How to pay off loans??

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

The REAL Doc McStuffins

Full Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Messages
146
Reaction score
90
Incoming OMS-I here. I’ve been so focused on getting into medical school that now I got in, I’m now trying to figure out how to fund it lol… I don’t have any other debt except for my car payment. I know I will obviously need to do federal loans, but I’m so scared of the interest carrying while In school. Is the debt something I can pay off quickly? Tuition will be 200k+ not including interest and I’m quite scared. Are there any scholarships available that help pay for med school other than the military?

Members don't see this ad.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Yeah it sucks. I finished med school with $500k in student loans. You’ll be ok. Look into NHSC and PSLF, but other than that there’s not a lot of options.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
As long as your are attending a program with federal loans, you are in a better financial position than those only able to obtain private loans (Sallie Mae, iHelp, etc.)

While in medical school, look into NHSC, VA HPSP, and normal HPSP. There may be other programs out there, but these are probably the most well known. Generally, these programs cover tuition, fees, insurance (sometimes), and books while providing you a living stipend. You may need to still take out loans for living depending on where you are, but they will be relatively minimal compared to your peers. After you graduate medical school you can do PSLF and that should help a lot. Additionally, many employers have some form of loan forgiveness (The Permanente Medical Group of Northern California). Use this tool to select a primary care field (FM or IM outpatient) and you'll see that they have some great forgivable or no-interest loans meant to help you buy a home and pay off your student loans. You can also refinance your loans once you get out of medical school or residency. That will have a HUGE impact on your monthly loan payment

Big picture: Breath, there are many avenues you can take to lessen your loan burden while in medical school and once you are an attending

If you are attending a for-profit school that does not have federal loans, sign on the dotted line and take some shots. One thing that isn't talked about is that if you attend one of these programs that only accept private loans and one year, for whatever reason, you and your cosigner (if you have one) do not qualify for a loan, your medical career could come to a halt. Without that private loan you can't pay tuition or cover living expenses. These lending companies can change their credit requirements, your household income could drop below the threshold, your cosigners income could drop below the threshold, they could lose their job, the economy could tank, etc. and now you are partway through your medical journey and potentially are unable to finish it. This is a real scenario that student experience every year but is not talked about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
I'm a second year attending.
They go down year by year.
It's hard to watch it stack up in the beginning, but you can still live comfortably and the number just exists in the background.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
Members don't see this ad :)
As long as your are attending a program with federal loans, you are in a better financial position than those only able to obtain private loans (Sallie Mae, iHelp, etc.)

While in medical school, look into NHSC, VA HPSP, and normal HPSP. There may be other programs out there, but these are probably the most well known. Generally, these programs cover tuition, fees, insurance (sometimes), and books while providing you a living stipend. You may need to still take out loans for living depending on where you are, but they will be relatively minimal compared to your peers. After you graduate medical school you can do PSLF and that should help a lot. Additionally, many employers have some form of loan forgiveness (The Permanente Medical Group of Northern California). Use this tool to select a primary care field (FM or IM outpatient) and you'll see that they have some great forgivable or no-interest loans meant to help you buy a home and pay off your student loans. You can also refinance your loans once you get out of medical school or residency. That will have a HUGE impact on your monthly loan payment

Big picture: Breath, there are many avenues you can take to lessen your loan burden while in medical school and once you are an attending

If you are attending a for-profit school that does not have federal loans, sign on the dotted line and take some shots. One thing that isn't talked about is that if you attend one of these programs that only accept private loans and one year, for whatever reason, you and your cosigner (if you have one) do not qualify for a loan, your medical career could come to a halt. Without that private loan you can't pay tuition or cover living expenses. These lending companies can change their credit requirements, your household income could drop below the threshold, your cosigners income could drop below the threshold, they could lose their job, the economy could tank, etc. and now you are partway through your medical journey and potentially are unable to finish it. This is a real scenario that student experience every year but is not talked about.
Yes I just looked into the VA HPSP, do you know much about it? I’m trying to see if it would be a good idea
 
Yes I just looked into the VA HPSP, do you know much about it? I’m trying to see if it would be a good idea
I wouldn't do military unless you are familiar with & want that lifestyle. They quite literally own you.

