Thinking about opening your own Chiropractic Office? As you start to consider your location, design, management practice type, etc., you also need to think about the money you will need to open your practice. Understanding your financial requirements is a multi-faceted subject that requires research and involves several steps. Unfortunately, the finances necessary to get up and running are quite often considered much later than they should be.
The first step towards financing your Chiropractic practice should begin ideally 18-24 months before your actual need for financing. You must establish your credit worthiness.
Know your Credit Score
It is your GPA in the credit world. It is a numerical calculation based on the statistics found in your credit files. According to the experts today: 760+ = Excellent. 725-759 = Very Good. If you are below 725 – you will have a harder time getting credit. If your score is below 620…it might be impossible.
Get Copies of Your Personal Credit Reports
You can obtain your credit report and credit score for free once a year from the following agencies:
Once you have received your credit report, the first thing you should do is review it in its entirety. This will allow you to confirm it’s accuracy and report errors to the credit bureau. Errors can be common so don’t underestimate the importance of this step. Also you can request comments be added to your “Note” section of the report to clarify and/or document activity reported.
Next, confirm any late payments reported and make an effort to resolve the situation that triggered this negative entry in your credit file. You do not want any late payments in your credit report at least 12, but preferably 18 months prior to receiving financing for your Chiropractic office.
Analyze Current Debt Balances
Verify what your current debt balance is in comparison to your credit limit. As an example, when the outstanding balance on your credit cards exceeds 50% of the credit limit this will dramatically affect your credit score in a negative fashion.
Beware of credit scams and identity theft. This is extremely common among high paid individuals and occupations, especially people with credentials listed beside their name, such as D.C. This is a source by which identity thieves sort for prospects. Students can also be prime targets and may be preyed upon due to a limited or non-blemished credit history. We recommend looking into a fraud credit protection plan to provide early detection of fraudulent activity and to avoid undo financial hardship.
Repair Your Credit
If you have already incurred some credit blemishes and are struggling with debt payment, we recommend, if you can, avoiding credit counseling services that consolidate your payments into one. These types of programs tend to provide debt relief, but as a result cause significant strikes on your credit report that will prove problematic for you in the future. Loan/debt consolidation from a local reputable bank can provide a source to stabilize and re-build your credit properly.
Prepare Your Finances
In closing, as you are approaching the date when you anticipate opening your Chiropractic Office –we recommend 18 months out—you should:
- Reduce your debt to the minimum
- Limit your credit accounts to two sources, each with low balances compared to your allowable credit limit; i.e. no more than 50% of your credit limit, preferably no more than 25% of your credit limit
- Always pay your bills on-time (at least 2 to 3 days before due date)
- Live under your means and save for your future
Once you have mastered these steps, you will be poised and ready to start the process of securing funding for your new practice.
One dependable source to learn more about your credit score, identity protection, and a host of other valuable credit related info is www.myfico.com.