Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Hello all -

I posted this in a couple there forums, but thought I would reach out here as well.

I'm currently a pre-med with hopes of matriculating into medical school next fall and was hoping for some advice or possible answers to my concerns. When and if I start school in the fall of 2016 I will be moving with my son and my wife. One of my main concerns is not having enough funds to cover our expenses. Currently I feel that we should be OK, but if I were to need additional assistance I was wondering if anyone has had any luck with cost of attendance adjustments and what that process entails. Ideally I would like for my wife to stay home with our son. Any advice or information is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
 

mikepremed1987

2+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2014
44
16
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I believe you can take out private loans above the cost of attendance (obviously these are unfavorable). Most schools only allow up to the COA, but some will adjust it for additional circumstances. I don't know which schools are more willing to help. I have a pretty similar plan (wife + 2 kids) and hope someone else can chime in with definitive information.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
100
7
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I believe you can take out private loans above the cost of attendance (obviously these are unfavorable). Most schools only allow up to the COA, but some will adjust it for additional circumstances. I don't know which schools are more willing to help. I have a pretty similar plan (wife + 2 kids) and hope someone else can chime in with definitive information.
If I'm not mistaken the private loans require a cosigner who has to have an income correct? Also if you do qualify for these do they require immediate repayment or can they be deferred until graduation?
 

mikepremed1987

2+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2014
44
16
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
If I'm not mistaken the private loans require a cosigner who has to have an income correct? Also if you do qualify for these do they require immediate repayment or can they be deferred until graduation?
I don't know the details. I am sure others who have used these loans will be able to chime in when they see this post.
 
Apr 9, 2014
782
736
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Medical Student (Accepted)
If I'm not mistaken the private loans require a cosigner who has to have an income correct? Also if you do qualify for these do they require immediate repayment or can they be deferred until graduation?
When I was a law student, I maxed my stafford loans and then borrowed the rest privately. I had no problem getting these loans and I didn't need anyone to cosign. I would imagine it's even easier for med students to access funds given their job prospects significantly exceed those of the average law student. Repayment didn't start until after graduation (but interest accrued immediately).

With that said, my advice is to minimize debt to the greatest extent possible.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
100
7
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
When I was a law student, I maxed my stafford loans and then borrowed the rest privately. I had no problem getting these loans and I didn't need anyone to cosign. I would imagine it's even easier for med students to access funds given their job prospects significantly exceed those of the average law student. Repayment didn't start until after graduation (but interest accrued immediately).

With that said, my advice is to minimize debt to the greatest extent possible.
Thanks for the response! I think I will look into them, but will try my best to avoid them.
 

NontradICUdoc

Why so Serious?????
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
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What you need to understand is that the medical school loans are meant to support the student and not the student's family. Your wife is expected to contribute income. If you have young children that need day care, then you need to make the financial aid office aware of this and they will increase your cost of attendance to reflect the need for day care. You want to do what you can to minimize the loans that you take out, because obviously you will need to pay them back. That being said, you should do your best to look for and apply for as many scholarships as you think you qualify for. Even if you are not sure, just apply for it. You never know if the committee that is supplying the scholarship did not get enough applications and wants to give it anyone who applied. Also you need to discuss scholarships that your school offers. There are plenty.

Finally, when you are graduated, you have the choice of either starting to pay off your loans or go into deferment or forbearance. If you decide to pay off your loan you can choose to do an income based payment plan. Where you are paying your loan but how much you pay a month is dependent on your monthly income. So you pay the minimum but can also pay more if you have the means. Going into deferment means that interest will continue to accumulate.

Private loans are high interest rate and usually require a co-signer. Even if that is your wife. Mine was. When you get to medical school, there are other options out there which I would not suggest unless you are in your 4th year. Primary Care Loans are those for people who WILL go into primary care upon graduation from residency (IM, FM, Peds, Geri, Ob/gyn). The interest rate is very low but if you do not go into primary care, the interest is much higher, capitalized on the original amount, and you have a ton of fees to pay. Another option for primary care is the national health service corps where if you become a nhsc scholar, they pay your medical school and give you a stipend to boot. Finally, each state tends to have medical school repayment programs. Again, if you go into primary care and it is in a medically underserved area. The state will pay a certain percentage of your loans for each year of service. In some states, if you are there for 10-15 years your entire medical school debt is paid for. But the work is hard and the pay is on the low side. However, the trade off is that you have a lower bill to pay compared to others.
 
