Good news for chiropractors: Chiropractic business loans don’t need to be a pain in the neck. It’s an easy joke to make, sure, but it’s true—finding financing and small business loans for chiropractors may actually be far easier than you think. For one thing, you have lots of options for the kinds of small business loans for which you can apply, each of which fits a different need for your growing (or just-started!) business.
And many chiropractic offices do end up seeking financing at some point in their life cycles, whether that’s to help finance expenses such as payroll and overhead, the purchase or upgrade equipment, or pursuing growth opportunities. There are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider chiropractic practice financing that go beyond getting set up or upgrading your office. Odds are good that you might not even realize that you can get small business financing for a project you’ve always looked to take on—or expenses you’ve been wary of paying to make your practice grow.
The world of small business financing is vast, and different loan options abound. Finding the right small business loan for chiropractors might even feel like a daunting process. We’ll go through the different types of chiropractic business loans, other chiropractic practice financing options, and help you understand the criteria you need to evaluate the options.
One thing you’ll find as you’re looking into chiropractic business financing is that you have different options for the type of loans available. Which is good news—since one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to financing your business. Lenders have developed different kinds of loans to support different business needs. There are many more options for getting financing that go beyond asking a bank for a load of cash.
Finding the right chiropractic practice financing means knowing your needs and plans for that money. You may even be able to save a couple of bucks along the way by picking the right financing option. As you go through the options for the best small business loans for chiropractors we list below, keep in mind what makes financing the right fit for your business:
There are a few things to specifically pay attention to when evaluating your business financing options.
First, you’ll want to think about how you want to receive the money. Some business loans show up as a lump sum of cash that gets deposited into your business bank account. Others work like a credit card, enabling you to access capital up to the top of an approved line of credit. And others still work to finance specific expenses, particularly with regard to fixed assets. Choosing the best type of financing for you involves understanding what, exactly, you need to finance and the way in which you’ll be purchasing whatever it is.
Next, how quickly do you need the money? Speed is key in the appeal of some small business loans—but, sometimes, you’ll have to pay a premium for the ability to access capital quickly. And then, as you might expect, some loans that take more time are less expensive (and have other benefits, too).
Finally, your credit score has a big bearing on the kinds of financing you can apply and qualify for. Understanding your personal credit score and business credit score is key to getting a sense of the chiropractic financing options that are available to you now, and that you might want to apply for in the future.
Now, let’s go through the options for chiropractic business loans. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all of the small business loans available, but we’ve specifically curated this list based on the unique needs of chiropractors and their office operations.
Considered the gold standard of small business loans, SBA loans offer a great deal to small business owners. These loans are dispersed by lenders, generally banks, but guaranteed up to 85% by the U.S. Small Business Administration. That’s good news for applicants, because this lessens the risk of lending for financial institutions, which enables them to lend for competitive rates—among the best available.
SBA loans are available as either term loans (what you’d think of as a “traditional” business loan in which you receive a lump sum), or business lines of credit (which work similarly to a credit card; more on that below). Depending on your needs, you’ll likely be most interested in the SBA 7(a) program, which is the most popular SBA loan, and enables entrepreneurs flexible access to working capital.
A couple of caveats to these great small business loans for chiropractors: First, their competitive pricing means that they’re very popular and difficult to qualify for. You’ll need several years in business, strong revenue numbers, and a high credit score to qualify. Additionally, these aren’t quick loans, and can sometimes take months to secure approval for.
If that last part about time frame doesn’t fit your chiropractic practice financing needs, but you’re interested in a flexible working capital loan, you may want to look into small business term loans.
These, too, are traditional small business loans for chiropractors. But you’re able to get your hands on them much faster, sometimes in as little as a couple of days. They’re a bit more expensive as a result, but if you need the capital faster, these chiropractic business loans may be worth the premium. Business term loans generally have repayment periods of 18 months to five years, and payments are usually made monthly.
Cash flow is a common issue for chiropractors, who have overhead costs, office staff, and other expenses that are vital to keeping things running. If you’re running into cash flow issues and need cash to (perhaps literally) keep the lights on, a business line of credit is an excellent option for chiropractic practice financing.
