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600k in loans is the new reality for many students

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by forum432, Apr 6, 2012.

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  1. forum432

    forum432

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    so i did some calculations with my finaid dept based on cost of attendance (coa) of my school and since i have no money for anything, i will have to loan out pretty much the full cost of attendance; at my school coa is 80k, and based on rapid rising tuition rates, in subsequent years the coa could be 85k, 90k, 95k if im lucky. since interest starts accruing immediately at around 8%, when i graduate we calculated the total loans for each year would average around 105k, multiply that by four for each year of med school and we get around 420k in debt after med school, and with an interest rate of 8%, by the time i would finish residency in four years the final debt would be 570k! they said there are no federal loans which postpone interest unless i do primary care loans which when we did the calculations would come out to only 350k after residency, this might actually make me consider primary care... any thoughts?
  2. Finches

    Finches

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  3. blizzah

    blizzah

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    Don't go to med school if you are that put off by the loans then
  4. Ineedhopenow

    Ineedhopenow

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    Oh man, I hope you're wrong OP. I don't want to be in debt until I'm 50.
  5. forum432

    forum432

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    anybody else do estimations with their financial aid department?
  6. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    why did you change your name user00?
    show your full calculations
  7. UrshumMurshum

    UrshumMurshum

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    If it gets to $500,000+ I'm going to Vegas.
  8. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    Then don't. If you're a trad student, you're out by 26. Do the 10 year repayment by going to an under-served area and be debt free by 36.
  9. Praefectus

    Praefectus MS-0

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    Or work in a non-profit or public hospital. Then your debts can be discharged in 10 years.
  10. Northwesterly

    Northwesterly

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    If the OP takes the full COA all four years (I'd advise against this, if possible) and doesn't pay a cent towards those loans during residency, then yeah, 600K doesn't sound wildly too high as a ballpark figure.
    Re: Triage's suggestion, it's been talked about pretty frequently here, but I wouldn't want to bet my financial future on loan repayment programs being around a decade from now. 50/50, maybe?

    The moral being, if you're going to be paying an expensive school's entire COA with unsubsidized loans, you might want to think twice about this whole med school thing.
    Silent Cool likes this.
  11. Hipster

    Hipster

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    600k??? I mean I want to be a doctor and everything...

    But the people who are saying "dont be a doctor then", doesn't money matter at some point?
  12. druggeek

    druggeek

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    150-200k is definitely payable if you make a solid physician salary but 600k is just ridiculous (and nonsense).
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    There's a difference between being able to service debt and being able to pay off debt. With very high loans, you may be able to still service your debt on a doctors income and live a modest middle class existence. If you really like being a doctor, this should still work.
  14. DavetheMD

    DavetheMD

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    There is the MD/Phd route or the military. In my eyes time will always outweigh money.
  15. DAPI

    DAPI

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    Interesting... Please elaborate or point to source
  16. MT Headed

    MT Headed snow, PBR, and bears Lifetime Donor

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    https://www.google.com/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=public service loan forgiveness

    Also, even if you don't enter public service, you can discharge your student loans after 25 years of payments, and the maximum payments are 10% of your discretionary income.

    So it really wouldn't matter if medical school costs a billion dollars a year (and I'm sure Tufts will be charging that in a few years, lol). You simply pay a 10% surtax on your discretionary income, let the principle and income accumulate uncontrollably to the trillions of dollars, and then after 25 years stop paying them.

    Fundamentally, people are worried that servicing their debt is going to put them into the poor house. But that has never been the case, and never will be the case. If you can't even afford 10% of your discretionary income to service your debt, you must be making, what, $24K as an attending? Even residents make more than that!
  17. pkwraith

    pkwraith Avatar of Boris

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    I'm pretty sure that the 25 year debt forgiveness is taxable income (and for good reason). Good luck to anyone paying the taxes on trillions of dollars of 1099-C debt forgiveness.

    People should just stick to the public services IBR.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  18. Lunasly

    Lunasly

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    With all due respect, Law2Doc, but don't you think that doctors are at least entitled to live a lifestyle better than that of a middle class worker? Don't get me wrong, I want to service my community, but not at the cost of all that schooling and debt.
  19. ElCapone

    ElCapone Mafioso In Training

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    Even better: Run to a country w/o extradition.
  20. Morsetlis

