Compared to workers in other professions, doctors have unique and complex financial situations. A longer path to starting a full-time position, large student loan balances, and specialized insurance needs can make personal finance challenging for medical professionals.
As March 30 is National Doctors' Day, CommonBond and LeverageRx have joined forces to offer some monetary advice for the medical set. For doctors that will be entering full-time practice shortly, here are four tips to get your personal finances started off on the right foot.
Know Your Worth
Incomes for doctors vary widely between specialties and geographies. The more information you have at your disposal, the more likely you are to be able to negotiate a higher salary with a potential employer. In order to find the average income for doctors in your field and area, make sure to use all of the resources at your disposal, including Doximity's Career Navigator and MGMA's DataDrive Provider Compensation Data. Additionally, many recruiting and placement services will provide compensation data to doctors in order to help negotiate the best possible employment offer for their clients.
Save Money on Insurance by Teaming up with Colleagues
Physicians and dentists that are considering purchasing disability insurance can save money by applying for coverage with friends or colleagues. Many insurance companies offer discounts to groups of three or more people applying for physician disability insurance, which can help doctors save up to 25 percent on their premiums each year. For doctors, this often results in savings of over $600 per year, which can be used to help pay back student loans quicker.
Take Advantage of Exclusive Mortgage Loan Programs for Doctors
One of the benefits of being a doctor is access to special low-down-payment mortgage programs, often called physician loans. These types of mortgage loans have more flexible guidelines for borrowers with student loans and do not require mortgage insurance. Instead of using savings for a bigger down payment, doctors can use their funds to pay down higher-interest-rate debts, such as those associated with student loans and credit cards.
Refinance Your Student Loans
Doctors incur $166,750 in debt on average during the course of their educations, one of the highest amounts of any career field. Years of expensive costs add up, and as a result, many medical school alumni end up paying back loans for decades after they graduate. Thankfully, they can refinance their loans, a process which allows them to take out a new loan (at a lower interest rate) to replace the ones they have outstanding. This lower interest rate is key to saving money over the course of repayment â€“ in fact, doctors who refinance their medical school loans with CommonBond save an average of $30,051 on the overall costs of their degrees.
Ask any doctor, and they will tell you that the joys of the profession are incomparable—but that doesn't mean the financial stresses aren't still very real. If a medical practitioner follows these four tips, though, they'll soon see that every day can be National Doctors' Day.