After you begin to practice dentistry, you will seek advice from advisors in all kinds of arenas: legal, accounting, financial and more. You will rely on the advice of these key advisors to make wise and beneficial decisions. Therefore, not only is it important that you form a “team” of dental-specific advisors to help guide you during your entire career, but it is important to understand the areas in which risk management will be imperative to you as a practitioner.
Why might you want to think twice about refinancing your student loans through a private lender? Here are some things to consider when determining if refinancing makes sense for you.
For many of us, dentistry is our dream career. It’s what we have spent years preparing for. While the application process is meant to provide dental schools with the information they need to determine how amazing you are as an applicant, there is a degree of financial investment that must be taken to get your information to your dream dental school.
As a busy mom myself, one of the phrases I hear most from others (and think often to myself) is “I don’t have time for this.” It is natural instinct to “push things to the back burner” if they do not require your immediate attention. However, making a financial plan while in dental school and after should receive the same attention as practicing dentistry. This can be difficult when you are prioritizing a career that you have invested so much time and money in. However, if you do not prioritize your finances along with your dental practice, you may find yourself quickly approaching an inflexible financial situation when you least expect (or least need) it. Making a financial plan may not come naturally to you, as you have focused years on dentistry and not finances. Most dental schools offer very little (or nothing) in the way of financial education, which makes it even more important for you to be financially proactive yourself.
Perhaps you are a dental school graduate with large sums of debt and you find yourself with no choice but to enroll in an income-based repayment program for your federal student loans. In many cases this could cause your payment to drop from around $5,000 a month to under $1,000. The difference in your payment typically causes unpaid interest to accumulate separate from your outstanding principal (the amount you originally borrowed).
Your annual interest is based on your outstanding principal. So if you borrowed $450,000 of student loans and your interest rate is 6.5%, your annual interest is $29,250. If five years has gone by and you accumulated $100,000 in outstanding interest, you are still only being charged based on your original principal amount.
So…you graduate from dental school and you want to buy a practice. You know what state you want to practice in, but not much else; they didn’t teach you the business side of dentistry after all! So where do you start?
I talked to a student recently who graduated dental school a few years ago with $300,000 of student debt (a figure some of you would be happy to have!). For a variety of reasons, she hadn’t worked in the last three years and spent some time overseas before that. Her outstanding debt is now closer to $450,000. In just a few years her outstanding debt increased 50 percent. What happened?