    Morsetlis SGU MS-4

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    Please start compiling a list.
  21. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    I think this is completely unreasonable. Given the years of training and sacrifice involved, earning just as much as the guy with no degree is completely unacceptable. I don't say this because I'm after big bucks, but think about it. You spent about 12 years of your life in school + Residency. That's 12 years of not really earning money. If by the time you get out you're the same as Joe next door, you've lost 12 years of potential retirement money (and the pay raises involved in 12 years), so actually the middle class lifestyle involves earning less than the guy next door. When your job requires greater sacrifices, you should be earning more.
  22. mipp0

    mipp0

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    It's about the PATIENTS and SAVING LIVES bro. The fact that the junkie down the street spit at you, called your wife something scandalous, threatened to kill you, then got on his knees and offered to service you for more pain medication, threatened to kill you after you refuse and offer him some advice on community resources, and then will be back at the free clinic/you home/hospital/etc. the next day is WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. Because we LOVE our patients and we believe that we have the power to make a DIFFERENCE. The money is an added bonus, and it's a small bonus.

    Srs man, if med school were 20 years on min wage, I'd still do it.

    You are so wrong on so many things, it's baffling.

    Go look in the mirror and be ashamed of yourself.

    Law2Doc back me up on this man.







    ...Law2Doc?
  23. Poisson

    Poisson

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    I bet there are programs out there for loan repamement if you go into a certain specialty, or practice in an area with a lack of physicians, I could be totally wrong but there is a reason that show Northern Exposure I think had the doctor having no loans for practicing in Alaska for a time. If you want me to be completely honest, I think writing medical marijuana recommendations (if this is OK in your beliefs) would set you on track. CNBC had a marijuana special that had a family practice doc said he made 1M USD in a cash practice for his first year of work in Colorado. Just throwing out ideas, nobody wants ~600K in debt. It's a shame that doctors sacrifice so much, and have to face this kind of money issue.
  24. chemhead123

    chemhead123

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    I don't think that is realistic at all.
  25. +1
  26. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne

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    Ahhhh, the wonderful stench of the "sense of entitlement"...

    Triage & Lunasly you guys need to grow up a little and realize that just because you think you should have something doesn't mean that you are guaranteed to have it or even deserve to have it. I'm sure you've heard it many times but apparently it bears repeating: Don't go into medicine for the money.

    If you are interested in money, go into work in the financial/business & or technology worlds.
  27. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    I know, right? The audacity of wanting to be justly compensated for a decade of higher education and training -- it's simply ridiculous! They should consider themselves lucky to even be alive, to even feel the relentless pressure of half a million dollars in nondischargeable loans.
  28. JJMrK

    JJMrK J to the J Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    Your situation may vary, but you probably won't need to take out the full COA. If you're single and don't have any outstanding expenses, you probably only need ~15-20k over the cost of tuition. In other words, unless the tuition at your school is $60,000/year, you are probably overestimating the amount of money you need. Sit down and do the calculation based on how much you actually need per month and see what you come up with.

    If you do that and arrive at the same figure, I would strongly consider HPSP or not attending at all. Personally, there is no way I'd pay that much money for any education; I certainly would not be in medical school right now if I were looking at that much debt on the other side.
  29. SchroedingrsCat

    SchroedingrsCat

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    Easy solution: Just don't do it if you can't get into a cheap school (30k/year tuition max and not in NYC/Chicago/etc) and if you racked up >100k loans in undergrad.
  30. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    No one should have to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt for an education.The current system is quite frankly broken. We are fast reaching the point where only the very rich will be able to become doctors. Sure, there will always be people who are willing to go a half million dollars into debt to attend medical school without truly understanding what they are getting themselves into, but those smart enough will realize that the cost has grown too high and will simply not bother.

    And if you really think public service loan forgiveness, etc. will be available for doctors, then you need to wake up. Those loopholes will be closed if the program even still exists by the time you would benefit from it.
    Silent Cool likes this.
  31. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne

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    Alas, "justly" is in the eye of the beholder. Just because someone chooses to have that much loan obligation does not mean that they should not be held accountable for that financial decision. And yes, it is a choice to attend a high cost school (even if it is the only one to which a person has been admitted). Delaying application to medical school so that an individual can move to and work in a better location in order to qualify instate tuition in a very instate friendly state (say Texas) is just one of the novel means to reduce their COA. Choose to apply to schools with lower tuition rates, OOS friendly rates &/or the ability to change residency after M1 (such as in Ohio)...

    Choosing to attend schools (both UG & DO/MD) with a price tag that results in enormous debt should really be considered foolhardy... This whole topic reminds me of the Popeye character Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today."
  32. auburnO5

    auburnO5

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    Wow some of you people ITT are crazy.

