When obesity begins to overwhelm aspects of your life, it’s time to do something about it. Diet and exercise aren’t always enough, especially when the amount of weight that you need to lose is significant.

Bariatric surgery can transform your physical self and your lifestyle. However, who among us has the cash to pay outright for a procedure that could cost upwards of $20,000? For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of 17 ways to afford weight loss surgery.

Health Insurance

Health Insurance is the obvious solution to paying for weight-loss surgery. While many insurance companies do in fact pay for bariatric surgery, make sure to check the details of your policy including what’s covered and what isn’t. The deductible, pay percentage, and other details are critical to know. Thousands of dollars could be at risk. For those who aren’t insured or whose insurance won’t cover the procedure, keep reading for even more ideas.


The conventional thought behind affording goods and services that you can’t pay for outright is that you should save. As a society, we save for vacations, upcoming school expenses, and holidays, and you can easily transfer this thinking to affording your bariatric surgery. Your health and well-being should be a priority, and this surgery can enhance both. The amount of time required to fund your surgery might seem unrealistic, but by skipping the small luxuries, you’ll be surprised by how much you can save in a short amount of time.

Crowd Funding

Crowd funding is the new solution to raising funds. We’re largely a charitable people, and givers get greater satisfaction from giving to causes they relate to. If you choose to go this route, sites like GoFundMe are the route to take, but you should bear in mind that posting follow-ups and messages of thanks will provide better outcomes. You never know how much encouragement you could provide to others in a similar situation to our own!

Health-Savings Account

If your insurance is designated as a High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), you can open a Health Savings Account (HSA). This account will allow you to set aside money on a regular basis to save for medical costs. Not only will this money be non-taxable, you can also roll it over from year to year!

Flexible Spending Account

Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is another type of account used to save for medical expenses. While this account allows you to avoid taxes when initially deposited, you may have to pay taxes when the money is used unless it’s for an approved medical purpose. This money will not roll over from one year to the next or from one job to the next.

Personal Loans

Taking out personal loans to finance your bariatric surgery is an option as well! Even with less than stellar credit or a lengthy credit history, borrowers can find help with companies such as UpStart, LendingClub, or similar institutions. They may ask for other relevant information including education, other assets, and job history to evaluate the potential for repayment. This sort of unsecured lending will generally come with higher interest rates as well.

Home Equity Loan

If you’re a homeowner, you likely have a valuable asset that you can use to secure funding. The equity in your home is the value of your home minus what’s left owing on your mortgage. Securing a second mortgage in the form of a Home Equity Loan provides a one-time large sum that you’ll then repay monthly at a fixed rate within a fixed term separately and distinct from the original mortgage.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)

Another way to use your equity is to take out a Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC. In general, this financial product will allow you to borrow up to 85% of your home’s equity in a revolving fashion. It will have two periods: one for spending and one for repayment. During the initial period, you will be free to spend as you’d like up to the credit limit, even paying down the balance and re-spending upon the line of credit repeatedly. This type of borrowing could be useful because you’ll have funds to pay for expenses as they occur and limit your borrowing to the amount needed. With any kind of equity lending, you must be aware that your home is the collateral and up for foreclosure should you fail to repay what you borrow.

Liquidate Assets

Prioritizing your health should mean being willing to sacrifice valuable possessions in the process. If you lack sufficient funds to afford your weight loss surgery, you might consider liquidating some assets. Perhaps you have a boat or recreational vehicle that’s rarely or never used. Maybe you’ve inherited some real estate, jewelry, or other valuable item. Instead of holding onto them for sentimental reasons, consider liquidation in order to fund your bariatric procedure. For multiple items or high end items, consider an auction or consignment, and for general stuff, look to Craigslist or community Facebook trade sites.

Fundraising Efforts

Fundraising within the community may very well be another great option for your weight-loss surgery. Your friends, family members, and neighbors will happily contribute to your fundraising efforts. Your return to health and participation in family and community are goals that all in your community can embrace, and those who love you will be grateful for the opportunity to contribute to your goal. Bariatric surgery can quite literally save your life, so make sure that those who love you understand why you want to pursue it.

Payment Plan with Facility

Some bariatric facilities offer payment plan options! You can set up a monthly payment with a set amount of interest. Your terms will likely depend on your credit and the amount needed for the procedure. If interested, you should call your chosen doctor’s office and ask whether setting up payment arrangements is an option.

401k Loan

Saving for retirement is clearly important, but making it to retirement in a healthy, happy condition is even more important. By borrowing against your retirement savings, you can finance a procedure that will make it possible to overcome illnesses like Type II diabetes, manage other weight-related health conditions, regain mobility, and enter retirement with a positive attitude.

Care Credit

care credit card is a form of borrowing specifically for medical expenses – including dental, prescriptions, and even vet costs. It will allow you to have your weight-loss procedure and then pay for it over time. Since this lending arrangement is especially designed for medical expenses, you’ll have an easier time with the application process. Your interest rate, as always, will depend on your credit score, income, and other relevant factors.

Credit Cards

You can add credit cards to your stack of funding options to facilitate your weight-loss procedure as well. Make sure that you evaluate the interest rates and other terms to ensure that the juice is worth the squeeze.

Tax Return Refund

If you’re one of the many Americans who treat the income tax system as a way to save a bundle yearly, tax time might be the right time to have your weight-loss procedure done. Rather than waste the cash on clothes, furniture, and other extras, consider spending it as an investment in your health, confidence, and future.

Unexpected Windfall

Sometimes money falls in our laps. Perhaps you play the lotto, win a settlement, or have an unexpected inheritance. These situations, and those like them, provide an opportunity to put your money where your mouth is. What are your true priorities? Take care of yourself in order to be able to provide your best self for every situation.

Travel to Mexico for Less Expensive Procedure

Finally, perhaps the best solution is to travel to Mexico for your weight-loss procedure. The administrative costs are so much lower that facilities and doctors are able to require less for the procedure. The convenience, safety, and cost make it a great option for weight-loss procedures. Do as much research is necessary to find comfort with the idea. Yearly, hundreds of overweight men and women find an affordable and safe solution with a bariatric procedure in Mexico.

Being obese is more than a physical struggle. The condition affects everything from confidence in relationships to promotions at work and success socially. If diet and exercise aren’t working and the amount of weight to lose seems impossible, a bariatric procedure can be the solution.

Affording the procedure doesn’t have to be another challenge that you can’t overcome – even without insurance coverage. Whether you find one of these 17 ways to afford weight loss surgery helps or whether you compile an assortment of sources to fund the procedure, budget for the occasion and plan ahead for a successful and non-stressful experience. Your future will be bright when your health, confidence, and lifestyle become the priorities, and you commit to doing what it takes for a life-transforming weight-loss procedure.