creativekat

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I apologize for my lack of money know-how in advance. I have $0 educational debt from scholarships, luck, parents, whatnot from undergrad and the school I am looking at would have me take out $100k minimum over 4 years to pay for it.

For the med students/residents/fellows/attendings: how hard is it to pay off a $100k debt? The worst case scenario I see is $34k subsidized (8500/year) and the rest in unsubsidized.

The way SDN puts it is that everyone is worried sick about loans and is living off ramen. How is everyone's loan repayment plan working out? Will you be debt-free by, say, 35? Are you miserable about it now and (if applicable) do you regret your decision to go to a more expensive school because of the debt?

Thanks guys!
 

loveoforganic

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Is this for med school? 100k debt is very reasonable for that.
 

creativekat

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Is this for med school? 100k debt is very reasonable for that.
I have an alternative that is cheaper but I don't want everyone to tell me to go with the money. But I guess everyone knows now! I just want cold, hard facts about paying debt off since I don't have experience.
 

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100k debt is BEYOND reasonable for most people in medical school. It sounds like a really big number, but for medicine it really isn't. My roommates have near 100k and they were music majors. That is tough to pay back. Nearly every one of my friends will be over 100k and I go to a cheap school. I've also known people who were over the 300k mark and a couple who both had 400k (undergrad+med) EACH.

If you lived frugally for 2 or 3 years out of residency then pretty much every speciality will pay that off. Many jobs will even do partial or full loan reimbursement depending on speciality, location, etc.
 

CityLights

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Any medical student would be very lucky to come out of school with 100k of debt or less. Double that, 200k, is a pretty average amount of debt to go into for med school.
 

45408

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It might be $110K before you even graduate med school, and depending on what residency/fellowship you do, it would probably be $150K by the time you finish residency. Your payments for a 10-year standard repayment would be $1700/month, which is a little over $20,000 per year. That much after-tax income would require close to $30K of your gross income.

It's certainly feasible, but if you're making what the average physician makes around $160K/year, it's a pretty big bite.
 

45408

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If you lived frugally for 2 or 3 years out of residency then pretty much every speciality will pay that off. Many jobs will even do partial or full loan reimbursement depending on speciality, location, etc.
2-3 years is pretty short. You probably won't be making much money initially, right as you first start seeing patients when your training ends, and you may have a lot of up-front costs to deal with (buying a house, paying off your overloaded credit cards, relocation, etc). Plus, you've been poor for the past 10-15 years, so you might not be the most frugal at this time.
 

OhioDoc

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I apologize for my lack of money know-how in advance. I have $0 educational debt from scholarships, luck, parents, whatnot from undergrad and the school I am looking at would have me take out $100k minimum over 4 years to pay for it.

For the med students/residents/fellows/attendings: how hard is it to pay off a $100k debt? The worst case scenario I see is $34k subsidized (8500/year) and the rest in unsubsidized.

The way SDN puts it is that everyone is worried sick about loans and is living off ramen. How is everyone's loan repayment plan working out? Will you be debt-free by, say, 35? Are you miserable about it now and (if applicable) do you regret your decision to go to a more expensive school because of the debt?

Thanks guys!
As others have noted, 100K in debt is very much reasonable. Of course, in order to minimize the amount of time you'll be paying on this debt you'll want to live frugally and avoid putting too much money away for retirement in the early stages of your residency and possibly as an attending physician. Just think of slamming away the loan payments as investing your money at 6.8-8.0%
 

creativekat

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How about paying off 175k-200k? Reasonable/easy? I live frugally, yet comfortably now so I can see myself living like this for the rest of my life, honestly. Well, having my own house and car would be nice too. :D

I guess what I really meant was a difference of 100k. Let's say school A costs 100k and school B costs 200k. Obviously 100k is easier to pay off, but what if I like school B more? Is it way harder to pay off the debt with the interest on top of it?

