Current interns what have you been doing to make ends meet (LOANS!)

Discussion in 'Internship' started by badasshairday, Jan 11, 2012.

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  1. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Are most of you guys forebearing or what? We are screwed with this 6.8% interest rate. It seems like it is impossible to live. Or are you doing IBR? How does it affect you if your spouse is making 70-80K? :confused: So worried about how I am going to survive in residency in an expensive city.
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  3. IMdocT

    IMdocT Retired 2+ Year Member

    May 23, 2010
    those interest rates were killer. i cant comment on forebearance or IBR, but i have some suggestions. many foreign and domestic grad students survive on their stipends of 10-15k per year. some families live off of just that much as well. the trick is to be extremely frugal, buy only neccessities, always compare prices, dont eat out, give up your car, finding cheap housing. there are plenty of blogs on the internet about living cheaply to the extreme. if you can keep your spending below 15k per year, the residency salary of 45-50k before taxes should cover your loan payments. it can become tough to do especially if your residency is in an expensive city or if you need to support your family.

    im not boasting, just sharing my experiences. i managed to pay off my loans after intern year but i cheated. i mooched off family members and stil do by living with them at various times. that cuts out housing and utilities for me, which can be 50% or more of annual expenses for many americans. it also reduced the cost of food, which is maybe #2 for some families. transportation is also a big expense and i biked a lot and have never owned my own car until this past year. i dont have undergrad loans because i went to an uncompetitive school and had enough merit based scholarships to cover most of the tuition. i worked and saved through high school and undergrad. i did not spend money on a new phone computer or video game system every year as my friends did. did not buy name brand clothing or any unecessaey items. no expensive vacations and rarely ate out. the savings plus my intern year salary paid off my med school loans. i also kindof cheated by staying in state for med school and got out just before they had a big tuition hike. planning my spending like that was not at all enjoyable but it got me through these ridiculously high costs of education in the US.

    so my suggestions are to examine your expenses and cut wherever possible, especially with big items like housing. you can google more tips on blogs and forums. get rid of bad debt such as credit card balances, which usually have apr's of 12% and up. if you have different loans you can request to consolidate them: my brother did that and reduced his interest rate to 3.5% somehow.

    if your spouse is making bank, then you're all set. i imagine that if you file joint income taxes, some of the alternative repayment plans will be unavailable to you. it probably won't hurt to try, though. just remember that you end up paying more interest in the long run with these plans. i also thought forebearsnce is awarded for life changing events such as disability, but i could be wrong
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2012
  4. Carotenoid

    Carotenoid 5+ Year Member

    Apr 30, 2011
    You mention websites - could you share a couple that you particularly like? Thanks
  5. Mattchiavelli

    Mattchiavelli 5+ Year Member

    May 22, 2010
    Start tracking your budget so you know where your $$ is going, it's like working a patient up with no labs if you don't have some data to work with. You might not realize that you have some habits that cost you a few thousand a year.
  6. shantster

    shantster Eye protection! 10+ Year Member

    Learn how to cook real food (not packaged foods, which cost so much more). That's usually people's biggest downfall on a budget. Cook in large quantities things like soups, stews, sauces, etc. that you can eat half now and in the next few days for leftovers and then freeze the other half to have later. Soups/stews you can freeze in single serving containers and then take to lunch with you. Which brings to another point - unless your hospital gives you free meals daily, get a lunch box to be able to take food with you. Find if there's a microwave somewhere (most hospital cafeterias have them) otherwise take things that you can eat cold. PB&J is perfect and so are other sandwiches and wraps. If you have a soda kick and need to have one a day, buy it and take it from home. It's amazing how much money people waste by purchasing things in the cafeteria a day. Figure $5+ per meal, 6 days a week = $30 a week. At 50 weeks in the year, you're wasting at least $1500 on just food at work.
  7. Buzz Me

    Buzz Me Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    I did loan deferment x 3 yr, then forebearance every year after that. Luckily in my M4 year was able to lock my student loans at a ridiculously low interest rate.
  8. DrBowtie

    DrBowtie Final Countdown Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2005
    Thanks for rubbing it in:p

    What is the typical intern take home pay? ~3k/month?
  9. gutonc

    gutonc No Meat, No Treat SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    I was beginning to think I was the only one. Although I did forbearance for 2 years then deferment for the past 4 (fellowship). Mine are consolidated @ 3.something%.

