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need advice from those who have been there: Should I take out loans or work during school?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by kashmirpirate, May 12, 2014.

  1. As of now I am attending state college where I currently get my full tuition and books covered through the pell grant, and I live with my grandmother and commute to college so that I don't have to worry about rent or anything...BUT I do have to worry about my car insurance, car maintenance, gas, food, and phone bill. I'm currently in the process of getting my CNA and finding a job in a hospital...but right now I don't know where my life is leading me financially, and I'd honestly like to eventually move closer to my school and be able to live in my own apartment. Should I take out loans to make my life more comfortable while attending college since my ultimate goal and passion is to become a doctor, or should I work more in order to take care of my basic necessities. I want to be able to focus on maintaining a good gpa and studying for the MCAT while also gaining clinical experience so that I can get into a good medical school...are loans really as bad as everyone makes them seem? Would I be screwing myself over by taking out loans for pre-med?
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  3. Frostbite22

    Frostbite22 Iraq Lobster

    Mar 3, 2014
    I would calculate how much you think your bills will be every month. If you need to work something like 10-20 hours then I'd say just go with the job. If you need to work 25 on up I would probably take out a smaller loan. I had to work full time but I still took out about a 1500$ extra each semester-on top of other school loans. My reasoning was that my parents wouldn't have been able to help out if something happened to me due to their financial circumstances. Most schools though you can still take out loan money past the deadline, all you have to do is contact financial aid office. You won't be screwing yourself since many people have to take out loans for pre-med just don't go crazy and accept the full amount they offer and you should be good. Trust me you won't be the only one with a loan from undergrad.

    If you end up moving closer and needing more money take out what you need. I am sure it won't be anywhere near the amount of tuition and if it'd make you do better in school I'd be all for it.
  4. contender603

    contender603 2+ Year Member

    Aug 12, 2013
    If you're end goal is to attend medical school, then do whatever will ensure that you make it there. As previously mentioned, it is not worth 25+ hours of work if it means you will do poorly in your classes.

    Also, loans are not the end of the world. I get a small percentage of my tuition covered by the pell grant but will still be leaving undergrad with 70k in debt. Everything is manageable as long as you know how to keep yourself to a budget.
  5. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Sep 18, 2013
    I have 52k in loans from UG but I don't regret a minute of my UG experience (well, that's a lie but anyway lol). Getting out on my own was the greatest thing I could have ever done, honestly. And if you have to take out a small loan to do it, it won't cripple you.
  6. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    None of the above. You should do whatever you reasonably can to avoid taking out loans for college *or* having a heavy work schedule, especially since you know that you want to go to medical school. How far away does your grandmother live from your college? If it's a manageable driving distance, I'd suggest you stay put until you finish college. You have the rest of your life to be all grown up and independent, and as someone who has been paying my own rent for the past twenty years, I can tell you that it ain't all it's cracked up to be.

    I'd also argue that many premeds grossly underestimate how much those loans you take out now will undercut your quality of life as a resident or attending. Your educational loans come due in January of your intern year, even though you're only making around $50,000 a year at that point. High loan payments during residency will cause a significant hit to your standard of living. Some people will tell you not to worry, that you can easily pay all that debt off once you're an attending. Well, when you're 20 years old and single, you may think you'll be fine living like a student for the next ten or twenty years. But in their late twenties or thirties, most people want to do things like get married, have a family, buy a house, take nice vacations, save for retirement, fund their kids' college, and otherwise live the American dream. Every dollar you borrow now takes away from your ability to do any of that then.

    Seriously, you have a good gig going in not having to pay room or board during college. Take advantage of it while you still can.
    optimistic3 likes this.
  7. optimistic3

    optimistic3 2+ Year Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    I really really really regret my student loans. I should have done what I could to take out the minimum. For my case, that would've been going to a community college for 2 years and then transferring to a university for 2 years and living at home the whole time. Instead, I went to CC for 1 year, uni for 3 years, and lived on campus for 3 years. Sure, it was nicer to do so at the time but I'm regretting all the loans I have now.

    If you end up taking out something like $10k total in loans, I think around that or less would be fine. I have a lot more than that : /

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