I was listening in on some phone calls this week, and learned a ton about the latest in financing options that Springhill Equine offers to help our clients provide the best care to their horses (I figured we just took cat food and treats as payment, but apparently we offer loads of other choices). Just so we are clear, Teenie and I are happy to continue to work for food (particularly Pounce).

The most exciting thing I learned about was Payment Banc. This option allows our clients to pay via an automatic withdrawal from a checking or savings account. Whether you want to pay monthly or weekly, ANY frequency can be set up – allowing for amazing flexibility. This program allowed one of our clients to perform extensive dental work on a geriatric rescue horse for just $70 down. Our Doctors performed an extensive float, and the horse was finally able to comfortably chew when they were finished. It will save her a ton in feed costs (instead of having that money dropped on the floor of his stall) as we get him back to a normal weight. The client was very excited since Payment Banc allowed her to spread the work over six weeks instead of one lump sum. The Doctors recommended bloodwork to check for Cushing’s disease (PPID) and X-rays of his front feet as well (to check for laminitis). Once the horse has had time to get back in shape, our client will add on to her payments so she can continue to provide the best for this fantastic old guy! This client told me (ok… well actually Marilyn, but I was right there on my cushion!) that application was quick and easy. She said a “soft credit check” was performed, but it did not impact or even register on her credit report. I have no idea what all that meant, but it sounded important to the client.

A second option I heard about in the office was Care Credit. This works like a credit card that is specific for health care providers. Many people apparently already have it for use with their doctors and dentists. Much like a credit card, Care Credit sets a credit limit. You are able to charge up to that limit with your healthcare provider. It is a great option for those sudden and unexpected expenditures – like the late-night colic that always happens just before payday! After you apply online and are approved, Care Credit offers INTEREST FREE payment plans for the first 6 months. Be aware, however, that Care Credit does revert to a large interest rate once the promotional period is complete (just like other similar offers from retailers like Best Buy).  Just like Payment Banc, Care Credit allows you to add on when more services are provided. The biggest difference is the interest at the end. I have heard our clients talk about using Care Credit for major procedures, like colic surgeries or tooth extractions, while Payment Banc works better for minor procedures or routine services.

The last great option I heard about was recurring credit card payments. We are able to set up payments as often as once weekly on Master Card, Visa, Discover, and American Express. One client spread her payments for an extensive lameness evaluation over a two month period, while still earning points on her credit card! This client planned to go to the Quarter Horse Congress this year, and jokingly told us that all the points would help!

I must say, I expanded my knowledge of the many options we offer to make sure our clients can take excellent care of their horses. Our Doctors never want you to have to compromise on your horse’s care on account of your finances! And of course, may your food bowl always be full and your litter box clean!