Shoot, $400k ($500k if I can get the school to up my budget) aint no thang...
I'll have that paid off in 2 years tops
. Don't you worry about me.
In all seriousness though, relax. You're obviously passionate about saving money, and coincidentally, so am I . I am an Army HPSP recipient. However, as far as I've found out, that doesn't have any impact on the total amount of money for living expenses that I'll be able to receive (the stipend is subtracted out of the COA budget and I can receive the difference in loans). So, considering it's a moot point, I didn't mention it. But, since you tried to stymie my dream, I figured I'd que you in.
I've never been one to try to turn somebody away from dentistry but the harsh reality is that school admins ignore the life implications of student loan debt and we are seemingly on the edge of a bubble similar to that of the mortgage-loan/default-swap debt crisis. Most of the newer dental schools (and many of the older private ones) have very high tuition and are very effective in dangling the "dream" carrot in front of pre-dent's faces. I've always been one to advocate doing their best to get into the lowest cost dental school out there and keeping your costs as low as possible.
Well, what do I know right? I've only graduated top in my class, practiced general for 3 years in 3 widely different types of practices, went back to school to attend a competitive residency (where I don't have to pay), and have little student loan debt. My wife has been practicing for 5 years, has high student loan debt and works on/off in corporate dentistry. I know firsthand the challenges of corporate dentistry, the pressure of high student loan and what an "extra $500/mo, $6k/yr" can do to a fresh grad and the pressure that results.
Going military is absolutely a great option, especially in today's debt climate. After your commitment, it may be possible to walk away with no debt and start living the good life right away. I know the recruiters start sounding really really good when $200k+ cash bonuses to enroll start popping up.
Student loan debt is a serious problem and is on the verge of crisis. You may not realize it now but you will when you have to start paying $3,259.63 every month after taxes
the day after you graduate (depending on when you take out your loans).
Loan Balance: $500,000.00
Adjusted Loan Balance: $500,000.00
Loan Interest Rate: 6.80%
Loan Fees: 0.00%
Loan Term: 30 years
Minimum Payment: $50.00
Monthly Loan Payment: $3,259.63
Number of Payments: 360
Cumulative Payments: $1,173,462.04
Total Interest Paid: $673,462.04