Hey guys, I was wondering if someone could give me a ballpark figure on how much my monthly payment would be when it comes to paying back my student loans, assuming I have $180,000 total in loans over 4 yrs of med school and will likely go for a 30 yr repayment plan. Thanks! Eric

alot. j/k... Not sure, for comparison sake, I pay $550/month for my $106k on the 30-yr. 29k is at 5.1% (variable) and 77k at 1.625% on the 30-yr.

Your best bet is to play around with an online calculator like the one at www.finaid.com. One word of caution: if you arrived at the $180K figure by taking your projected MS1 borrowing and multiplying by four, you'll need to revise the figure upward significantly. $250-275K is probably closer, which yields -- ballpark -- a 30 year payment of $1750-2000/month.

consolidated my federal loans in 2005 at a rate of 2.875%. .25% rate reduction for auto-pay and just completed my 20th on-time payment, dropping a full 1% off the rate. I do realize that these rates and benefits aren't offered anymore.

for everyone else who just had a jump when they saw this, these numbers aren't right. the monthly payment is more like 700.

Huh? $250K/360 = $694.44 Seriously? Are you kidding? Who's offering student loans at 0% interest? (I stand by my numbers, which I arrived at by using an average weighted interest rate of 7.5%. I think that's a fair assumption for a typical mix of Stafford and GradPlus loans.)

on a 30 year repayment plan? no no no, 250k refers to the total amount that'll be owed when all interest is added - at least in the specific case that was mentioned before. if you start out with 250k of debt right after med school, then sure you'll have much higher monthly payments. but even still, if you pay 1750/mo for 30 years, your total payments amount to 630k. maybe we're just not understanding each other here, but there's no way that's right.

The OP said: I assumed he meant a total of $180K borrowed. I'm not sure how this could be interpreted otherwise. Then, when I pointed out that he might need to revise the figure upward, I was refering to: a) interest accrued during medical school and residency (before the debt is capitalized), and b) annual increases in borrowing due to tuition increases and cost of living increases. In my experience on these boards, pre-meds sometimes assume their total capitalized debt (which does not include 30 years of interest paid during repayment, obviously) can be estimated by multiplying MS1 borrowing by four. This figure is typically too low by about 30% or more, depending on how long your residency is. So if you borrow $45K as a MS1, a total capitalized debt of roughly $250-275K is probably about right. Again, this figure does not include the interest paid during the repayment period. Using your way of thinking, if you borrow $45K as a MS1, you will shell out $630K during repayment, but most people don't refer to this figure as the total debt, because if you were able to pay if off quicker, you'd save a good bit of that interest. Splitting hairs here, I guess. But while I'm at it, one more thing: at current interest rates, a $700 payment over 30 years will service roughly a $100K debt. This corresponds -- again, roughly -- to $20K in first year borrowing. In any case, a $100K capitalized debt is significantly lower than the OP was estimating. Clearly, I don't have enough to do today.

Maybe you don't have enough to do, but what really bugs me is that I don't understand how so many people sign up for the 30 year plan if they end up paying 630k. Why can't I just live frugally for a few years and devote half my income to paying back the loans to avoid doubling my total repayment?

Because when you factor inflation, you really aren't saving terribly much. Play around with some of the Net Present Value (NPV) calculators on finaid.org. It's a matter of preference.

You can sign up for the 30-year plan, and can pay more than the monthly amount when you're able to, translating into a shorter term and less interest paid. It gives you better flexibility in repaying back your loans, since there are no pre-payment penalties. I could be wrong, somebody please correct me if so