Again, I don't want all of the "pick the cheaper school!" "you'll get an MD no matter where you go!" answers. Kinda gets old after a while :laugh:
 

eablackwell

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http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/151219/

I said, "Damn it monster, get off my lawn! I ain't givin' you no tree-fiddy!"
He said, "How 'bout just two-fiddy?"
I said, "Oh now it's only two-fiddy. What is there a sale on Loch Ness munchies or somethin'?"
South Park ftw! 200th episode tonight!

Another question about loans for med school. I'm from a dirt poor family and only 1 of my 20 first cousins even graduated high school, so to me 100k sounds scary. I know it's very low for med school. How do the loans usually work out? Do you have a grace period like undergrad? Do you have to pay while in school?
 

flip26

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How about paying off 175k-200k? Reasonable/easy? I live frugally, yet comfortably now so I can see myself living like this for the rest of my life, honestly. Well, having my own house and car would be nice too. :D

I guess what I really meant was a difference of 100k. Let's say school A costs 100k and school B costs 200k. Obviously 100k is easier to pay off, but what if I like school B more? Is it way harder to pay off the debt with the interest on top of it?

Again, I don't want all of the "pick the cheaper school!" "you'll get an MD no matter where you go!" answers. Kinda gets old after a while :laugh:
So your choice is between say $1700 payments and $3400 payments for a standardized med school education. Personally, I would take the lower payment every time.

But if you think having a monthly payment of around $3400 is no big deal, then the higher debt amount will be a snap, I guess.

Just remember, that payment is after taxes and before you put a roof over your head, clothes on your back, food on the table, have reliable transportation, health insurance, disability insurance...forget about any of the nicer things in life, and sure, you can DO IT :thumbup:
 

whoknows2012

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Choosing a school based SOLELY on money might not be the best decision. You have to consider where you'll be happiest, which will give you the best opportunities for whatever you would like to do (if you're interested in PC for example this might not be as important, as say if you were interested in something like Ortho) geographic location, etc. Some people don't care where they go just that they get in and for them (this might be you I don't know, but based on your explanation I doubt it) the cheaper school might be a better option. This type of decision is highly individualized and you'll have to weigh the options and see what you come up with.
 

creativekat

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Choosing a school based SOLELY on money might not be the best decision. You have to consider where you'll be happiest, which will give you the best opportunities for whatever you would like to do (if you're interested in PC for example this might not be as important, as say if you were interested in something like Ortho) geographic location, etc. Some people don't care where they go just that they get in and for them (this might be you I don't know, but based on your explanation I doubt it) the cheaper school might be a better option. This type of decision is highly individualized and you'll have to weigh the options and see what you come up with.
Hence why I was trying not to bring in a debate of School A vs. School B and factor in whether or not I can live comfortably while paying off loans.

So the real question becomes, assuming I don't get grants/scholarships, can I pay off the extra $100k in difference easily?

(I did not say School A costs $100k and School B costs $200k. There's a difference of $100k...for all you know, School A might actually cost $25k and School B $125k, or $75k/$175k, etc!)
 

DrBowtie

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Hence why I was trying not to bring in a debate of School A vs. School B and factor in whether or not I can live comfortably while paying off loans.

So the real question becomes, assuming I don't get grants/scholarships, can I pay off the extra $100k in difference easily?

(I did not say School A costs $100k and School B costs $200k. There's a difference of $100k...for all you know, School A might actually cost $25k and School B $125k, or $75k/$175k, etc!)
The difference doesn't matter without concrete numbers. It is much easier to pay off only 100k vs 200k because the salary is relatively fixed. 0 vs. 100k is much different than 300k vs. 400k.
 

creativekat

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I'm estimating at this point it's a difference between 50k vs. 150k, including living costs, +/- $10-15k. Hurray for scholarships?
 

flip26

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I'm estimating at this point it's a difference between 50k vs. 150k, including living costs, +/- $10-15k. Hurray for scholarships?
Well what is it? Is it $200k as you asked above, or is the top end now $150k, or is it as low as $125k as you posed a few posts ago?

