While in many ways society is more liberal and open than ever before, there are still some things that are considered taboo. In Australia, the ‘last taboo’ is widely regarded to be finances. We can talk about the intimate details of our personal lives, are happy to plaster things all over social media regardless of who might see them at a later date, and don’t care who knows if we’ve undergone cosmetic surgery or if we’re considering it. Yet, when it comes to money, we’re still reluctant to bring up the subject.
Perhaps the problem is that people think “talking about finance” means asking people how much they earn. For some, there is still a stigma attached to personal loans, where they feel that looking at a personal loan or payment plan shows they don’t earn enough or have enough saved to be able to afford something. In reality this may appear as a myth today and many Australians now realise the opportunities taking out a personal loan may bring them.
Many people also feel as though they don’t know where to start when it comes to introducing the topic of finance into a conversation.
Thankfully, it doesn’t have to start with “how much are you earning?” and you have plenty of other ways to introduce finance into the conversation.
You might be more comfortable talking about how you’re thinking of undergoing a cosmetic procedure. If this is the case for you, then introducing finance into the conversation is simple. Discuss the procedure you’re considering with friends, and then say “but I’m unsure how I’m going to cover the cost.” This will inspire your friends into discussing finances with you, and you will get a range of opinions from saving up the money, using a credit card, or taking out a payment plan. Some of them might even mention MacCredit!
If you have already made your decision around cosmetic surgery and have decided on a payment plan, mention to your friends that you’re weighing up your options and mention some places you have looked, be that MacCredit or elsewhere. It’s likely you’ll get some recommendations or names of lenders your friends think you should avoid, which is always helpful information to receive!
For those of you not thinking of cosmetic surgery or applying to MacCredit, but still wanting to discuss finance with friends, simply ask about a financial scenario, whether or not you’re really thinking about doing it.
Some options for you to introduce into the discussion are:
Once the conversation is flowing you can easily change the finance focus to something you really want advice on!
Whether it’s news about the economy, something around financial regulations, or how much is going to be spent on a new building or government project, finance is always a popular topic in the news. Start the conversation by asking friends what they think about that day’s big story, or give your opinion on something you’ve read or watched yourself that day.
Again, once the conversation has started you can easily ask your own questions. Talking about the news is an easy way to introduce finance without immediately asking something relevant only to you.
Use these tips to introduce finance into a conversation with friends can help you to quickly have the discussions you want, particularly if there’s something you really want to know but don’t just want to ask outright.
Remember that your friends are likely to be more than happy to discuss finance with you, so ask what you want and take everything you need to from the conversation.
Disclaimer: This article contains general comments and recommendations only. This article has been prepared without taking account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before taking any action you should consider the appropriateness of the comments made in the article, having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. If this article relates to the acquisition, or possible acquisition, of a particular credit product you should obtain and consider the relevant disclosure documents before applying for the product.
If you’re considering undergoing a cosmetic procedure, or indeed any type of voluntary surgery, one thing you may not give much thought to is the time of year that is best to have your operation. However, many surgeons now say that scheduling your surgery for the cooler winter months from June to July may aid your recovery.
Here’s three reasons why this is the case.
This is two benefits in one due to the connection between the two, but how does this help you when recovering from an operation?
First, we all know about the damage the sun can do to our skin. When we are recovering from surgery, that is when our skin is at its most vulnerable, as scars start to heal and our skin starts to recover. If we overexpose ourselves to the sun at this point, it can lead to surgery wounds taking significantly longer to heal. There is also a higher risk of infection, while in some cases the sun can damage scar tissue to the point we’re left with permanently damaged skin. Fewer hours of sunlight in the day and the less intense nature of the sun in the winter means your skin enjoys the best chance to heal.
Where do cooler temperatures come into play?
For many, while they will choose to undergo cosmetic or another type of voluntary surgery to improve their look and their confidence, while recovering it can be daunting to be seen with swelling and bruising. The cooler temperatures mean that we’d be more likely to be wearing more layers and keeping ourselves covered up when we’re outside anyway. People have fewer days out in the winter, too, so you can take the time to relax indoors, put the heating on, and take the time you need for your recovery.
While more Australians than ever are holidaying abroad, with many of them heading north of the equator to South East Asia during the Australian winter, undergoing your surgery in the winter gives you the chance to enjoy a so-called “staycation” and take a trip to somewhere local instead.
