A New Wrinkle In Plastic Surgery – Soon you might be able to pay for a nose job the same way you pay for a car. The entrepreneur who brought us the Ollie North doll is pushing a plan that would let you walk into a plastic surgeon’s office and get financing for your operation on the spot.
The idea, devised by John Lee Hudson of Hudson & Hudson in San Francisco, is to pay off a loan of up to $10,000 over 18 to 60 months at credit card interest rates – 18% to 21%.
That’s more than the going 15.5% rate on an unsecured bank loan. But Hudson argues most people are queasy going to a bank to get a loan for plastic surgery. So, he says, such operations are mostly for the wealthy.
“This opens up cosmetic surgery to a whole lot more people,” says Joanie Hansen, business manager for Dr. Gregory Dowbak of Modesto, Calif. Last month Dowbak’s office ran radio ads promoting the new service and got 400 inquiries.
So far 100 surgeons – mostly in California, Colorado and Florida – have signed up for the plan, which is underwritten by Norwest Financial Inc. of Des Moines. This week, Chrysler First Inc., a finance subsidiary of the car company, will begin test marketing the plan.
The American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons is considering whether to endorse the idea. A society poll of 865 people showed 36% interested in a financing plan – up from 25%.
How it works: You fill out a credit form while sitting in the waiting room. The nurse calls the bank or finance company for approval, which takes about an hour. The bank then mails you a coupon book so you can begin monthly payments.