You are wasting our time with your cutesy number games, dude...take out the big loans and be HAPPY for those four years or med school bliss, and you will be reminded of that decision on the first day of the month for 10 to 20 years after you get out of residency and you contemplate what you could be spending that money on that you are using to pay off the big HAPPY loan for something 10 years behind you in the rearview mirror.
 

creativekat

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Well what is it? Is it $200k as you asked above, or is the top end now $150k, or is it as low as $125k as you posed a few posts ago?

You are wasting our time with your cutesy number games, dude...take out the big loans and be HAPPY for those four years or med school bliss, and you will be reminded of that decision on the first day of the month for 10 to 20 years after you get out of residency and you contemplate what you could be spending that money on that you are using to pay off the big HAPPY loan for something 10 years behind you in the rearview mirror.
There's no need to get angry on an Internet forum at some anonymous person who doesn't have a clue how finances work (gosh, you couldn't tell?) and is asking whether or not it's hard to pay off an additional $100k. I see my max debt at $200k assuming I buy a new car and live extravagantly and my parents don't give me a dime, more reasonably at $150k, and minimum at $100k. I'm not sure how much my parents will lend/give me (frankly, they don't know yet either), hence the uncertainty, but I do know that the difference between the two schools, ceteris paribus, is $100k.

I don't need to hear the arguments about picking the cheaper school. Besides, if I decide to pick the more expensive school, my scholarship at the cheaper school goes to someone else. Maybe even you! :idea:
 

flip26

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There's no need to get angry on an Internet forum at some anonymous person who doesn't have a clue how finances work (gosh, you couldn't tell?) and is asking whether or not it's hard to pay off an additional $100k. I see my max debt at $200k assuming I buy a new car and live extravagantly and my parents don't give me a dime, more reasonably at $150k, and minimum at $100k. I'm not sure how much my parents will lend/give me (frankly, they don't know yet either), hence the uncertainty, but I do know that the difference between the two schools, ceteris paribus, is $100k.

I don't need to hear the arguments about picking the cheaper school. Besides, if I decide to pick the more expensive school, my scholarship at the cheaper school goes to someone else. Maybe even you! :idea:
Simple answer: it is very hard to pay off an additional $100k of student loan debt. That is not a trivial amount of debt to incur for the frivolous reasons you are indicating.
 

funklab

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2-3 years is pretty short. You probably won't be making much money initially, right as you first start seeing patients when your training ends, and you may have a lot of up-front costs to deal with (buying a house, paying off your overloaded credit cards, relocation, etc). Plus, you've been poor for the past 10-15 years, so you might not be the most frugal at this time.

I would hope that anyone going into debt for medical school recognizes (and counts) credit card debts as part of the debt they are going into for medical school. Its the bad (expensive) kind, and should be paid off first, but it is definitely a debt and not an up front expense.
 

creativekat

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I'm sorry that money matters so much to you.

Some things can't be bought with money, and I have good reasons for considering other options. Please don't judge me as some frolick-y, frivolous, carefree person based on what I've posted on a forum. If that were the case, it's obvious I would choose the more expensive option, now wouldn't I? It is not as though the difference is 0k vs. 350k. I wanted an objective answer to my question without bringing School X vs. School Y cost of attendance into the picture, so that I can get real with the idea of living with a loan of SOME sort in the future. I just want to see how feasible this is.

For everyone else: difficulty/lifestyle in paying 100k vs 200k off, assuming same loan repayment plan of say, 10 years?
 
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funklab

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Simple answer: it is very hard to pay off an additional $100k of student loan debt. That is not a trivial amount of debt to incur for the frivolous reasons you are indicating.
My sisters husband had 60K in debt from his MBA. He paid it off in less than three years, and he makes less than 60K a year. 100K for a physician is not a very large amount.

For example, average student loan debt for a bachelors degree is somewhere around 25K, and the average starting salary is maybe 35-40K. Doctors (skipping over the residency years) make on average 4 times that, so 100K is really not that bad.

Although I admit the thought of living in debt for a decade or more is not an appealing thought.
 