We all know that taking the time to rest and recover in the short term leads to better results in the long-term. Choosing winter surgery may also mean that your social schedule is less busy, allowing you to easily take all the time you need to recover. This all means that you’ll feel less stress, which itself is known to lead to a longer recovery time! From going to the airport to making sure you’ve invited everyone to the barbecue, choosing a winter operation means you miss out a lot of these common problems to help you focus on what matters.
On top of this, ensure you take on board any specific guidelines from your consultant that will also aid your recovery.
Who wants to spend the summer months recovering from surgery, to find that once they’re fully recovered it’s gotten colder and is starting to rain a lot more? By opting to schedule your surgery for the winter months, you will usually be able to ensure you have recovered, or at least got through the main part of your recovery schedule, before the summer, enabling you to take a summer holiday and enjoy the best weather of the year.
Don’t discount the positive impact deliberately choosing the timing of your surgery can have on your recovery. Consider opting for a winter procedure to enable you to recover more effectively, and get set for next summer!
Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery
An increasing number of Australians are choosing to undergo surgery overseas. While for some patients their primary concern is the cost of their treatment, others may choose to undergo minor surgery while they’re on holiday, or have other reasons for choosing an overseas treatment option.
Here are our four top tips for ensuring you have a great experience and increase the likelihood of seeing the results you want from overseas surgery.
Research is always important when you’re planning to undergo surgery, even more so when you’re planning on travelling abroad for treatment. You should be looking for a clinic with a demonstrable record of providing the treatment you are looking for, while also ensuring they are accredited against Australian medical standards*. MacList contains details of accredited overseas clinics and doctors in addition to those situated in Australia.
By doing your research, you ensure you are exposing yourself to the highest standards of treatment and aftercare. If you need a second opinion, simply use MacList which will reduce the time you spend trying to locate other suitably qualified and accredited practitioners.
Depending on the type of surgery you are undergoing, you may well be told to take it easy for some time after leaving the clinic and travelling home. While you will usually be asked to ensure you’re not travelling alone, it is still better if you travel as light as possible as the chances are you’ll need to move around a bag or a case even for just a small amount of time. Buying a lightweight case that has wheels and is easy to maneuver around should be considered a must, too.
In terms of what you’re going to pack, there are two things to consider:
While you will get advice from your surgeon in specific instances, in general the best thing to do is to opt for loose fitting clothing, which will keep you comfortable both from a climate and a post-surgery perspective.
What would you usually pack in your travel essentials? You need to take more or less exactly the same range of items, and double and triple check to ensure you have everything you need. You also need to consider taking additional items to ensure that you’re going to be both comfortable and entertained while you are recovering, particularly if you will be remaining overseas for a period of time before returning to Australia.
Add the following to your checklist:
When you have your consultation and then confirm you wish to go ahead with your treatment, ensure you listen closely to what you’re told about what you need to do in terms of your recovery and in the days immediately following surgery. As you’re going to be overseas, this is even more critical than usual – if there’s something you need it isn’t as simple as getting a family member or friend to bring you something.
Speak with your overseas doctor and ensure you have a routine in place for your time abroad after your surgery as well as your flight home. You should also make prior arrangements for any aftercare you require when you’re back in Australia.
Being well prepared will ensure you are set up for a comfortable recovery and reduce the potential for complications.
Remember that you can find accredited overseas clinics using MacList, and fund your treatment using a MacCredit payment plan. MacCredit offers a range of payment plan options including refinancing, ideal if you need to borrow more in future to pay for additional treatment or another visit to your overseas clinic.
*Make sure your surgeon is accredited by the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)
As the popularity of cosmetic and other types of voluntary surgery increases, so does the range of locations where you can undergo such procedures. As such, the range in cost, as well as the quality of surgery and aftercare on offer, is also starting to vary to a greater extent.
Overall, the saying “you get what you pay for” usually rings true when it comes to a cosmetic procedure. While you can never guarantee that spending a lot of money will give you the outcome you desire, it’s almost certain that if you opt for cheap surgery you may regret it, and probably end up spending far more in the long-term fixing the initial result.
Fixing botched surgery can take a long time and cost a lot of money, not to mention the potential impact on your confidence and overall psychological well-being. In some serious cases, it may be impossible for problems to be fixed, leaving you with the legacy of cheap surgery for the rest of your life.
