My dentist clients keep mentioning that they are receiving calls from loan brokers (read loan sharks) pushing financing deals for buying dental equipment. The calls come regularly and the brokers leave voice mails saying that they have these great loan deals available for dentists.
When the doctor calls back and speaks to the broker, it always turns out that the broker is sketchy on details of the loan, interest rate and terms. The broker also tries to convince the dentist that the loan documents should be signed at once or the deal will be gone forever.
All these are classic signs of a scam artist trying to take advantage of a doctor who might need money for whatever reason.
I did some research and found a very interesting article in Bloomberg Businessweek which explains this shady business and the characters involved in it. Businessweek article describes how these loan shark operations are working these days and one possible reason for the spike in such aggressive selling of high interest loans to dentists.
Since the usury laws which prevent charging of unconscionably high interest rates to consumers do not apply to dental practices, these unsavory brokers, many of them convicts of a litany of financial crimes, are targeting dentists in higher numbers.
The bottom line is that dentists are considered one of the safest bets by legitimate lenders like big financial institutions. I have been told by many loan officers at the big banks that the default rates of dentist loans is less than one percent nationally, which is one of the lowest of any profession in the US. Therefore, these bigger banks, along with the smaller regional ones and some local community banks, are keen to lend to dentists for purchasing practices and equipment.
Hence there is no reason to get involved with shady operators.
The best practice is to have all the paperwork ready and pursue a loan with an established financial institution. It might take a bit longer to get approved but in the long run it is much more economical.