29 Nov 2019 | Uthman Quick

3 Ways to Finance for Dental Equivalency

How to save and finance for your Dental Equivalency process

Canada’s dental equivalency process is a huge opportunity for foreign-trained dentists to make a life in Canada practicing the occupation they love. Dentistry being one of the highest paying professions in Canada, a dentist is most certainly going to have a lucrative career once they successfully complete the dental equivalency process. However, this opportunity comes with a few challenges including the financial costs involved in completing this process. 

While estimating the costs involved, an internationally-trained dentist needs to consider several factors. The first one being the exam costs and registration fees which amount to anywhere between $10k to $15K CAD. Following the exam fees, one needs to consider the fees for training courses, practice and equipment costs. Adding these to the basic living expenses for yourself and your family, the costs continue to add up. 

With an investment that can easily go up from $60k to $75K CAD depending on the number of attempts one needs to pass the exams, it is not very surprising to see dentists with excellent educational credentials and years of dental work experience choosing alternate routes like dental hygiene or dental assistance. These choices not only slow down the pace of your dental career in Canada but may result in a huge missed opportunity. 

At Prep Doctors, we recognize these challenges and have taken a number of steps to try to make financial information more accessible. For the past year and a half, we’ve been working with micro-lending initiatives to start focusing on foreign-trained dentists. More recently we’ve been in talks with a number of financial institutions – encouraging them to build offers that are catered to Internationally Trained Dentists (ITDs). The culmination of these efforts is the recent ITD Banking Bundle from CIBC which is exclusively for trainees who are either Canadian Permanent Residents (PR) or Canadian Citizens. If you haven’t received your PR yet and are on another visa status, don’t lose hope – as we have some options for you too. 

Here are the main three types of financing opportunities available: 

1) FCR Loans Programs

Foreign Credential Recognition (FDR) loan programs are funded by the government. The interest rate on these loans varies but it is usually around prime + 1% to 2%. FCR loans provide a line of credit of up to $15,000 CAD and are paid back like normal loans. Subscribe to our email list, to find a list of FCR Loans programs and consultants we have worked with in the past. 

2) Govt. Approved Private Lending Organizations   

These loan programs are administered by private organizations and are partially funded by the government. The loans are up to $15,000 CAD and the interest rate is usually prime + 1% to +2%. These loans are recommended for candidates who want to build credit and eligibility for future loans. Subscribe to our email list for a list of Govt approved private lending organizations and their loan application requirements.

3) Private Banks – CIBC’s ITD Banking Bundle

This loan is a new and very welcome addition to the options available to dental equivalency candidates. The loan provides a line of credit of up to $100,000 CAD and bundles it with some attractive offers including a free-of-charge bank account and a visa credit card with a $10,000 CAD spending limit. The interest rate is the lowest among all the options mentioned above at a prime minus 0.25. This program is in its very initial stages, so please confirm with the bank managers about any changes or updates. Subscribe to our email list for contact details and the list of requirements for this loan.


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