What Credit Scores Should You Expect From Your Patient Population?
Many patients appreciate being able to pay for their dental care over time, especially if they don’t have the cash on hand or want to keep their credit utilization percentage below the recommended 30% mark.
For instance, let’s say you have a patient who could benefit from a full arch dental implant procedure. Your patient wants the treatment. You’re ready to provide it. The only thing that’s standing in the way of improving the patient’s life is money. That’s where financing comes in handy.
Here’s the tough part, though: Whether you offer in-house financing or access to a third-party financing company, you have to deal with the reality of credit scores. Everyone has one, and some are better than others. Above all else, you need to understand what to expect so you can manage your patients’ expectations, too.
Average Adult Credit Scores in the United States
Credit scores remain one of the strongest indicators of whether or not a person fits into the profile of “good credit risk.” The scores themselves typically range from 300, which is very poor, to 800 or greater, which is exceptional. The dividing line between “good” and “bad” credit hovers around the 670 mark. People whose credit scores dip below 670 tend to be categorized as “subprime,” which means they are at greater likelihood to be denied access to loans and revolving credit vehicles that do not require collateral.
Interestingly, the average American leans toward a score of just above 700. However, that doesn’t mean that half your patients will have great credit scores and half will have iffy ones. Credit scores vary quite a bit depending upon a number of factors, including patient demographics. A young patient just starting out in the workforce will likely have a lower credit score than a senior who has worked for years, owns a home, and has built up a positive credit legacy. Therefore, while it’s helpful to know national averages, the average credit score of the patients at your practice could be much higher or lower.
Do Patients With High Credit Scores Care About Financing Dental Services?
Now that you have a better perspective on what to expect in terms of patient credit scores, you may wonder if it’s even worth talking to some patients about financing. After all, wouldn’t someone with a very good credit score of very good or exceptional just pay out of pocket or with a credit card? Not necessarily.
Most people with high credit scores have diversified their financial portfolios. They have investments. They own property. They contribute to an IRA. In fact, they might have enough cash to bankroll anything from a single dental implant to comprehensive full mouth restoration treatment. But most don’t want to spend their cash on dental procedures. They want to finance their healthcare costs, instead. For them, saving their liquidity and enjoying flexibility is more important than saving on interest, particularly now that rates are so attractively low.
The Bottom Line? Tell Every Patient About Financing.
Knowing this information, you’ll want to make sure that you take credit scores into consideration but not let them stop you from talking about your great financing choices upfront. Based on our company’s internal surveys, patients across all demographics expect you to introduce them to financing packages. Whether they can expect to pay $5,000 or $30,000, they’ll look to you and your team to help them figure out how to pay for the care they need to feel better, look better, and improve their overall wellness.
Certainly, your overall goal is for patients to pay in full for their procedures whenever possible. That’s easier on everyone. But if that’s not a possibility, being able to set up patients with three or even four financing vehicles improves your chances of delivering treatment. Including for patients with credit scores that don’t look so great.
Without a doubt, the opportunity to scale your business doesn’t always come down to just engaging in strategic digital marketing. (Which you should absolutely do!) It also comes down to helping your patients see that they have choices other than to bring you cash or a check. If you can increase the number of revenue-generating dental services you provide on a consistent basis, you’ll stay ahead of the competition. Plus, you’ll be able to do more of the life-changing treatments that make you know you’ve chosen the right career.
Dental specialists interested in learning more about Progressive Dental Marketing's award-winning services and continuing education seminars are invited to contact the dental marketing company in Clearwater, FL. Progressive Dental Marketing can be reached by calling 727-286-6211 or by visiting progressivedentalmarketing.com. Or feel free to explore our website and the several case studies we have!
If you are interested in hearing more from Bart Knellinger, come to one of our upcoming dental continuing education courses. Visit boostfullarchcases.com today to reserve a spot for you and your team!
Progressive Dental is more than just a marketing company, we are a company located in Clearwater, FL dedicated to dental practice growth. Our team was founded on creativity, collaboration and hard work. We are constantly evolving and are passionate about providing the best suite of dental marketing services for our clients. They are the reason we jump out of bed!