DrBowtie

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My sisters husband had 60K in debt from his MBA. He paid it off in less than three years, and he makes less than 60K a year. 100K for a physician is not a very large amount.

For example, average student loan debt for a bachelors degree is somewhere around 25K, and the average starting salary is maybe 35-40K. Doctors (skipping over the residency years) make on average 4 times that, so 100K is really not that bad.

Although I admit the thought of living in debt for a decade or more is not an appealing thought.
You have to take into account the added interest from the loan as well as the opportunity cost of the extra 100k. Invested (instead of having to pay off the loan) can yield ~750k by retirement.
 

link2swim06

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The comments above are a little back and forth. Here are the number with a reasonable situation(s).


Smart Way to Handle 100K debt:

On a 100K loan I am assuming 1/3 of it is subsidized...no interest during medical school.

The other $67,000 will be $80,373 when graduating medical school.

Total debt at graduation from med school: $113,373

Yearly interest during residency: $7,709 -- Monthly $642

Assuming you are willing to moonlight 2 or 3 times a month, you could effectively hold off your interest.

This means when you finish residency you would still only owe: $113,373

If you want to spread it out over 10 years you will owe $1,304.70 Monthly

Lets assume to situations: (Plan A = Family Doc $160K/ year) (Plan B = Anesthesiologist $300K / year)

PLAN A $160K becomes a take home pay after taxes around 105K

You have 89K after loan payments to live on

15.2% of your TAKE HOME income will go to loan repayment

(imagine if you took 300K in debt....you would almost pay 1/2 of ALL your take home pay as a family doc till you were 40, in other words you would have a take home of $44,000 for 10 YEARS. A chemical engineer fresh out of undergrad has a take home pay of $50,000 for comparison....in other words a 22 year would be out earning, you the 40 year old doc)

PLAN B $300K becomes a take home pay after taxes around 195K

You have 179K after loan payments to live on

8.2% of your TAKE HOME income will go to loan repayment


Over this whole process, either plan you will end up paying $56,191.04 in interest. So in other words....at the end of the whole process that 100K will have became $153,191


I guess my conclusions:

1. Consolidate those loans if/when possible to a lower interest rate
2. Have your spouse get a job to supplement your income if you want a family.
3. Don't let interest accumulate during residency.
4. Don't do it for the money
5. If you write ass long post, you get logged out of SDN
 
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link2swim06

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You have to take into account the added interest from the loan as well as the opportunity cost of the extra 100k. Invested (instead of having to pay off the loan) can yield ~750k by retirement.

A. Obviously nobody has 100K to invest, therefore it makes no sense to consider

B. You would incur taxes which is going to limit your growth, hence, it would not make it 750K.
 

pOrtEnt

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Do whatever you want to do! Make a decision, move on with life. Don't look back. Most people would not make the decision you are making. So what? The grand majority of medical students graduate with lots of debt. You can do it, too, if you want to.
 

Geekchick921

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*Cough*... One of the many reasons why I may do an egg donation if I'm done having kids before I'm 35.

^Note: Not entirely serious here. I have debated becoming an egg donor, but doing so to pay off student loans isn't why. That said, the compensation is a nice chunk of change, which I would consider putting towards my debt.
 
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Parts Unknown

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How is everyone's loan repayment plan working out? Will you be debt-free by, say, 35?
I will be starting repayment at 36.

creativekat said:
Are you miserable about it now and (if applicable) do you regret your decision to go to a more expensive school because of the debt?
My top school was also my cheapest option. I do know a lot of residents/fellows who are >250K in debt, and most of them are now crapping their pants as they are trying to buy homes, raise kids, save money for college and retirement, and get a handle on their educational debt. All while wrangling with a decade of delayed gratification. It's not a pretty sight.
 

Parts Unknown

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Assuming you are willing to moonlight 2 or 3 times a month, you could effectively hold off your interest.
Moonlighting is not a given, and even when it's available you generally can't do it until you pass Step 3 and get an unrestricted license. That usually takes over a year.

