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Do you know of any graduates or dentists that have problems paying back loans?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by SexyMariGal, 03.24.12.


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  1. SexyMariGal

    SexyMariGal

    Joined:
    10.13.11
    Messages:
    68

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    The main reason why I'm asking this question is seeing the trend of more student loans going into default, not just talking about dental school, but regular undergrad as well: http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/default-rates-rise-federal-student-loans.

    I don't live in a state that has a state school, so when it comes to getting into a dental school, I'm probably looking at owing somewhere between 200-300k in loans. From a lot of what I've read, newly graduated associates can make on average about 100k net, so after taxes that is somewhere between 60-80k depending on additional state taxes.

    So do you know of any new graduates or even dentists with their own practices that have trouble paying back their loans, especially since there are other bills and expenses to take into account in everyday adult life? This segues into my next related question.

    If I would have a lot of trouble paying back my loans in this down economy, I've been looking into perhaps applying for the HPSP military scholarship, since it just seems that I would be ahead financially after the 4 years of payback. Do you guys have any input on whether or not this would be a good idea?

    Granted, I don't know much about loans and how to calculate how much I would actually owe every month after interest is calculated and whatnot, but the bare bones of what my train of thought is as follows, not considering other expenses and bills as well:

    Civilian side:
    Student loans: -200-300k
    Associate pay for 4 years: 400k
    Net: 100k after 4 years

    HPSP military route:
    Student loans: 0
    Military pay for 4 years: ~240k
    Net: 240k after 4 years

    I'm not that good at crunching the numbers, but if anyone has already done this, can someone please post the link to the information? I know there's a lot more to sacrifice when going the military route, but I am simply just looking at the numbers.

    And if it's not that feasible to pay back my student loans in a timely or reasonable manner when combined with other things, such as starting up my own practice or starting a family, then the military HPSP might be the way I should go. Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions.
  2. hellopeople

    hellopeople

    Joined:
    12.07.08
    Messages:
    566
    Location:
    Michigan
    Status:
    Dental Student
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    When I spent some time crunching numbers I found that you come out ahead financially when you go the military route. I was assuming 300K - 400K worth of loans (loan amount, 4% annual increase in tuition, initiation fee, and 6.8% / 7.9% interest). This does not take into account any difference in clinical and business skills.

    That being said, I feel your life in the military will be different than your life on the civilian side, so that should probably be a major concern.

    Honestly, I feel like you will be able to stay on your feet with some budgeting even if you go the student loan route. Especially if you think ~250K worth of debt is a possibility. My state school would charge that amount.
  3. Lethstang

    Lethstang

    Joined:
    10.04.09
    Messages:
    488
    Status:
    Dentist
    SDN 5+ Year Member
    OP,

    your civilian pay is low. associate pay scale for four years looks more like 90-180k a year if you stay an associate and you find a good job. you can hop into ownership at any time and do better.

    for the military route, plan on a 5 year commitment. if you dont do the optional residency, youre stuck doing very basic procedures which wont prepare you clinically for the civilian world. Also youre going to make a little more than your projected income due to all of the military benefits. sorry i dont have a good number for you.

    youre only going to have trouble paying your loans off starting out if youre unwilling to move to find a job. You can make jack and sh*t as a dentist if you have to work in over saturated areas.

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