It should be stressed that it isn’t the case that when we say “cheap surgery” that we’re only talking about clinics overseas, either. There are plenty of places in Australia where you can undergo cheap surgery should you choose to do so.
When we write about tips for researching into a specific procedure or clinic, one of the big focus areas we always seek to highlight is that patients should be looking for and asking about the qualifications and experience of the doctor they’re consulting with.
A doctor may be able to perform many procedures for specific surgery types at a cheaper cost. Even if these doctors are able to provide you with inspirational images and testimonials, what you don’t know is how the end result will look on your body. You can have a very subtle scar and look great, but that still doesn’t mean the surgery is final and you may require further surgery. Some surgery problems may not make themselves known for many years after you’ve undergone a procedure.
Cheap surgery from an under-qualified surgeon simply isn’t worth the risk.
Instead of adopting a mindset where you decide you’re going to undergo surgery from the cheapest provider, be sure to choose only an accredited surgeon first and foremost, and once you have received your quotes and spoken to a handful of them you can make a decision.
While it is likely you have spent plenty of time researching the procedure you are considering undergoing online, you may not have the first idea where to begin when it comes to finding an accredited clinic or doctor.
If you are someone who needs help in this regard, then MacList may be able to help. MacList brings together a collection of clinics and doctors in your local area that offer the procedure you’re looking for. You can then view the websites of these clinics, book initial consultations, or contact them with any questions you may have.
If you’re still concerned about covering the cost of your surgery, don’t be tempted into undergoing cheap surgery that could ruin your life. All of the clinics listed on MacList allow you to use a MacCredit payment plan to pay for your treatment. Once you have used MacList and attended your initial consultation you can apply for a MacCredit payment plan here, or contact us on 1300 884 355 to discuss your options.
Cosmetic Surgery, Medical Treatement, Plastic Surgery
Checking your credit score and report should be considered a ‘must do’ prior to applying for any type of credit. From large credit applications such as a mortgage or a MacCredit loan, down to mobile phone contracts and utility bill accounts, your credit file will be checked to assess whether you can be relied upon to make timely payments.
When you check your credit file, you will:
By doing this, you will put yourself in a great position for ensuring you are approved for credit in the future, whenever you need it and whatever the reason for needing it.
Australia’s credit bureaus like Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet are options you have for checking your credit file.
Numerous factors affect your credit file. Here is a rundown of both the widely known and lesser known factors, and some tips for ensuring your credit file always paints a positive picture of you from a credit perspective.
Making Late Payments
The most basic obligation you have when opening any credit account is to make your repayments on time. Although creditors can only place a notice of late payment on your credit file if a payment is 14 or more days late, do not allow this to lull you into taking a carefree approach to making repayments.
Defaults and Other Infringements
If you do make late payments and these are logged on your credit file, if you do not take action to get your account up to date you may default on your agreement. If you then still fail to repay the money you owe, further financial sanctions could follow. Depending on the extent to which the situation escalates, you may find yourself subject to a court judgment or even bankruptcy proceedings.
All of these outcomes, if they occur, will be logged on your credit file and make it very difficult for you to acquire credit in the future.
How do you avoid this?
By making all your payments on time, and by being upfront and honest with your creditors if you ever reach a point where you are starting to struggle to meet your debt repayment obligations.
Information and sanctions around late and missing payments are factors that most people know can influence their credit file.
What are the factors that are lesser known but that could be helping you unintentionally damage your credit score?
Your credit file contains information on all the credit enquiries you have made in the last five years. If you have made a significant number of enquiries within a short space of time – for example more than three in the last six months – this can reduce your credit score.
Repeated credit enquiries are interpreted as a desperation for credit, and may be a sign that you are a credit risk. Although it is tempting to apply for credit with a different lender if you are declined – different lenders have different criteria, after all, so you might have a better chance of being accepted elsewhere – you should check your credit file, ensure it is correct, and only apply again once you’re more sure of being accepted.
Payday loans can cause havoc with your credit file. Despite what payday loan providers say about building your credit history by using them, any benefit of repaying a payday loan on time is massively outweighed by the damage done by using them. A payday loan is a sure sign of short term financial need and potentially an inability to manage your finances. While you might be able to apply for further payday loans without any problems, when it comes to acquiring other types of credit you may struggle to be accepted.
Banks and finance providers that offer mortgages and other types of credit may even refuse an application on the grounds of you having used payday loans within a specific recent period. If you are having short term financial difficulties, look at other solutions before turning to payday loans, as they could have a dramatic effect on your ability to acquire credit in the longer term.
