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Student Loans

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by CardiacGuy, Oct 22, 2001.

  1. CardiacGuy

    CardiacGuy Member

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    Just curious,

    Are there any med students out there who are concerned with paying back student loans? Or, do the majority say "Just do it" and worry about the loans after graduation?

    Thanks,
     
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  3. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Sure, I worry about it all the time. But I don't really see any other way to go through this process except via loans -- I don't have family members or a significant other that is willing to support me (unlike 50-70% of my classmates), so I really don't have any alternative sources of money. It's stressful to realize I'm going into six figures of debt, but to an extent, I've just taken the attitude of "suck it up and deal with it when the time comes."
     
  4. kd

    kd Senior Member

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    Scared to death is more like it. That's part of the reason I chose to attend a less-expensive state school over a higher rated private school. Even so, I'll still be 6 figures in debt at the end.
    I try to look at it as an investment, kind of like buying a house. Most people wouldn't hesitate to go into that much debt or more in order to buy a house. Lots of homebuyers are middle-class people with an income much lower than physicians, many around $30 or $40K. That's why it takes them 30 years to pay off their mortgage. So figure that if the lowest-paid physician specialty (family medicine) makes 3 times that much, we should easily be able to pay our loans off in 10 years- even sooner if we're really careful with money. Also, there are lots of physician loan repayment incentives out there, so that's another possibility, especially if you're interested in primary care or practice in underserved areas.
     
  5. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    Many med students have people who support them through school? I can understand a spouse helping...but family? You would be an adult!

    Sorry..that just bugs me.. :(

    Alicia
     
  6. jylu

    jylu Junior Member

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    Just suck it up. There's not that much difference in cost between a med school education and a moderately priced single family home. Your income as a physician will easily be able to pay it off in 10-15 years time, on top of a mortgage, assuming you don't decide to practice out in the boonies. Faster if you're in a higher paid specialty.
     
  7. aliraja

    aliraja Troublemaker

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    Most of us, even at overpriced private schools, just suck up the loans hoping to pay everything off later. Not many people have someone that's able to pay for school for them. The loans get expensive, but they're just the price you pay.
     
  8. lilycat

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Most of the people I have met at my school are either not taking out loans, or only minimal loans because their parents, grandparents, what have you, are footing the bill. I think a lot of people feel like if the resources or offer is there, they might as well take advantage of it.
     
  9. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    What if that money was given as a gift to the student? What if it was loaned to the student at a lower interest rate? Or what if it was loaned at Zero interest, with a payment plan? What if the med student planned to pay it back after med school? Aren't these all just variations on scholarships and loan payment plans? How is it any different, except that the source of the money is a person rather than an institution?
     
  10. CardiacGuy

    CardiacGuy Member

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    Thanks for the feedback All,

    I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't the only one that doesn't see the fun entailed with paying back 150k+ in student loans. Should be interesting.
     
  11. snowballz

    snowballz Senior Member

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    A gift? Isn't that free giving? That still falls along the lines of mommy and daddy taking care of an adult child way too long.

    Loans from parents? Payment plans? Yes, those are acceptable, but however..are you really going to go about an arrangement like that? Somewhere in the back of your mind aren't you expecting mom and dad to not demand their money back? Of course.

    Parents paying for an adult childs education is ridiculous...even paying for undergraduate education is a luxury, one that many do not as such.

    Make your children pay their own way..it builds character and respect..also money management.

    Alicia
     
  12. Magree

    Magree Senior Member

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    Hi:

    I understand the idea in regards to adults not getting help from their parents but I think it is an individual decision. Years ago people could easily pay for their entire education working a part-time job - that's no longer the case. Educational expenses have increased, it seems, exponentially. Many don't have parents who can help them (like me) but others do and if it is used responsibly then why not? I watch people who graduate with loans from undergrad and then medical school who cannot then even get a house loan and its really sad - or those who want to be an FP and work at a clinic but don't feel they can with 200K in loans. Also, some people find medicine late(r) in life and incuring such loans at 35 or 45 give one pause. There must be a happy medium between a "free ride" and unending debt.

    M-
     
  13. sandflea

    sandflea Senior Member

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    a very large number of med students enter med school straight from college--where between college graduation and matriculation into medical school does the magic threshold begin where a student becomes obligated and 'adult' enough to pay for themselves? legally you're an adult at 18--why is it somehow more acceptable for parents to pay for college but not med school? what makes a 22 year old more needy of lessons in 'character and money management' than an 18 year old?
     
  14. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    1) What if the gift is coming from another relative (i.e. uncle)? I would sure accept $5,000 as a graduation gift from him and put it towards my med school fees.

    2) If you knew my parents, you would also know that when they say payment plans, they mean it. Also, there is a certain amount of pride in paying that money back. Even if they offered to absolve me of the loan (which they won't), I would not accept.

    I agree, however, that this is a luxury that not all people get and that is why I am grateful for it. It is also why I intend to pay every cent back. I have known what it is like to live without money, and now I know what it is like to have it. Why shouldn't I enjoy it and put it to good use, especially when I plan to pay it back anyway?
     
  15. CardiacGuy

    CardiacGuy Member

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    Great feedback All,

    I was really wanting to focus on those students who are expecting to pay back 100% of their loans. I am a non-trad, have some debt already from my B.S. and M.S., and am looking at 150-200K to pay back after med school! That is a daunting task indeed.