OP
Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
100
7
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
What you need to understand is that the medical school loans are meant to support the student and not the student's family. Your wife is expected to contribute income. If you have young children that need day care, then you need to make the financial aid office aware of this and they will increase your cost of attendance to reflect the need for day care. You want to do what you can to minimize the loans that you take out, because obviously you will need to pay them back. That being said, you should do your best to look for and apply for as many scholarships as you think you qualify for. Even if you are not sure, just apply for it. You never know if the committee that is supplying the scholarship did not get enough applications and wants to give it anyone who applied. Also you need to discuss scholarships that your school offers. There are plenty.

Finally, when you are graduated, you have the choice of either starting to pay off your loans or go into deferment or forbearance. If you decide to pay off your loan you can choose to do an income based payment plan. Where you are paying your loan but how much you pay a month is dependent on your monthly income. So you pay the minimum but can also pay more if you have the means. Going into deferment means that interest will continue to accumulate.

Private loans are high interest rate and usually require a co-signer. Even if that is your wife. Mine was. When you get to medical school, there are other options out there which I would not suggest unless you are in your 4th year. Primary Care Loans are those for people who WILL go into primary care upon graduation from residency (IM, FM, Peds, Geri, Ob/gyn). The interest rate is very low but if you do not go into primary care, the interest is much higher, capitalized on the original amount, and you have a ton of fees to pay. Another option for primary care is the national health service corps where if you become a nhsc scholar, they pay your medical school and give you a stipend to boot. Finally, each state tends to have medical school repayment programs. Again, if you go into primary care and it is in a medically underserved area. The state will pay a certain percentage of your loans for each year of service. In some states, if you are there for 10-15 years your entire medical school debt is paid for. But the work is hard and the pay is on the low side. However, the trade off is that you have a lower bill to pay compared to others.
Thank you for the information! I am actually interested in rural primary care, especially since I was born and raised in that kind of area. I definitely plan on applying for the NHSC scholarship to lighten my loans.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
100
7
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Just wanted to give an update for those in a similar position as mine. I did end up calling the school's I had interviews with and will have interviews and spoke with their financial aid offices regarding cost of attendance. All of them had the same response: an increase in cost of attendance for child care, which only one school had a limit as to how much they would increase. I think at this time we may plan on enrolling him into a daycare if needed and have her just work a few hours a week, which may help with extra costs. I guess I'm just really nervous about leaving my boy with people I won't really know. But on the plus side you can choose whichever daycare, including private ones.
 

NontradICUdoc

Why so Serious?????
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
2,431
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Philadelphia Area
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Attending Physician
You need to play a game with your finances. My wife works from home. And in order for her to meet her deadlines the baby needed to go to a babysitter. We spoke with her about our situation and she gave us a lower rate than her other clients. In addition, realize that your loans are not considered income, and because of that your wife's income will determine if you are above or below the federal poverty level. Now realize that as you were working, you were paying into the system and once you are out as a physician you know that you will pay your more than fair share. If you qualify, then get involved in public programs. When I was in school, we applied for Medicaid for my wife and kids. This saved us $900/month in insurance costs. Because we had a little baby, we applied for WIC and received it (though my wife hated going to the welfare office), but we received vouchers for milk, eggs, bread, peanut butter, beans. We also applied for assistance with our electric and gas and received it. We would pay $50/month for our electric bill.

I used to look for things on craigslist and ebay. If I needed a new chair or desk I bought it through craigslist and I bartered. I used the library as much as possible for the books needed for school, I used the public library for CDs, books, and family entertainment. The township we lived in had a lot of free family programs. We did not eat out very often or if we did it was at the diner or with the folks, who would pay. If we needed help, we asked family for a no interest loan.

We would call the cable company and tell them that we are cancelling if they did not reduce our rates, and they did. Magazines? Public Library.

You will need to learn to make your money stretch. Don't buy expensive things. And when it comes to tax time, you generally will get a refund because of earned income tax credit and child tax credit. The money that you use to pay for the day care is tax deductible. Finally, if you can, then do some work study. I worked as a student tutor. Some of my classmates worked in the library. You need to remember, live like doctor when you are a student and you will live like a student when you are a doctor.
 
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Camacho Mt. Dew

Camacho Mt. Dew

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
100
7
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
You need to remember, live like doctor when you are a student and you will live like a student when you are a doctor.
Thank you again for your help! I especially liked the above statement. If she does work I'm thinking she may only need to bring in $300-400 extra per month, which I would hope wouldn't make us ineligible for public assistance. Would it not be wise for myself to apply for these programs? Or just have her do it?

EDIT: Also, would it be wise to have a seperate account with my school funds in it with only my name?
 

NontradICUdoc

Why so Serious?????
15+ Year Member
Oct 16, 2003
2,431
266
45
Philadelphia Area
Status
Attending Physician
Accounts don't matter. Your annual income and the size of your family determine you eligibility for public assistance. It does not matter who does it. But you may be a bit busy with medical school studying.
 
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