Make it a regular and on-going financial habit to check your credit file and ensure all the information held is up to date and correct. Be aware of these factors and how they can affect your ability to acquire credit, and you’ll find you are usually able to access credit whenever you need to in the future.
Whether you’ve only just started giving serious thought to undergoing cosmetic surgery, or you’ve made your decision and are now looking for a clinic and surgeon, the reality of whatever treatment or procedure you’re looking at is that a successful outcome begins with your initial consultation.
When you find a clinic or surgeon and go for your consultation, this is your opportunity to ask as many questions as possible, to put your mind at rest about any concerns you may have, and to understand everything there is to know about what’s going to happen. The answers to these questions will help you to understand whether cosmetic surgery is right for you, and also whether that specific surgeon or clinic is where you want to undergo your treatment or procedure.
Here’s the five most important questions you should be seeking answers to during your consultation.
Believe it or not:
While this sounds incredible and unbelievable, it means that you need to take charge of finding out what qualifications your surgeon has, and the accreditation level of the clinic you are visiting. Find out how long the surgeon has been working in this field, when they qualified, and ask about their experiences. On top of this, ask questions about the clinic and its history.
When asking these questions, be sure to make it clear you’re asking specifically about the procedure you’re considering for yourself. Many doctors may be trained in cosmetic surgery but be far more experienced in dealing with some operations than others.
While the answer may depend on the location of the clinic as well as the popularity of a specific procedure – breast augmentation for women is far more popular than ‘man boob’ reduction for men, for example – ideally you’re looking for plenty of specific and recent experience in carrying out the procedure you’re considering.
If you’re visiting a clinic or a surgeon that specializes in what you’re looking for, then you can be confident in a positive outcome for your own treatment. As well as asking the question, many surgeons and clinics will have a portfolio of before and after pictures of patients. Ask to look at these too to understand what the outcome of the treatment may look like for you.
This question is an important one both for putting your mind at rest but also so you can understand the anesthetist cost that will be incurred on top of your surgery. Once you have the details around anesthesia – and perhaps have some different options if there’s flexibility and choice – you can move forward happy.
We would recommend:
Although cosmetic surgery is more popular than ever before, some people still don’t realise the impact the post-treatment stage can have on your life. Even if you are undergoing a relatively simple procedure, you could have a period of weeks or even months afterwards where you need to take things easy or avoid certain situations.
Ensure you ask about specific restrictions and rules you need to stick by. Ignoring your doctor’s advice at this stage can lead to complications and even illness depending on your procedure.
When it comes to recovery, don’t base your expectations on something you may have read online. We’re all different, and as such your doctor will give you a tailored recovery plan. In some cases, for example should you be undergoing bariatric surgery, then you’ll be given a very specific plan of what you should eat and when, as well as other guidance to ensure a safe and speedy recovery.
Listen carefully to the guidance you are given here; if you need to take extra time off work for your recovery, for example, then you may need to schedule your treatment for a later date.
Before committing to any surgery, you need to know the cost. Your initial consultation will usually be free, but after that your pre-surgery appointment, as well as the surgery itself and the anesthesia, will need to be paid for. When asking this question, ask to what extent any post-treatment visits or follow up treatment is covered in the cost. The last thing you want to do is to pay out $10,000 for a procedure and then have a future unexpected bill for $3,000 in a few months’ time for something you thought was covered under the initial cost.
With MacCredit, you can take out a payment plan that suits you, while you can also find accredited clinics and surgeons using MacList.
Be sure to ask these questions and explore your options to ensure you find the best clinic and surgeon to meet your needs.
*Reference: Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc.
When looking for a personal loan to cover your medical expenses, it’s easy to make mistakes, especially if you’re hastily looking for a loan to help you pay an unexpected medical bill, or if you’ve had a quote for treatment that’s thousands of dollars more than you thought it would be but need to act fast.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest personal loan mistakes you should avoid when thinking about how to cover your medical costs.
When you want to get something sorted out quickly, it is tempting to just accept the first thing you find or are offered. If you do that when looking for a personal loan for your medical expenses, you may end up repaying thousands of dollars more than you need to or taking out a loan with a company that doesn’t really care about you.
Unfortunately, buyer’s regret won’t count for anything if you have a payment plan that lasts for seven years, and you find a better loan just after the one you accepted hits your bank.