As we briefly mentioned above, a business line of credit works like a business credit card, though you work with a lender instead of a credit card company for approval. Like a credit card, you’re able to spend up to a certain amount—your approved credit line—for almost any kind of purchase. A business line of credit is hugely flexible in this way, enabling you to spend on emergencies as much as opportunities. The biggest benefit of this type of loan is that you only have to pay interest on what you use.
How are business lines of credit different than business credit cards? The two most important things to know are that credit lines are generally higher and interest rates are generally lower. Not a bad combination. These loans, too, can be doled out quickly if you have your qualifying paperwork ready.
Perhaps you’re setting up your office, or upgrading your existing gear. That could be anything including tables and other practice supplies, or business essentials such as computers. In this case, equipment financing could be a great fit for you.
With equipment financing, you present a quote to a lender for the equipment you want to finance. Then, working with them, they can approve you to receive the cash you need to make your purchase. This kind of financing is specific to fixed-asset purchases; it’s not a flexible working capital loan like, say, a term loan. But because the asset you’re financing works as collateral for the loan, this can sometimes lower the premium on the loan, or make it easier to qualify for with regard to your credit score.
Additionally, if you have all of your ducks in a row to apply, you can secure this kind of chiropractic business loan very quickly. Often, that happens in as little as a day. This can be a huge boon for businesses that don’t have time to wait for their loan approval, and need access to cash as quickly as possible.
We’ll be straight with you: It’s not super easy to get business financing if you’re starting a business. That’s mostly due to your financial profile. With a lack of revenue history and time in business, it’s hard for a lender to assess your risk and how likely you are to repay a loan. Lenders aren’t always willing to dole out loans to people and businesses they don’t know—in this case, your credit and business histories tell this story and convey trustworthiness.
In a case where you’re seeking chiropractic practice financing, you may want to consider starting with a business credit card. Particularly, if you can gain approval for a 0% introductory APR business credit card, you can use this as a tool to make purchases for a fixed period of time—often longer than a year—and pay no interest on your purchases.
In this way, these 0% intro APR business credit cards can be used as really vital tools to help start your business. Just make sure you pay off the balance before the 0% APR period ends, otherwise you’ll have to pay your standard credit card interest on anything left over. Credit card interest rates tend to be more expensive than other loan types, so you won’t want to be on the hook for them just because you didn’t repay your balance before the introductory rate ended.
One final benefit of these cards is that, with regular repayment on time and in full, you’ll be able to build up your credit score. That’s necessary to open up your options down the line for things including business loans, and other business credit cards with perks. The more good examples of trustworthy credit usage, the more you’ll be rewarded with—you guessed it—future borrowing opportunities.
For many of these loans listed above, the application process is fairly easy. You don’t need a ton of documentation. What you’ll need to show a lender is dependent on whom you apply through; they’ll let you know what they need. Still, it’s helpful to be prepared to provide any or all of the following, since it’ll speed up the approval process:
Although lenders themselves will pull your credit score, it’s important that you have a general sense of what it is, because it’ll either open up different loan types, or preclude you from others. Plus, knowing your small business’s credit score is always a good figure to have in the back of your pocket. This score does more than grade your history with credit, it also helps you understand your candidacy for loans in the future. And, if it’s unnaturally low, you can follow up and make sure there’s no fraud associated with your accounts.
The one exception to this is SBA loans. These loans require a significantly higher number of documents that include business licenses, personal financial history, SBA-specific forms, and more. That’s one of the reasons it takes such a long time to apply for these loans—and don’t be deterred if you don’t get everything together on the first try (most people don’t!).
The best way to find the right chiropractic practice financing begins with understanding what your business needs. Once you can align your financing needs with the available options, you can go into the loan-seeking process better informed and less likely to pick an option that breaks your back with heavy interest payments and other less-than-generous terms. Thankfully there are heaps of options available to you, and the loan application process is typically painless. Not too bad when you’re in the business of getting people lined up.