Debt-riddled new doctors struggle to buy into practices

Newly qualified doctors are struggling to buy into practices because they are overburdened with debt, accountants say.

Some lenders have refused young GPs loans, and others are imposing tougher checks before agreeing to lend.

Jeanette Brown, a partner at accountancy firm Dodd & Co, warned this may leave some retiring GPs unable to sell their share of a partnership.

Loan refusals were the first practical consequences of heavy student debt, she said.

A BMA study this year found final year students had an average debt of £22,821.

Ms Brown said in recent months she had advised two young GPs who hoped to buy into a practice but struggled to secure bank loans.

One bank asked for profit projections to be demonstrated, which she said was unprecedented in her experience.

‘While many banks are still open for business as far as doctors are concerned, new partners may find their requests for buy-in loans turned down if they already have a combination of student loans, credit card debt and large mortgages,' Ms Brown said.

‘It's a commonly held misconception that only low earners get into financial difficulties.'

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