Paying down loans during residency is usually a stupid move, anyways, and virtually nobody does it. Several hundered bucks a month in training is worth a lot more than a slightly decreased loan payment as an attending.

link2swim06 said:
If you want to spread it out over 10 years you will owe $1,304.70 Monthly
The maximum fixed repayment term is currently 25 years, and many people select that plan so they have the option of the lowest possible payment each month. Whether it makes sense to pay it off more aggressively is an individual decision.

I have ~152K in debt and I'm consolidated at <3% interest. You can bet I will be taking the maximum repayment term possible.
 

surftheiop

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The maximum fixed repayment term is currently 25 years, and many people select that plan so they have the option of the lowest possible payment each month. Whether it makes sense to pay it off more aggressively is an individual decision.

I have ~152K in debt and I'm consolidated at <3% interest. You can bet I will be taking the maximum repayment term possible.

At which point do you have to choose your repayment term?

Or is it more like you just start paying them back and whenever your done is fine so long as its within the max term?
 

link2swim06

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Moonlighting is not a given, and even when it's available you generally can't do it until you pass Step 3 and get an unrestricted license. That usually takes over a year.

Paying down loans during residency is usually a stupid move, anyways, and virtually nobody does it. Several hundered bucks a month in training is worth a lot more than a slightly decreased loan payment as an attending.



The maximum fixed repayment term is currently 25 years, and many people select that plan so they have the option of the lowest possible payment each month. Whether it makes sense to pay it off more aggressively is an individual decision.

I have ~152K in debt and I'm consolidated at <3% interest. You can bet I will be taking the maximum repayment term possible.
This would be ideal, at what point did u consolidate?
 
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It might be $110K before you even graduate med school, and depending on what residency/fellowship you do, it would probably be $150K by the time you finish residency. Your payments for a 10-year standard repayment would be $1700/month, which is a little over $20,000 per year. That much after-tax income would require close to $30K of your gross income.

It's certainly feasible, but if you're making what the average physician makes around $160K/year, it's a pretty big bite.
Are student loan repayments not tax exempt?
 
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The comments above are a little back and forth. Here are the number with a reasonable situation(s).


Smart Way to Handle 100K debt:

On a 100K loan I am assuming 1/3 of it is subsidized...no interest during medical school.

The other $67,000 will be $80,373 when graduating medical school.

Total debt at graduation from med school: $113,373

Yearly interest during residency: $7,709 -- Monthly $642

Assuming you are willing to moonlight 2 or 3 times a month, you could effectively hold off your interest.

This means when you finish residency you would still only owe: $113,373

If you want to spread it out over 10 years you will owe $1,304.70 Monthly

Lets assume to situations: (Plan A = Family Doc $160K/ year) (Plan B = Anesthesiologist $300K / year)

PLAN A $160K becomes a take home pay after taxes around 105K

You have 89K after loan payments to live on

15.2% of your TAKE HOME income will go to loan repayment

(imagine if you took 300K in debt....you would almost pay 1/2 of ALL your take home pay as a family doc till you were 40, in other words you would have a take home of $44,000 for 10 YEARS. A chemical engineer fresh out of undergrad has a take home pay of $50,000 for comparison....in other words a 22 year would be out earning, you the 40 year old doc)

PLAN B $300K becomes a take home pay after taxes around 195K

You have 179K after loan payments to live on

8.2% of your TAKE HOME income will go to loan repayment


Over this whole process, either plan you will end up paying $56,191.04 in interest. So in other words....at the end of the whole process that 100K will have became $153,191


I guess my conclusions:

1. Consolidate those loans if/when possible to a lower interest rate
2. Have your spouse get a job to supplement your income if you want a family.
3. Don't let interest accumulate during residency.
4. Don't do it for the money
5. If you write ass long post, you get logged out of SDN
Just an interesting point to add to Plan A, I'm not sure of the exact details, but if you do Family Practice in the right areas (I think rural mostly) for ten years there is a government program that forgives your loans to the federal gov't. So you could skate by on minimum payments for those ten years and plan on not repaying your loans barring some unforeseen circumstance
 

Parts Unknown

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At which point do you have to choose your repayment term?
I'm in forbearance until September, at which point I will select the 25 year option and set up automatic electronic payment. The auto payment will knock my interest rate down by 0.25%. After a set number of on-time payments it goes down another 0.25%.

