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Advice: debt of dental school

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by hmsbrf, May 18, 2014.

  1. hmsbrf


    Oct 28, 2012
    Hi everyone,
    I am posting this thread because I am looking for advice from any dentists or dental students who know more info about the income/salary of a dentist in Canada or the States. I will be going to UDM for dental school starting this fall. The debt from that alone will be around $250 000 (my family is helping me also). In addition to this, I have my debt from my undergrad, which is about $25 000. So in total, I will be in debt of about $275 000 out of dental school. I am a little scared and nervous because it is such a huge amount of money. I am currently debating between taking a year or two off to work and pay off some of my debt and then apply again to dental school. What do you guys think from your own knowledge and experience? Do you reckon I will be fine and able to pay back all of this within the next 10 years while living an alright lifestyle? I searched the income of new graduates and of associate dentists, however I keep hearing that I shouldn't trust these online numbers. I thought about asking the dentist I volunteered with, but it seems a bit too personal and didn't want to intrude. Hope to hear from you guys.
    Thank you everyone! :)
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  3. Datooth

    Datooth 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2013
    I'm not sure how much you make at your current job but think about it for one second, do you really think taking a year or two off (effectively taking a year or two off of a dentist's income) would decrease your debt load? You should also consider that tuition rises 5-7% every single year.

    From what I've read and understand, new grads tend to hover around 120k for their first year out. Those who choose to work at a corp. can make significantly more if you're willing to practice unscrupulously.
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  4. SM555

    SM555 2+ Year Member

    Sep 26, 2013
    Depends where you want to work.
  5. Screwtape

    Screwtape Dentist 7+ Year Member

    Aug 25, 2008
    Midwest, USA
    If you are really worried about your debt, then I'm assuming you'd be willing to move anywhere for a job. If so, you should be able to bring in $120-150k+ the first couple of years, as you gain speed and experience those numbers will grow. $275k total debt is very doable. I'll be sitting at ~$225k after its all said and done and I'm not worried about the debt. I'm hoping to pay that off in 5 years of working.
  6. techden


    Apr 5, 2014
    Is the amount that you guys mentioned are after tax, or before tax? ; $120-150k+
  7. tooth knockn

    tooth knockn Treat others how you want to be treated 2+ Year Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    Before tax

    Posted using SDN Mobile
  8. dentalWorks

    dentalWorks Nights Watchmen 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2009
    Sterling Hts, Mi
    first of all.... you are asking pre-dents on dental school debt. People here (myself included) don't know how to accurately replay to this since most either:
    a) haven't started incurring debt
    b) haven't started paying anything off

    I'll do my best to shed some light on your situation, remember, I am not a dentist yet (not till 2015 at least). It really depends on what you mean by "living an alright lifestyle"? It all depends on what kinda money your going to be making fresh out of dental school. Being a Michigan person myself, most new graduates are landing 120-140k gigs, which isn't bad at all, the problem comes in when your suddenly quit the job and are out looking for new place (quit for many reasons - mostly being uncomfortable w/ either the management system or the things they are asking you to do - anyways, its a longggggggg messy answer why many associateships don't get along with their bosses, lets not get into that)

    Regarding the 300k debt and working 1-2 years before starting dental school.... I wouldn't do it. Get the dental degree then worry about paying it off. Lets get something straight, a person making 100k (minimum) yearly should not be scared of a 300k debt. You may not sit in your favorite 60k sports car, you may not have a house on a beach, but you'll manage. A 6-figure income in this country is still top 10th percentile.

    I stay friends with many previous graduates from UDM.... Many of the 2012 people, whom spent all their energy paying off their debt (basically, living frugally, no car upgrades, no fancy stuffs) tell me they are nearly finished with all their debt. Some of them even stay'd living at home to save on living expense and are currently just 60 or 70 in the hole (not bad considering they are coming from 300k in just 2 years). However, they are working pretty hard, 6 days week isn't uncommon, but its a sacrifice they are making so they stay debt free.
  9. Sissi Romy

    Sissi Romy

    May 8, 2014
    You must also remember that the loan you incur the first year will be deferred and interest accumulates during all 4 years of dental school, the second year loan would be deferred for 3 years and so on. An 80K loan for the first year, deferred interest after 4 years becomes a 98K loan, depending on the interest rate. A 300K debt will be probably closer to 400k when you start repayment, 6 months after graduation. Google "loan repayment calculator", or "deferred interest calculator" and plug in the numbers. Most of us have not been in debt in our short life, but my dad makes $150K a year and he said his house payment is over $3000 for a $400K mortgage loan, for 30 years. If we are going to only pull 120K-150K before tax as a new dentist, we are not going to be able to pay off our dental loan and have a house payment comfortably. So let's be realistic, count that with that kind of dental school loan, you cannot have a house or a luxury car for quite some time. Still, to the question from hmsbrf, I would say, don't defer applying to dental school, look for alternative scholarship routes such as Airforce, Navy or Army. It is true that you must be on active duty 4 years (year per year repayment, if they pay your tuition for all 4 years) but hey, like Dentalworks says, you might have to move to find a different job with a different dental office anyway if you don't get along with the boss, etc. So you might not really have a choice in your job even if you are not beholden to the armed forces anyway. My old dentist had to move to a very very small town out of nowhere because the city where he wanted to practice had too many dentists and his solo practice was losing so much money he could not afford to continue with it. However, he did quite well in that small town. Just food for thought, as I am struggling to contemplate the same kind of financial burden to pursue my dream.
  10. Illfavor

    Illfavor 5+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2012
    A motivated person who works hard and lives frugally can pay off any amount of dental school debt in 5 years.
    Glimmer1991 likes this.
  11. joeeeey3

    joeeeey3 5+ Year Member

    Feb 15, 2011
    I thought going UDM will cost you much more than 250k? isn't it around 350k+ ?? I would like to know cuz I am going to UDM as well
  12. Glimmer1991

    Glimmer1991 5+ Year Member

    May 5, 2012
    He/she said in the OP that his family was helping.
    joeeeey3 likes this.

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