Just had $470k Medical School loans discharged through PSLF. AMA.

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Red Beard

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As the title says, after 11 years of participation, I've just had my $470k principle + interest student loans discharged through Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Some details of my situation:

-Had about $220k principle and interest at medical school graduation in 2010. All federal loans.

-Consolidated my loans late summer of intern year, and applied for the Income Based Repayment plan (there are better options now which cap payment at a lower amount.)

-Started paying IBR payments during fall of intern year at a State U residency program, payments I think were around $150/mo to start, and around $300/mo by the end of residency with income increases. Not even close to covering the monthly interest that was accruing.

-Missed deadline for IBR recertification once during residency, and was penalized with immediate capitalization of subsidized interest, tens of thousands of dollars.

-Finished residency 2014 and joined my University as full time faculty, payments went up to ~$1500/mo. Standard 10 year payment would have been $3000/mo at this point. Stayed on at the university for 4 years.

-Left faculty position for an employed position at a 501c3 hospital, working 0.8FTE or 32 hrs per week, which the institution considered full time.

-Applied for loan discharge from my current job on the day after my 120th payment on April 8th, and got my official discharge letter today.

Over the years, I'd heard a lot of people tell me they weren't doing the program bc they heard it doesn't work, that it would be taken away, it was a pipe dream, etc. Well, proof is in the pudding.

I feel like I am an expert at this point in this program from a physician perspective, and am willing to answer questions you've got.
 
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DarkKnight835

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how much money would you say you have paid in mandatory monthly payments + any fees from PSLF paperwork’s?
 

Red Beard

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I estimate I paid around $100k on the loans since finishing medical school.
 
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Dantes

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Congrats. That's a huge weight off your back. I'll admit I was one of the ones talking **** about the program just because so many people were getting rejected. Why do you think that is, and how did you avoid these common pitfalls?

This might get more coverage in the main MD forum btw
 
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TMP-SMX

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Congrats! I've paid about 8k on my loans for past 10 years (mostly due to long residency and larger family size). Had a bit of a mixup with switching to fedloans and prolonged lack of payments in the beginning. Unless the forbearance extends beyond September I estimate I'll pay another 14k then should be on track to make my 120th payment next year. Roughly 250k will be forgiven.
 

sylvanthus

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I hope to be in your shoes in 3 years. Im making sure I keep a good paper trail and am rdy to hire a lawyer asap if I get pushback. Fedloan servicing is the devil. Ive had to have my payments recounted twice due to incompetence and each time I have to get The CFPB or ombudsman involved. Ridic.
 

ek_5.17

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Hi @Red Beard thanks for sharing! I am an incoming medical student looking at ~320,000 in federal loans and pretty certain I want to work in an academic or nonprofit hospital after graduation. How certain is it that I will receive PSLF without any pushback (randomly getting rejected after 120 payments, FedLoan Servicing miscounting my payments, etc.)? I know there are things you can do to make sure you're on the right track (certify your employer at the get-go when you start residency, fill out some form every year to report payments, track how many eligible payments have been counted using the PSLF Qualifying Payment Update report). Are people rejected even in spite of these things? And did you have trouble finding positions in nonprofit/public hospitals? Thanks!
 

Mad Jack

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mjhunt103

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PSLF is tax-exempt, OP will owe nothing. IBR, PAYE, and REPAYE loan forgiveness are not
Well, as far as IBR, PAYE, and REPAYE, they have been made tax-free through 2025. But, even if it is not extended, many chronically unmatched MD's will pay little or no tax anyway.

Because, if you are insolvent, meaning your liabilities exceed your assets exceed your liabilities, you will not have to pay taxes on all or part of the cancelled indebtedness "income."


Seth Koeut managed to avoid this by winning his bankruptcy battle, but it may not be necessary to bother with that.

It is still wrong that so many unmatched MD's have to work minimum wage jobs. but there is at least some justice in the world.
 

Mad Jack

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Well, as far as IBR, PAYE, and REPAYE, they have been made tax-free through 2025. But, even if it is not extended, many chronically unmatched MD's will pay little or no tax anyway.

Because, if you are insolvent, meaning your liabilities exceed your assets exceed your liabilities, you will not have to pay taxes on all or part of the cancelled indebtedness "income."


Seth Koeut managed to avoid this by winning his bankruptcy battle, but it may not be necessary to bother with that.

It is still wrong that so many unmatched MD's have to work minimum wage jobs. but there is at least some justice in the world.
This thread isn't about unmatched people, it is about how doctors deal with debt in practice. It seems unlikely the unfunded tax rescindment will continue. As for insolvency, that's basically only going to happen if you don't match and can't find a decent job doing anything afterward
 
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mjhunt103

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This thread isn't about unmatched people, it is about how doctors deal with debt in practice. It seems unlikely the unfunded tax rescindment will continue. As for insolvency, that's basically only going to happen if you don't match and can't find a decent job doing anything afterward
This thread is very much related to unmatched people, whether you want it to be or not. There is a pressing social need to talk about it much more, because without changes to the residency selection and immigration systems, it will become ever more common in the future (with you being part of the reason, since you apparently want debt-free foreigners to have an equal chance at U.S. residencies).

Even if you don't care about their mental health, I do. I don't want to see more follow Leigh Sundem's path.

PSLF is commonly talked about as a forgiveness mechanism among chronically unmatched MD's and everyone else, so nothing could be more relevant.

And, I am pretty sure most unmatched MD's, like Dr. Seth Koeut, will never find anything paying much more than minimum wage. Aside from the lack of inability to acquire more skills, there is an enormous stigma against unmatched MD's (with you furthering it).

It may shock you, but i have no tolerance for any debt or risk of wasting years of life. That would prevent me from even trying medical school even if I thought I could get in. I, am, in fact extremely hesitant to try any kind of further education without a guarantee of a high-paying job.

So, I will continue to work to change the world to reduce debt risk and increase my chances of high-paying jobs.
 
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Mad Jack

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This thread is very much related to unmatched people, whether you want it to be or not. There is a pressing social need to talk about it much more, because without changes to the residency selection and immigration systems, it will become ever more common in the future (with you being part of the reason, since you apparently want debt-free foreigners to have an equal chance at U.S. residencies).

Even if you don't care about their mental health, I do. I don't want to see more follow Leigh Sundem's path.

PSLF is commonly talked about as a forgiveness mechanism among chronically unmatched MD's and everyone else, so nothing could be more relevant.

And, I am pretty sure most unmatched MD's, like Dr. Seth Koeut, will never find anything paying much more than minimum wage. Aside from the lack of inability to acquire more skills, there is an enormous stigma against unmatched MD's (with you furthering it).

It may shock you, but i have no tolerance for any debt or risk of wasting years of life. That would prevent me from even trying medical school even if I thought I could get in. I, am, in fact extremely hesitant to try any kind of further education without a guarantee of a high-paying job.

So, I will continue to work to change the world to reduce debt risk and increase my chances of high-paying jobs.
Off-topic posting is against the terms of service, my dude, specifically to avoid dragging every thread down some sociopolitical nightmare ride. Stay on topic, the topic being PSLF and how to make it work for residents and doctors
 
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