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Pay For Medical School?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by MysteryF, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. MysteryF


    Aug 7, 2013
    How do really low income individuals pay for med school? My single parent will not be helping me for the costs since he makes less than $30,000 year for a family of 5. I don't have a job or any money saved. Do people on the really low side of income scale end up borrowing 300-400K since they have no other source of incomes?
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  3. mehc012

    mehc012 Big Damn Hero 5+ Year Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    The Black
    Yes. People without super rich families or astounding-to-the-point-of-rare-scholarship medical students end up borrowing hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is not rare, it is not uncommon, it is just the way things are currently set up.
    There are some options - go to a cheaper school, live in TX, agree to work in primary care and apply for those scholarships, join the military, etc. Otherwise, it's loan city. Sorry. :shrug:
    Winged Scapula likes this.
  4. claduva94

    claduva94 2+ Year Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Loans with a few loans sprinkled on top.
    Cyberdyne 101 and Goro like this.
  5. godawg300


    Jun 11, 2014
    Get into a top 20 school. They usually have good aid. Top 10 is even better..,.otherwise it's loan city.
  6. bjb305

    bjb305 10+ Year Member

    May 31, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    yep.. i took out loans to pay for med school.. 2nd yr resident now and sitting on a lovely $346,000 worth of loans accruing about $2000 worth of interest per MONTH (which you cannot afford to pay as a resident since you only get about $3000 per month)
  7. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    Loans. Will graduate with over $300,000 of loans.
    Goro and mik30102 like this.
  8. Keladry

    Keladry 2+ Year Member

    Mar 6, 2014
    Loans and more loans. :) I'm OOS for a state school, so this year I have about $80k in loans (roughly $60k tuition + $20k living expenses), but next year I'll be able to claim IS status so that'll save me $25k for the next 3 years. Still going to have easily >$200k in debt, I'd guess. Yaaaaaaaaaaay.
  9. makingthejump


    Dec 16, 2013
    So here's what I'm confused on....if you have 350k in loans and are currently earning 3k/month with 2k interest per month, you could potentially live frugal enough to pay your monthly interest while a resident. Then, when you finish residency, let's say you make 200k salary at your first job. If you live like a regular person and not with an entitled sense of living, there's no reason you shouldnt be able to wipe the debt clean within 3-5years post residency. I just think it boils down to the lifestyle doctors want to immediately live upon finishing residency. This is the ultimate test of delayed gratification, so why not just live well below your means post-residency for awhile.
  10. bjb305

    bjb305 10+ Year Member

    May 31, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    ok ur second part of living frugal as an attending is legit.. but lemme say your first statement of being able to pay $2000 per month is doable is just downright wrong... here's some math...

    $2000 per month interest...
    $3000 budget... ok..
    if you think you could pay off that interest, that leaves you with $1000 per month for all expenses...
    rent at a very cheap city, efficiency apartment will be at least $300
    Cell phone - $75
    electric/cable - at least $100
    gas - let's say $40
    water - $30
    food - $200
    these figures are all VERY VERY generous on the lowball side.. and i didn't include car insurance, renters insurance, or any other bills that come along.
    just right there adds up to $745 leaving you with $255 for spare money. that spare money includes all travel, vacation, beer, gifts, random things. Now keep in mind, there is nowhere that you will find rent for $300. and so help you if you have car payments, or a significant other, or any family at all, or actually want to enjoy life while in residency
    so my point stands... it is NOT possible to pay off $2000 a month interest while a resident until you are moonlighting
    darklabel likes this.
  11. MatttF


    Sep 1, 2014
    So how do you afford to pay off interest while earning that amount in residency? Or do they not expect you to? And what about college loans from before med school? Generally speaking do you start paying those off when you start med school or can you defer those until after med school?
  12. bjb305

    bjb305 10+ Year Member

    May 31, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    you don't.. they have different payment plans.. i'm on income based repayment -- which basically is my monthly bill CANNOT exceed 15% of my monthly salary.. do you pay anywhere from like $200-400 per month. which means you still have interest accruing but just not as much.. then when you get out and get your real salary you pay a lot more. but i plan on doing what you initially said.. not live a lavish lifestyle a few years out as an attending and try to dump my salary onto my debt to knock it down..

