Will the Credit Crunch Kill Boob-Job Loans?

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In the last few years, Capital One and GE Money both began offering loan programs to help patients pay for pricey cosmetic procedures like breast enlargements — and now, some doctors worry there will be fewer such loans. “Breast augmentation on average in New York costs $8,000 to $12,000,” says Upper East Side plastic surgeon Jennifer­ Walden. “We have a steady stream of patients who are borrowing to go through with the surgery, usually young professionals who don’t necessarily have a large amount of expendable cash, as a 60-year-old woman on Park Avenue might. It’ll be interesting to see if they’ll still be doing it.” Another surgeon, John Perrotti, has seen an uptick in loan applications as patients have less cash, and Capital One confirms it’s still writing new loans. “We’ve tightened standards and are taking a closer look at our underwriting,” says spokeswoman Pam Girado. And Healthcare Finance Management Association V.P. Richard Gundling says loan applications are getting more scrutiny. “It’s back to the old days: They want more documentation — your W-2, your 1040,” he says. “They might want employer information to call the HR department to find out if you’re truly employed.”