Follow these golden rules for shopping around:
Remember that with MacCredit we provide you with a range of payment plan options to cover the cost of your medical bills, while you can also use MacList to find clinics and doctors near you that provide the treatment you are seeking.
It is easy to check your credit file and ensure that all the information held on it is correct, and if there’s any incorrect information held on there, it’s quite straightforward to resolve, too.
You should really check your credit file before you apply for any type of credit. Not only do you ensure the information that’s in it is correct, but you also can then go and apply for loans with a degree of confidence that you’ll be accepted.
Despite the personal loans industry being more heavily regulated than ever before, there are still some lenders out there who offer ridiculous repayment terms that have the potential to put you in difficulty.
Look out for the following:
If you find yourself needing to take out a loan quickly you’re more likely to fall into one of these traps, so remain diligent and again, take your time and ask all the questions you need.
Lenders usually take the flak when it comes to not lending responsibly, but it’s up to you to be a responsible borrower, too.
With this in mind, you should spend some time putting together your own financial plan so you can understand what you can afford. Think about potential changing circumstances, too. Do you have a variable rate mortgage, for example, and what would the implications be if your mortgage repayments increased? Likewise, if you opt for a variable rate medical loan or payment plan, what tolerance do you have for the payments increasing should interest rates go up?
Remember that irrespective of whether you’ve borrowed irresponsibly or the lender has lent to you irresponsibly, ultimately it is your credit file and your credit score that will be damaged.
Avoid these common mistakes when it comes to finding a personal medical loan, and you’ll find the best plan for you that enables you to save money and enjoy fantastic customer care while being able to undergo the treatment you need.
Did Christmas and the New Year put paid to all the fitness work you did during the spring and the early part of the summer? If you fell off the wagon in dramatic style then fear not, for you weren’t alone.
At the same time, just because autumn is here and it’s getting darker, colder, and raining more often, that doesn’t mean you need to kick back and forget what fitness feels like until spring is here again. How can you keep your exercise regime moving throughout the autumn to ensure that you’re beach ready in a few months when things brighten up again?
Many people who don’t stick to an exercise plan fall off the wagon for that precise reason. It’s a plan, and sometimes sticking to a plan and to a routine is boring.
During the autumn months, if you plan to go for a run in the park every morning, but end up cancelling when it rains or is cold, you’ll quickly fall out of any planned routine.
This means you need to change it up.
Instead of having a plan, when you wake up and it’s warm and the sun is out, take the opportunity to take your exercise and go for your morning run then. If you know you need to exercise but don’t enjoy running, walk to the next bus stop in the mornings and evenings. Another great idea is to take a walk during your lunch break at work. Not only does it avoid you doing email while you eat and gets you moving, if you work long hours lunchtime might be the only time during autumn and winter that you see daylight, so take advantage and boost your mental as well as your physical health.
If you haven’t been to the gym or done anything especially active for a couple of months, it’s really important that you don’t over compensate and start doing twice the volume of activity you were before. The key to getting in shape is to ensure you push yourself without overtraining. If you’d run five kilometres before, then start running five kilometres now, or maybe even less.
You’ll soon be back into the swing of things and feeling fitter and looking better. If you go for it too hard you’ll end up injuring yourself and end up not being able to do anything for another few months.
Our biggest enemy can often be the scales, and a lack of weight loss can often see us pushing harder and getting injured, similar to what we looked at above.
To get around this, you simply need to stay off the scales.
Instead, think about how you feel, and how you look, and go from there. Sure, once you’re feeling and looking great you might want to adapt your diet or cut out certain foods in order to lose weight, but for now you should avoid being a slave to the scales.
Having fallen out of the exercise habit over Christmas and New Year, autumn and winter can be the perfect storm for getting even more out of shape. Look around the office. You’re probably not the only one feeling like you do. Ask your colleagues what they’re doing fitness-wise this autumn. Suggest going to the gym together, or motivating each other on those sunny mornings when you could walk to work instead of catching the bus.
You could even have a friendly bet on who will give up first, or who can jog home from work the quickest at the end of the week – doing it on Friday is a great idea as it stops you going for the end of week work drinks that inevitably turn into a big night out.
Summer is gone, the days are shorter and colder, so you have the perfect excuse not to exercise during the autumn.
Forget all that.
Instead, put these tips into practice to ensure you feel great all throughout the autumn and winter and can head straight to the beach in the spring!