If I want to switch between different payment plans I am pretty much free to do so. Nice thing about the Gubbmint loans is they are quite flexible and accommodating.

More info: http://www.direct.ed.gov/RepayCalc/dlindex2.html
 

eNVyKillaBeez

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I will be starting repayment at 36.



My top school was also my cheapest option. I do know a lot of residents/fellows who are >250K in debt, and most of them are now crapping their pants as they are trying to buy homes, raise kids, save money for college and retirement, and get a handle on their educational debt. All while wrangling with a decade of delayed gratification. It's not a pretty sight.
Do you think Income Based Repayment (IBR) would be a viable option for them?
 

illegallysmooth

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I wasn't asking you...I wanted an answer from someone who has dealt with people in a situation like the one that Parts Unknown quoted, thanks
Oh, I thought you wanted an answer from someone who knows IBR forward and backward, and therefore realizes it's pretty much the obvious choice during residency unless you have a very low amount of debt, have super high living expenses and/or love accumulating interest. Also, how do you know who I have "dealt with?" If you want to have a private discussion, then private message him. Otherwise, this is public forum. Welcome to SDN. If you want to learn more about IBR, try this:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=9540393

http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibr.phtml

http://ibrinfo.org/

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IBRPlan.jsp

http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml


and this forum http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=30
 
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Parts Unknown

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I wasn't asking you...I wanted an answer from someone who has dealt with people in a situation like the one that Parts Unknown quoted, I was hoping for a little more than "OF COURSE"...
I believe IBR is a new option, so while I'm sure some people will opt for it, I have no personal or vicarious experience with it.
 

eNVyKillaBeez

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Oh, I thought you wanted an answer from someone who knows IBR forward and backward, and therefore realizes it's pretty much the obvious choice during residency unless you have a very low amount of debt, have super high living expenses and/or love accumulating interest. Also, how do you know who I have "dealt with?" If you want to have a private discussion, then private message him. Otherwise, this is public forum. Welcome to SDN. If you want to learn more about IBR, try this:

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=9540393

http://www.finaid.org/loans/ibr.phtml

http://ibrinfo.org/

http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/IBRPlan.jsp

http://www.finaid.org/calculators/ibr.phtml


and this forum http://forums.studentdoctor.net/forumdisplay.php?f=30
Obviously its the "obvious choice" during residency. I'm more interested in the plan once residency is done and figured he would have had more of an opinion on it
 

Trogghunter

7+ Year Member
Nov 16, 2009
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Attending Physician
im at 100k and im about to leave undergrad. school A is 38K a year, school B is 42, school C is a measly 60K a year. thats gonna put me approaching half a million by the time everything is said and done.
however, there are programs that you can enter that reduce your payments after school...ie) agreeing to work as a pcp for a while, etc.

one thing that you should do...if you can...is have your family try to pay off your interest on loans so that when you get out, you'll have just the loans yourself. interest adds up.

just look around for various funding, but it's going to be well worth the debt initially for the ability to be a physician...even if you do have to eat pbj and drive the same car for a few years.
 

illegallysmooth

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May 21, 2008
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Obviously its the "obvious choice" during residency. I'm more interested in the plan once residency is done and figured he would have had more of an opinion on it
IBR after residency completely depends on income, which depends on specialty. There's IBR + public service loan forgiveness, IBR with forgiveness after 25 years for non public service, and then of course the 10 and 25 year standard and extended repayment plans. Read the links I provided, you'll see. You don't need one person's plan after residency, you need to educate yourself on all the options. As a general rule, the faster you can pay off the loans, the less interest you will pay. Forgiveness is only beneficial if you are accumulating less interest than the amount forgiven, therefore IBR is only helpful if you are making under a certain income level.