Vision Loans Program Marks 200th Loan to Preserve Private Practice Optometry

RANCHO CORDOVA, Calif. and DALLAS—The Vision Loans program, a practice transition program funded by VSP Vision Care, Essilor of America and Vision One Credit Union, reported that it had provided its 200th loan to an optometrist via the plan that is designed to help independent ECPs purchase private practices and successfully transition practices for retirement.

Since its inception, the Vision Loans Program has provided more than $65 million in loans to support 200 doctors, many of whom once worked at retail centers and wanted to make the transition into private practice optometry, a statement said, noting, “The Vision Loans Program lends money to independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) who want to purchase outright or buy into an existing practice, fast-tracking their entre into ownership. The innovative program also provides an exit strategy to long-time, successful optometrists looking to monetize the years and efforts they have taken to successfully build their businesses.” In 2012 both Essilor of America and VSP Vision Care deepened their commitment to the program by increasing funding by $10 million.

“The partnership with Essilor and Vision One supports ECPs and fulfills a need in the market,” said Stuart Thomas, OD, chairman, VSP Global Board of Directors. “The desire to own a practice is at the core of becoming an eye doctor, and Vision Loans has been a consistent resource to ECPs to be able to achieve this dream.”

“Vision Loans’ unique features, along with our 60 years of experience with optometric practice transition lending have provided a higher probability of success for new practice owners,” said Bob Schultz, president and CEO of Vision One Credit Union. “Vision Loans practices have successfully endured, and in most cases, flourished in the face of the great recession. As a result, our loan applications have increased substantially each year.”

“Faced with new market challenges and increased competition, programs like Vision Loans ensure that doctors have the opportunity to own a practice, build wealth and better compete in a landscape that continues to become more complex,” said Howard Purcell, OD, FAAO and senior vice president of Customer Development, Essilor of America. “Additionally, the Vision Loans program provides retiring doctors with an effective way to sell their practice, while assuring that the business they have worked so hard to build will continue to serve their community for years to come.”

Vision Loans provide funds for first-time buyers interested in partnership buy-ins, practice purchases, down payments in conjunction with seller financing up to 100 percent of a private practice and practice refinancing available for debt used as initial startup or purchase or a private practice.