    You know one of the reasons I'm going into medicine? To make good money. And I'm going to do just that.
  33. circulus vitios

    circulus vitios

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    Rather than recognize out of state medical school tuition as an incredible racket, you blame the medical students who "chose" to attend the school because it was, most likely, their only acceptance. Could you be any more of a sycophant? :laugh:
    Silent Cool likes this.
  34. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne

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    I'm not blaming anyone for their choices, just them not accepting the consequences of their actions. If an individual decides the benefit of becoming a doctor is worth the cost of education at a high priced school then kudos for them and I really hope they have both professional and personal success. They have made an informed decision based on the facts. However, being willing to take out exorbitant loan amounts because someone would pay anything to become a doctor and then subsequently piss & moan about having that ridiculous debt is just being a whiny little -----...

    Also, I think you need to read up on what differentiates IS/OOS tuition rates at most schools - taxpayer monies. How is this a racket if OOS people & their families haven't been contributing to this funding source?
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  35. Caprica6

    Caprica6 I call it Vera

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    What loopholes? My understanding is public service loan forgiveness is a program specifically created for it's stated purpose. And why wouldn't it exist if it was only created five years ago? Also, if they didn't want it to be used by physicians they wouldn't have made graduate loans eligible.
  36. tenndoc

    tenndoc bringer of sarcasm

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    this is why i bought lotto tickets last week.
  37. mvenus929

    mvenus929

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    So, you live a high middle-class lifestyle for 10 years (or less), that debt disappears, and suddenly you have that 10% to chuck into a retirement fund that'll probably grow significantly faster than that middle class worker.

    This is how the system works now. If you don't like it, work to change it and put off entering the field until it suits you. Of course, then you'll have lost even more time to live that high class lifestyle.

    There are plenty of fields where you sacrifice a lot of time, and come out of it not making anywhere near the salary of a physician. So, I really don't feel that entitled to a large income.
  38. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus

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    LOL no. It has nothing to do with saving lives and helping people. That's a nice side effect sometimes, but it's certainly not the goal. Nobody expects you to be Mother Theresa helping lepers. However, speaking as someone who came from a different lucrative gig and happily moved down the food chain to residency and pauperdom, it's really not about the money. You need to find what you enjoy doing. If you love what you do, and it pays enough to maintain an adequate lifestyle, that's huge for many people. So yes, if you can service your debt and other bills/obligations and you actually enjoy what you are doing then you probably have a better life than the guy who earns twice as much but hates his job. Some of us nontrads have already lived this decision. Now that doesn't mean if you find a gig you love and it pays well you should turn it down, but I think it does explain why some folks who assume crazy debt may still have their head on straight. I think yes, if your job allows you to reasonably cover debt and living expenses it's viable. Not ideal, but viable. It's like being a "starving artist", or a part time actor/full time waiter -- you aren't making it rich, but if you are paying your bills and doing what you enjoy at least part of the time, you are ahead of most of the planet that suffers their existence for a paycheck.
  39. link2swim06

    link2swim06 PGY-1

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    Four years of med school shouldn't cost 50K let alone 600K. Little has changed in the past 30 years....back when it average debts were ~10-20K.

    Someone is getting rich off our debts...
    Silent Cool likes this.
  40. SoundofSilver

    SoundofSilver

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    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=891442

    Here you go. Read the article linked on the first post of that thread.

    The program was never intended to help doctors. It was enacted back in 2007 before the financial meltdown and the talk of fiscal austerity that permeates political discourse in this country today.

    As stated before, people really need to understand what they are getting themselves into when they go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt in a profession with an uncertain future in terms of reimbursements. You can't go in expecting a debt bailout waiting for you down the line.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  41. kpcrew

    kpcrew Removed

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    When you can't declare bankruptcy to discharge the loan and the federal government provides a ton of money, obviously tuition will go up to the maximum possible. It's pretty much guaranteed money for lenders while students get to go into a period of indentured servitude. The situation with gas prices is similar; people do not have a lot of leeway in their driving habits so the demand for gasoline is relatively price independent, letting oil companies charge as much as they want.
  42. Caprica6

    Caprica6 I call it Vera

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    Thanks for the link. My understanding is that there are three likely options to close this loophole, only one of which would make it a completely unavailable option for physicians, the other two would make the amount forgiven substantially less.

    I'm genuinely interested in these programs because I see myself going into one of these sectors regardless of the loan forgiveness. It's become more relevant as of late because I'm sitting on three wait lists, one for a very expensive school, if that's the only school I get into, I will be attending (cost for the expensive school initially wasn't a factor because I applied MD/PhD and was transferred to MD-only after the interview).
  43. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    But don't you think at minimum a doctor should earn enough to have a comparable retirement to those that do other jobs requiring less?

