Pasadena’s petcare financier Scratchpay now offers lending options for human health and wellness

Scratchpay, the Pasadena, Calif.-based provider of petcare financing plans, is now offering lending services for dental, optical and chiropractic care for humans in a broad expansion of its services.

The expansion into human health and wellness was always on the company’s roadmap, according to chief executive John Keatley, but those plans accelerated as the company saw the cresting wave of the COVID-19 pandemic head for the United States.

The company now boasts 7,000 petcare practices and 1,000 human health and wellness practitioners on the company’s financing network.

“We provide short term financing through simple payment plans. We have a product called Take 5 which is a totally free buy-now-pay-later product at the vet or at the dentist,” said Keatley. 

Scratchpay makes its money off of the no-interest Take 5 payment plan by charging a fee to the practices that offer the service. For dentists, vets, optometrists and other service providers the payment plan provides a way to up sell patients on additional services. The company also offers more traditional lending products with interest rates in the high teens, on average, according to Keatley.

For years, the only provider in the patient lending market for pets and people was a company called Care Credit, which offered a high interest credit card, Keatley said.

By contrast, Scratchpay offers a more straightforward approach. Each transaction requires a single approval for a specific dollar amount, instead of the credit line that Care Credit offers, he said.

So far, the company has made around 100,000 loans through its service. Keatley wouldn’t disclose the default rate for the business.

“When we first launched Scratchpay, our goal was to get more pet parents the care they needed using fair, affordable, and transparent payment plans,” said Caleb Morse, co-founder and chief operating officer of Scratchpay, in a statement. “Today, we’re expanding our vision to include other verticals where many patients have historically been underserved in terms of their financing options. We want to help create a world where everyone has access to the health services needed to live healthy, happy lives. The incredible speed of adoption we’re seeing in dental, optometry, and many other sectors in healthcare gives us confidence that we are on a path to make that vision a reality.”