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bankcruptcy and med school

Discussion in 'Medical Students - DO' started by LynnW, Jan 16, 2001.

  1. LynnW

    LynnW New Member

    Aug 25, 2000
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    I am a non-traditional student applying for medical school and I am drowning financially and was wondering if I file bankcruptcy if it will hurt my chances for medical school?
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  3. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus
    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 1999
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    Attending Physician

    Let me tell you up front...I am not the best person to answer this. First and foremost, I would call one of the Fin Aid officers at the U TN med school there in Memphis.

    I do know that some schools ask for a credit report --- what they use it for??? I don't know. However, I would imagine the most likely place for problems to occur will be in finacial aid. The un-sub Stafford loans don't require you to show financial need...but, I don't know about eligibility vs. bankruptcy.

    Furthermore, I can tell you this with confidence...unless your financial ducks are pretty solidly in tow, you will have one hell of a time surviving medical school. The stress of not being able to eat & pay bills compounded with that inherent with med school...I would not even care to imagine!

    As a friendly suggestion...I would make that call and then do my damnest to repair my finances before undertaking medical school!

    Best of luck to you!!!!

    David W. Kelley, MS-2
    'Old Man Dave'
    KCOM, Class of '03

    Nothing Risked, Nothing Gained!!
  4. fiatslug

    fiatslug Senior Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 8, 2000
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    Attending Physician
    It may affect your application, should you choose to mention it, but it will CERTAINLY affect your ability to borrow any costs to pay for medical school. I don't know anything about the nature of your debts; I'm sure you know that bankruptcy doesn't relieve you of any outstanding student loan burdens. Talk to a financial aid office at any school you're interested in (keep in mind that some of them are right up there with some premed advisors when it comes to dispensing discouraging and possibly untrue advice) and see what they would say about bankruptcy and applying for student loans. I know people who came into med school with staggering consumer debt (>$25,000), and frankly, it's only gotten worse for them in school. BUT they would be unable to attend school if they weren't able to qualify for loans. Can you put off bankruptcy until residency? Or take a year or two, work like a demon, and pay it down to something reasonable? Think long and hard about what will work for you. I wish you the best of luck.
  5. Boomer

    Boomer Supreme Sooner Member
    15+ Year Member

    Sep 1, 1999
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    Another thing to keep in mind is if you're looking at private schools, the Stafford loan money available probably won't cover your entire FA budget (many FA budgets allow for about 42-45 grand--for tuition and other expenses like food and rent; Stafford unsu + sub allows you to borrow 38,500). This means that you are left to seeking private loans to cover this difference. Applications for these loans are like typical bank loans--meaning bad credit = no money.

    Just something else to consider. Good luck
  6. Stephen Ewen

    10+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2000
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    My small org researched this question for someone last year. Here is the info in synopsis.

    First, I was unable to determine if the med schools themselves do a credit check as part of the application process.

    As for the money, Staffords have no credit check. But most folk will need beyond them to make it through, and these do indeed have a credit check.

    Essentially, if you do the BR, you must seek to establish new credit ASAP, and be utterly perfect with it for about three years before they venture the risk.

    But this is only what was found by approaching one particular lender at random. Others may have more stringent or less stringent requirements.

    I'd suggest you NOT call the U of Tenn SOM and give them your possible scenario, "Hi, my name is so-and-so. I was wantin' to ask you, if I do a BR, can I still get aid?"

    Instead, simply call them for the info on lenders they use, or better yet, call the lenders you already use. Give them and them only the whole possible scenario.
    But do protect your privacy, be as anoymous as possible, as you investigate this all.

    Winning a NHSC scholarship would sidestep all this and make it irrelevant, unless of course they do a credit check as part of their evaluation of candidates.

    Even so, I understand from a BR lawyer that it is illegal for people and entities to discriminate against you in such things. Whether they do or not is of course another matter.

    Best wishes.

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