    This idea that medicine should just be about joy to me is nonsensical. When you have a world where you get paid for being drunk on TV (Jersey Shore) or manipulate markets and fire people (Businessmen like Mitt Romney), I think doctors and people that actually do important things should be paid more. It's this perpetual lie that they feed pre-meds about money not being important at all and this and that which has driven this profession into lesser reimbursement.

    So yes, job satisfaction is important, but it doesn't make getting paid less acceptable.
  44. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD

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    I'm planning on attending a DO school, so I calculated that I will have 380-430k in debt by the time I finish, depending on which school I attend. I, too, am very concerned about the loans and after extensive thinking and searching, I realized I have three options:

    1. Join the military
    2. Loans
    3. Forget medicine

    Since life is too short and I know that I won't be happy doing anything other than medicine, option three is ruled out. I love military medicine, and I think it would provide me with an opportunity to serve my true country, not the one that I was born in, but the one that provided me with honor and respect. However, being a husband and a father made me realize that I won't be happy being away from my family, so I put this option on hold, didn't rule it out completely. Now, I'm left with one option, loans. Knowing that in five years I'll be buried with almost half a million of educational debt is nauseating, but apparently, this is my only option.

    Therefore, I came up with a plan to minimize the amount of interests I will have and reduce the repayment period (I don't want to keep paying until I'm in my fifties). My plan is to live frugally during the residency years, moonlight as much as I can, have my wife work part time. That way, my debt won't grow further. After residency, I'm planning to live in an area where the cost of living is cheap, no state income tax, and higher pay rate. For example, if I do EM (something I'm considering now, but who knows), I would live somewhere in rural Texas, SD, or even Alaska for few years; the cost of living is marginal and the pay rate is a little higher, plus no income tax. I'm also planning to work my tail off, so if the average EM physician work 36hrs/week, I will force my self to do 48 or even 60hrs/week. I know this will take a toll on myself and my family, but it's far better than the sacrifices we will endure if I go through the military route. Therefore, even if I earn as little as $100/hr (less than 67% of national average rate of EM), I would produce ~300k of income working 60hrs/week 49weeks/year. By continuing my thrifty lifestyle, I should be able to repay my entire educational debt in 3 years following residency.

    Sorry for the long post, but I like to share my thoughts with you. I welcome any comments and critiques.
  45. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne

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    On thing you forgot is that federal income taxes plus social security, medicaid, and various insurance deductions from your paychecks will take approx 40-45% of your income at that level. So you will need to increase the time it will take to repay your loans.
  46. Ibn Alnafis MD

    Ibn Alnafis MD

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    No I didn't. For a married person with two kids living in Texas, 77800 goes to federal withholding, 4624 to social security, and 4350 to social security. That leaves $213,223 of post tax income. Deduct another 13k for health insurance, you'll end with 200k. Live on 50k and pay 150k toward your loans. To pay 400k @7.35% interest (combination of grad plus and stafford) in 3 years, you need to pay 149k/year toward your loans.

    Here are the calculators:

    http://www.paycheckcity.com/calculator/netpay/us/texas/result.html
    http://www.finaid.org/calculators/scripts/loanpayments.cgi
  47. CopaceticOne

    CopaceticOne

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    I stand corrected :oops:
  48. CheA

    CheA

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    I agree. I think any career requires incredible amount of talent, dedication and luck in order for someone to reach the top. There are a lot of people in most fields who lack one or another and do not make it big. Medicine is a peculiar field in that it only allows incredibly talented and dedicated people into the profession, and one does not need much luck to succeed.

    This plan looks like a very realistic option for anyone looking to go >300k into debt while in med school. This is why I would think twice before deciding on medicine if the only school I got into did not offer any need-based financial aid
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  49. Chrome19

    Chrome19

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    Higher education is generally overrated, especially for the money. Universities continue raising tuition significantly above cost-of-living indices, and common sense will tell you this can't go on forever. As we know, the cost of anything is directly related to the available credit. Just as the housing market, the student loan bubble will implode eventually, probably in another 10-20 years. Universities will consider bringing down their tuition as effective demand will go down, or when there are no means to pay for them.

    Also more and more students will come from the bourgeoisie strata. Therefore formal education will be for the well-off. However due to the age of technology, people will still be able to learn from books and other digital material. The university, as we know it today, might then become a relic of the past.
    Silent Cool likes this.
  50. SeminoleVesicle

    SeminoleVesicle MS2

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    BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRESTIGE??? My state school is ranked 22 and I got into number 20! I'm prepared to pay an extra $200k for that prestige.

    /sarcasm

    State schools ftw.

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