My friend is in the Navy HPSP scholarship. It's nice, she does have a stipend & everything covered for school, but I believe her specialty choice is kind of hampered by what the Navy needs. She also had to give up her post MS-1 summer to boot camp.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
  • Sad
Reactions: 2 users
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Well it was fun while it lasted
Ya I would imagine that it will be struck down. Anybody who started med school 2022 or later is pretty much SOL because they got stuck with extremely high interest loans plus no pause on interest accumulation plus probably no years of SAVE
 
I wouldn't do military unless you are familiar with & want that lifestyle. They quite literally own you.

My friend is in the Navy HPSP scholarship. It's nice, she does have a stipend & everything covered for school, but I believe her specialty choice is kind of hampered by what the Navy needs. She also had to give up her post MS-1 summer to boot camp.
Yes I agree. I wouldn’t do military Hpsp. This is the VA HPSP I was referring to. It requires you to work at the VA for 6 years after residency.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I wouldn't do military unless you are familiar with & want that lifestyle. They quite literally own you.

My friend is in the Navy HPSP scholarship. It's nice, she does have a stipend & everything covered for school, but I believe her specialty choice is kind of hampered by what the Navy needs. She also had to give up her post MS-1 summer to boot camp.
The VA is not the military. You're much less restricted and remain a civilian in that program.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users
My answer pertains to the title only. It is working for me and MAY not work for you or others concerned about how to pay off their students loans.

My advice is to learn about investing in the stock market while you are in school. Learn about selling options especially. Then when you start getting paid a salary in residency, you will be prepared.

In my case, in the past 7 months I have used capital gains from my stock market plays to pay off high 5 figures (closer to 6 figures) of my loans. My goal is to pay off the remaining balance (low six figures) of my loans before I graduate from residency using capital gains.

I am not relying on government loan programs that will change at the drop of a hat based on current or future administrations in the White House. It will be good to be net worth positive once the loans are paid off...

GL.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
There are plenty of options, you don't need the HSPS.

-Make sure your residency program is eligible for the PSLF(most places are). 10 years of consecutive payments = debt forgiven. Start payments while in residency. I am in residency and have children, so I pay less than 100$ per month, and it counts towards my repayment years.

-Just doing light job searching, most if not all jobs I am seeing in my field offer loan repayment for 3 or 4 years worth of payments. So all in all I will probably end up paying the full loan monthly payment for maybe a year or two before my loans are forgiven.

-Also remember that student loan payments are not like mortgages. There are different repayment options. Income driven plans will take a max of 10-15% of post-tax income. So if you make so if you make $16K per month after takes, $1600 per month is nothing.

-This is all just to say that physicians have different options that other professions don't have, don't stress it more than you need to. Good luck.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
I wouldn't do military unless you are familiar with & want that lifestyle. They quite literally own you.

My friend is in the Navy HPSP scholarship. It's nice, she does have a stipend & everything covered for school, but I believe her specialty choice is kind of hampered by what the Navy needs. She also had to give up her post MS-1 summer to boot camp.
Very true!
 
My answer pertains to the title only. It is working for me and MAY not work for you or others concerned about how to pay off their students loans.

My advice is to learn about investing in the stock market while you are in school. Learn about selling options especially. Then when you start getting paid a salary in residency, you will be prepared.

In my case, in the past 7 months I have used capital gains from my stock market plays to pay off high 5 figures (closer to 6 figures) of my loans. My goal is to pay off the remaining balance (low six figures) of my loans before I graduate from residency using capital gains.

I am not relying on government loan programs that will change at the drop of a hat based on current or future administrations in the White House. It will be good to be network positive once the loans are paid off...

GL.
Yeah that's very much a YMMV situation.
Advising people to get into stock options without acknowledging the ability to lose your shirt in the process isn't wise. If it were that easy, we'd all be doing it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 users
There are plenty of options, you don't need the HSPS.

-Make sure your residency program is eligible for the PSLF(most places are). 10 years of consecutive payments = debt forgiven. Start payments while in residency. I am in residency and have children, so I pay less than 100$ per month, and it counts towards my repayment years.

-Just doing light job searching, most if not all jobs I am seeing in my field offer loan repayment for 3 or 4 years worth of payments. So all in all I will probably end up paying the full loan monthly payment for maybe a year or two before my loans are forgiven.

-Also remember that student loan payments are not like mortgages. There are different repayment options. Income driven plans will take a max of 10-15% of post-tax income. So if you make so if you make $16K per month after takes, $1600 per month is nothing.

-This is all just to say that physicians have different options that other professions don't have, don't stress it more than you need to. Good luck.
Thank you!
 
Top