    I've been paying double on my private loan (~$15K).

    Hoping for my NIH Loan Repayment Grant to go through so I don't have to start paying on that $200K monster this fall.
  10. Buzz Me

    Buzz Me Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    Just us old(er) people that finished med school years and years ago. :)
  11. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    That's about what my net pay is.

    Here's one more tip: if you're going to eat out, go out for lunch instead of dinner. It's a lot cheaper. Even better, order your meal as takeout, which will save you the tip (and at least in some locales, it saves you the tax, too).
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Depends on your exemptions, whether you have to pay for your own health insurance, etc. For most it's just shy of $3k.
  13. Buzz Me

    Buzz Me Moderator Emeritus Gold Donor 10+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2004
    But aren't you always at work during lunchtime? Or did you mean eat out in the middle of the day?
  14. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Lifetime Donor SDN Administrator 10+ Year Member

    I'm saying to go out at lunchtime, which sometimes coincides with my actual lunch. I mean, they do have to let me have a day or two off here and there. :p
  15. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2006
    Sounds miserable dude.
  16. ssisterdoc

    ssisterdoc 5+ Year Member

    Feb 5, 2008
    I second that. I go to a state school and money was a definite consideration in where I ended up. Tuition is about 50k a year for private medical schools; add in the cost of living in an expensive city and this results in a miserable lifestyle.
  17. Jorski

    Jorski Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    Not to hijack the thread, but on your total student loan debt, how much money per month does it take to make your minimum payment?
  18. Green Grass

    Green Grass 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Under Your Feet
    What is so wrong with doing IBR? The payment percentages are set so that it is extremely affordable for residents.
  19. Gpan

    Gpan 10+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2007
    yeah why aren't you guys doing IBR? I know that option might prolong the repayment months and might be charged with extra interest, but IBR is suitable for the first 3-4 years of residency. After that you'll be making more than enough to pay back whatever.
  20. fyfanatic

    fyfanatic 7+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    new york
    My school just sent us an email saying that due to the budget cuts, there will be no more subsidized loans at all. All federal loans will be unsubsidized. Boy am I glad that I'm graduating this year.
  21. happygolucky1

    happygolucky1 2+ Year Member

    Feb 20, 2012
    do IBR, if you are single, then you'll have to pay 200 bucks a month roughly. with 3K net/month, you will have 2800 to spend on shopping, friends, food, rent, books, gym memberships, etc. really, you'll be accumulating 1K a month on loan interests so sit back and dont check your loan amount too often.
  22. fyfanatic

    fyfanatic 7+ Year Member

    Nov 7, 2007
    new york
    That was my plan. I will be graduating with about 125k in loans. I was wondering how feasible is it to do IBR payments as a resident (4 years) and then catch up on payments as an attending to be able to pay off everything in 10 yrs?
  23. MassiveAttack

    MassiveAttack 2+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2011
    I had a quick question about IBR. I have about 160,000 in debt from loans, one set from fedloans, another via ACS. Most are about 6.8%.

    I will be starting residency in a pricey city and fear I cannot do the standard repayment plan. For IBR, I understand we apply each year.

    But my question is, once we are done with residency or fellowship, will the payments for repayment be super high?

    Is there any other bad things about IBR beside the fact that interest keeps accumulating.

    Is it possible not to do IBR and just pay the interest amount?

    Appreciate thoughts
  24. thesauce

    thesauce Senior Member Gold Donor 10+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2005
    IBR never hurts you, but it does provide diminishing returns as you make more money. Once your income reaches the point where your IBR is more than the 10 year payoff, the payment defaults to the 10 year payoff.
  25. Oxer45

    Oxer45 2+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Its always easier to marry rich than to become rich yourself. :laugh:

    Best way to save money is to live "off the grid." A treehouse is lot cheaper than a studio in a bad neighborhood. Fu#k outback steakhouse, I'm hunting fresh racoons tonight!!

    Here's a story about smart NYU student who lived in the library, showered in the gym instead of paying for dorms:
  26. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Why not pay off the interest and then some to touch the principle in addition to this?
  27. Green Grass

    Green Grass 10+ Year Member

    Feb 7, 2007
    Under Your Feet
    I think you could. But it would be wasted money if PSLF is still around, plus it eats into your current expendable income versus saving that money and paying off your debt when you have an attending salary.

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