    i wouldn't know about college loans. but i did a masters program and took out 50k for that.. those were federal loans as well and got deferred in med school. i ended up consolidating it all into one loan after i graduated. i think it depends on the loans you got. as long as they are federal i'm sure they will all defer while in med school. private loans might be different but i don't have experience with them..

    basically, you don't need to worry about finances in med school.. you can always get the loans and everyone ends up paying them off in the end. unless you somehow take out $500,000, become a family medicine doc, and spend all your money instead of paying off your debt. I was really worried about debt as a premed cause i heard about all of this stuff, but here i am and i have no probelm with my $350k debt. i know i'll be able to pay it off. if you make $200,000 a year, you'll be taking in at least $10k per month post tax.. so that $2000 interest is easy to pay, then you can dump another 2k on the principal.. so every month you are paying off a net $2000 with the interest getting lower every time.. it's definitely doable and i plan on paying down more than that per month once i finish with residency
    darklabel and jb94mg like this.
  13. Ismet

    Ismet PGY-fun! Administrator Physician 5+ Year Member

    May 15, 2011
    Federal loan repayment is deferred as long as you are a full-time student. So you don't start paying off your undergrad loans unless you take a gap year (repayment starts 6 months after the end of full-time student status). I went straight into med school from undergrad, so I never entered loan repayment. Thankfully I had a full tuition scholarship and other scholarships/summer jobs to help with room and board, so there wasn't that much from undergrad to tack on to med school loans.

    As said above, there's also income-based repayment. You won't be expected to pay $2000/month in residency because you are not making enough of a salary to do so.
  14. lmn

    lmn 2+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2013
    Haha it isn't anything about just the really low income people, they in fact are much more likely to get financial help from their schools to pay for school. It is everyone between that low level and high enough that their parents pay for school that gets absolutely screwed over.
  15. mik30102

    mik30102 Pharmacist 5+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2011
    I plan to rob a bank personally :).
    JohnFe likes this.
  16. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    I've got a creepy uncle spotting me the cash, but I promised I'd pay him back.
  17. Perrotfish

    Perrotfish Has an MD in Horribleness Physician 10+ Year Member

    May 26, 2007
    Well, some people do that, but honestly its easier said than done. Until you're finished with residency you don't realize how much you've already delayed gratification during training. When I'm scheduled to finish training I should be a relatively 'young' attending (only one year between college and med school, 3 year residency with no fellowship) and I have already spent the better part of a decade watching my peers start their lives while mine has stood still. The idea of spending another 2-3 years in a cramped apartment with a roommate paying down debt would be hard to deal with. Also medical school and residency, particularly residency, is a frequently miserable process and the urge to reward yourself for what you've been through can be nearly overwhelming. Finally a lot of people pick up serious financial obligations during residency, like spouses and kids, and while you can live on 30K a year with a spouse and a kid I'm not going to pretend its not a lot harder.

    Medical training is a marathon. If you finished a marathon, and your ride wasn't there, would you happily jog 5 miles to get home? If not why not? You've already run so far, what's another 5 miles?
    xffan624 likes this.
  18. Saxappeal1

    Saxappeal1 MS-3 2+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2013
    Go Breaking Bad? No but seriously, there are a few ways to pay for medical school: Military, Public Health, or up to your eyes in debt.
    Mad Jack likes this.
  19. AMEHigh

    AMEHigh 7+ Year Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Well if only it were that simple. Have you worked a professional job and/or made a budget?

    Between rent/mortgage, saving for retirement, saving for an emergency fund, daycare, life insurance , and other necessary bills, it's not as simple as well just live like a college kid for 5 years and then everything will be fine.
    Mad Jack and xffan624 like this.
  20. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    Uh, dude. Living on $1,000 a month with a family is literally impossible in most states. Just rent on a cheap one bedroom house in the ghetto-est of ghettos around here is $650 a month. Feeding a few mouths is at least $300 if you've got a family of 3-4 and eat super cheap processed food. Federal poverty level for a family of four is around 24k where I live post tax credits, which is double what you'd say people should be able to live on.

    Post-residency, I agree- you can survive on the equivalent of a middle class salary (55k or whatever) for a few years and throw the rest at debt. But living on 1k a month in a safe area close to a decent residency isn't just difficult, it's insane.

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