Lifeblood_20

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Hello,
Hope you are all staying safe and healthy. I was recently accepted to a US medical school, and it has only been sinking in that I am actually going to be a medical student, embarking on the long journey of training to be a physician. A bit of background: I am a traditional student, 22 yo and graduated college in 2020. In undergrad, I saved a lot of money from living at home and working 15 - 20 hours weekly all four years. Because of that, I managed to graduate with minimum debt. I am well aware of the high cost of medical training, but I felt renewed pressure from evaluating more closely since I got my acceptance. I estimated that my loan would be ~130k (edit: should be ~230k) for the cost of education and living if I go to this school. I feel worried about my ability to pay it back efficiently, which is probably partly because of my relative inexperience with large amounts of student loans. I know I am unlikely to have time for a side job in medical school to support myself. I can do well with living on a budget, but I hope to learn more about the realities of medical training finances and what I can do as a student/resident to make this easier for my future self.
Current students/residents, how are you managing your finances living-wise and loan strategy-wise? For those of you who have graduated/finished paying off debt, do you have any advice?

Thanks!
-Flying Penguin
 
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May 16, 2020
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You will pay off that debt in no time, once you graduate, so don't worry. Concentrate on your classes. If you absolutely need to work for pay, there will be work-study jobs (like tutoring other medical students or working as a research assistant) or other jobs where you can pick up a shift once in a while (sitting with patients, doing phlebotomy).
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Thats a relatively manageable amount of debt. I have students in for 300 to 350k for college and med school. I have heard of higher numbers for more expensive schools. Being concerned now shows you are already halfway there. You will be fine with that amount. With all the money spent on covid relief, don't count on student loan forgiveness anytime soon. That amount is very manageable . Good luck and best wishes!
 
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Lifeblood_20

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Thats a relatively manageable amount of debt. I have students in for 300 to 350k for college and med school. I have heard of higher numbers for more expensive schools. Being concerned now shows you are already halfway there. You will be fine with that amount. With all the money spent on covid relief, don't count on student loan forgiveness anytime soon. That amount is very manageable . Good luck and best wishes!
I did my calculations at 1 am and just realized now that the estimate should be ~230k, not 130k... Which I realize is still low compared to yours and others.
Is it really possible to pay it off in a few years as an attending living frugally, as others on here claim? I am worried that I can't go into lower-paying specialties because of the burden of debt.
 
May 16, 2020
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Yes, you can definitely pay that off, especially if you work full-time and are not in an area with super high cost of living (like NYC or SF).
 

Lifeblood_20

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Look up the salary range for that area; I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
salary.com says that the average salary for PCPs in that state is ~170k, range between ~150k and ~190k depending on the area. That does make me feel much better, but one cannot expect this salary range right of residency, right? Would 230k debt still be considered manageable with the interests on top?
 

Tenk

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Sounds like you’re already pretty fiscally responsible. You’ll be fine, don’t worry about it. Just don’t live lavishly the next four years is the best thing you can do for your future self. Congrats.
 
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PipetteDreams

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There are also plenty of physician financial blogs if you search online. The White Coat Investor facebook group has a nice community and they post examples of people quickly paying down significant medical debt several times a week.
 
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jambro

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salary.com says that the average salary for PCPs in that state is ~170k, range between ~150k and ~190k depending on the area. That does make me feel much better, but one cannot expect this salary range right of residency, right? Would 230k debt still be considered manageable with the interests on top?

I would look at MGMA, 150k-190k seems pretty low from what I understand, even for PCPs, even right out of residency.
 
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That
salary.com says that the average salary for PCPs in that state is ~170k, range between ~150k and ~190k depending on the area. That does make me feel much better, but one cannot expect this salary range right of residency, right? Would 230k debt still be considered manageable with the interests on top?
That salary range sounds very low to me. And yes, you will make that much as soon as you finish residency.
 

Vyzzle

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I'll have 500k by the time I'm done with residency, so don't sweat it.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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I'll have 500k by the time I'm done with residency, so don't sweat it.
If you can, pay of some small ones doing residency, or make at least an extra payment. Even at 2%, which I'm sure you have some higher, its 10k a year for interest on 500k. Almost 1k a month just in interest before you pay even a dime back. One of the reasons I suggest giving Lecom a look, it saves a lot of money, and interest. Good luck and best wishes!
 

Vyzzle

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Lol, I WISH I had 2% interest on loans. The lowest ones are ~6%.

I'm currently paying down my higher interest ones as much as possible while working as a tutor, I plan to hit them hard during residency as well. Currently putting 1.2k/mo towards them and hoping to increase that after school. Also in the process of refinancing my high interest private student loans down to ~4%. The monthly payments will be high, but within the limits I've been currently paying.

And thank you!!
 

Angus Avagadro

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Lol, I WISH I had 2% interest on loans. The lowest ones are ~6%.

I'm currently paying down my higher interest ones as much as possible while working as a tutor, I plan to hit them hard during residency as well. Currently putting 1.2k/mo towards them and hoping to increase that after school. Also in the process of refinancing my high interest private student loans down to ~4%. The monthly payments will be high, but within the limits I've been currently paying.

And thank you!!
6% is ridiculous. I remember when my son was in med school and I asked the financial aid officer what the rates were, he said 6 to 8 %. I nearly reached across the table to grab him by his tie. I could borrow at 3%. The same politicians who gave you that to make college and grad school more affordable are now considering loan forgiveness. Don't hold your breath. If it makes you feel better, my wife and I had some loans at 17% years ago when rates were that high. It looks like you have a solid plan. Good luck and best wishes!
 
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