunding all of the finance charges that I had to pay ($1,067.67) because they should have never changed my finance plan to begin with because the medical facility never contacted them in writing to do so. The OTS contacted Care Credit/GE Money and I promptly received an appropriate response. Never give up when credit card companies are trying to hassle you.
*UPDATE* I called again to day and informed the company that I had filed complaints with the MD and TX Attorney General's Offices, with the FTC, with the OFS and with online complaint websites. They moved my due day back to what it was before. Thank you all for your sugestions! Please be aware that CareCredit/GE Money Bank has changed their Billing Cycle from a 25 day cycle to a 23 day cycle.
This is a copy of the complaint sent to the Attorney Generals Office of Maryland and Texas: I have had this Credit Card for 11 months (1st payment made on 11/30/2007 and paid early every month since). The due date has always been on the 1st-3rd of the month (almost always the 2nd). My payments are $98.00 but I always pay $100.00 online. My last payment was on 09/19/2008 for the Oct. due date online. At that time it was stated that my next due date would be 10/02/2008.
I always check every bill I have 3 times a month on line to make sure the accounts are OK. When I checked today, 10/23/2008 it stated that my due date was now 10/30/2008. I called (called on 10/23/2008 @ 12:05pm)to ask why this was and was told that a form was sent out with the statements stating that the company was going from a 25 day cycle to a 23 day cycle and that I was informed via my mailed Sept. statement.
When I told the young lady that I don't get mailed statements, I have them emailed to me, she stated the there was a pop up on the site, too and it was to late to complain about it. I told her that there was no pop ups on the Account Page(I check the site 3 times a month). I also told her that his would mean that I would be making *2* payments for Oct. to which she stated, that she was sorry I was upset but that this is how it was now. This really doesn't seem right. If they can change the cycles so arbitrarily, what is to stop them from making it a 15 or 20 day cycle? From forcing us to pay them 2,3,4 times in a month to keep our credit from being damaged?
I requested that my billing cycle be returned to the 25 day billing cycle, that the 2nd Oct. payment be returned to my bank account OR that the payment be used for the next months payment. I don't really expect that anything will get done, but really wished to let others that use this CC know of the billing cycle change so that they aren't hit with a late fee and based interest rate.
COLUMBUS, INDIANA -- I'm writing on behalf of my mother who needed some of her teeth capped due to pain and a strong possibility of losing her teeth without this procedure. Her dentist suggested CareCredit as a means of obtaining credit for a specific time period. Instead of making the minimum $82.00 month payments, she was making $200.00 month payments. Her understanding, and her dentist's understanding was that she would have until the end of August, 2007 to complete payment on her loan. She was prepared to make the final balance payment this month, of $1513.00, since it is currently August 2007.
My mother was absolutely shocked to receive an invoice saying that instead of $1513.00, her new balance was $2704.61. "CareCredit" is not just charging her 28.99% interest on the current balance of $1513.00 that she owes, but is charging her the default interest rate of 28.99% on her initial loan amount, $5000.00 taken out back on 1/25/06.
They have charged her that 28.99% interest on her initial loan of $5,000.00 throughout the entire 18 months, even though she paid more than the minimum amount, and paid on time each and every month. I believe that this has to be, in some way, illegal, and we will be contacting our family attorney to research this matter more fully.
If I could say anything to anyone considering CareCredit, it would be to "run like the wind". They conduct business unethically, and are absolutely aware that they are taking advantage of the consumer since charging interest rates on initial balances already paid is not common practice and was not explained to my mother. She was aware that there would be a higher interest rate on any balance not paid in the 18th months, but not that the higher balance would be applied to the original amount that she has respectfully been paying on time for the entire length of the loan.
I consider this unethical, at best, and illegal and fraudulent, and believe the true intent of the company is to mislead people in need in a desire to make huge profits. This is another example of a company willing to mislead and misrepresent their terms to unsuspecting people, people who believe that companies will behave in an ethical manner. Instead, CareCredit conducts their business, it seems, based on what they must know to be a cruel and deceiving practice of charging interest on already paid past charges.
My attempts to reconcile this problem with a CareCredit Customer Service Representative was met with aloofness and no concern whatsoever to my elderly mother's plight. I will be making it my personal mission to advising everyone I know and I work in the healthcare field) to avoid this company and their services and will tell them the facts of what happened to my mother. My advice to any who read this would be to find a reputable lender whose primary goal isn't to deceive people into deceptive loan terms.