    Thanks again, :cool:
     
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  17. Rhys

    Rhys Member

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    Hi everyone! I have a question about loans that I hope you can answer--I'm not sure if I can make my student loan (GSL) stretch far enough to cover all of med. school--I've heard there's a 'Health Profession Loan' or something likethat, that med. students can apply for. Has anyone here done that? Is it easy to get it, as it is for the GSL?

    Thank you so much, if I knew I had another loan source to count on, that would be a load off my mind. :)

    And I agree with the people who say don't worry about it: this is one of the few profssions you can enter with the virtual guarantee of being able to comfortably pay your loans back.
     
  18. lilycat

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    I'm not sure what you mean by "GSL" so I may be answering your question incorrectly. Basically, I had loans for undergrad (mostly subsidized and unsub. Staffords), and then I applied for new loans in medical school, that cover all of my necessary expenses (again, mostly Staffords). Let me know if this doesn't answer your question.
     
  19. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member

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    Is it possible to apply for more loans (via "alternative" loans from outside institutions, for example) than the school budget amount? Say, the total budget is $30,000 per year - can you borrow $32,000? Thanks for any info! I understand the increased comfort level knowing you'll have no worries about being able to meet all of your expenses.

    I'm also a non-trad with undergrad loans, but agree that the loans are just a price to pay.
     
  20. tBw

    tBw totally deluded

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    ok...this is something that has been confused. I thought the maximum loan from sub and unsub staffords was 38,500/year. But what if you attend a school with tuition of 32,000/year? You only have 6500 for books and living?
     
  21. booie00

    booie00 Junior Member

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    sure, the max stafford loans amount is 38500 (sub - 8500; unsub - 30000), but there are many other additional loans avaliable for med students. However these loans usually have higher interest rates than the staffords.

    In addition, most financial aid offices usually set a "budget" of the total cost of attendence - tuition, books, fees, living, travel, etc. - in which you are allowed to borrow. In other words, if it costs $50000 to attend a med school, you'll be able to only borrow $50000 (depending on your credit); $38500 will likely come from stafford loans, the rest from private loans.
     
  22. commymommy

    commymommy *reformed commymommy*

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    No offense, but if I have the financial means to help my children through the course of their entire education then I will...and that includes medical school if that is the choice for them. Legally, you become an adult at 18, so I guess you wouldn't be expecting help with any undergrad studies either? Who made up the rule that once our children reach a myserious cut-off age that helping them would make them irresponsible adults? That is ridiculous. In european countries, parents help their children throughout their lifespan. I can only assume that this comment was made by a non-parent. And btw, during residency, most of the people we knew simply could not have made it financially without help from their families in some way. We weren't lucky enough to have any outside support, and it was horrible. In todays economy, a bachelor's degree is often not enough, and if I am fortunate enough to be secure enough financially to help finance my children's graduate education..even in part, then I will.

    Let me just say that we are now out of training (as of about 4 months) and paying back 180,000 in debt is excrutiatingly painful...it was an "investment" but unfortunately, with medicare regulations changing, the HMO environment and simply the cost of living and raising a family, we live hand to mouth! We purchased a modest home that is only furnished in 1 room.... Our children have used furniture in their bedrooms and my husband and I have only a bed...and let me just say...that it will be that way for a loooooooong, loooooooooong time! We are still paying on the 6 year old car that we leased (don't ever lease a car) during residency and had to purchase...and it is our only transportation. If anything happens to our little junkster, we are quite frankly SOL, because we are poor...and next year the last of our loans come out of deferment.

    Think, think, think before you take out too many loans. Seriously, take out the minimum unless you want to live like us...and if your mommy and daddy offer a few bucks, accept it graciously and pay them back by becoming the best damned doc you can...

    my .02

    Kris
     
  23. lilycat

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    I think booie already explained it, but the FAO sets the budget for the year, say $29,000. That is the max. you can borrow, period, even if you think realistically you need $2000 more to live on. There are a few loan programs (PLATO is the one that comes to mind), that will let you borrow over the amount set by your FAO, but they usually have extremely high interest rates and high fees associated with them.

    The total amount of Stafford money you can borrow is $38,500 -- after that, you go to private sources, including loans through your school, or private med school loans through the various banks.
     
  24. Fermi

    Fermi Senior Member

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    Kris,

    I agree that this "cut-off" is certainly open to interpretation. But with college, you know that an 18 year old has had no time on their own and thus no means to contribute to the financing of their education. In addition, many college graduates will not end up in high paying jobs (teachers, non-profit organization workers, artists, writers, etc.) , and would not be easily able to pay back large sums in loans. On the other hand, students going into medical school will nearly all be going into a high-paying job eventually, and will be able to pay back loans easier. They are also more "independent" than undergrads, by government definition, and some have had jobs/careers following college that have allowed them to save up money. Many grad/professional students are married; barely any undergrads are--a spouse can also help support the student.

    These are some of the reasons I have for distinguishing a college student from a med student. That being said, I think loans/support from parents may not be a bad idea. You can think of it this way: parents who have the means to help pay for med school will probably be more dependent on you for financial support late in their lives, and those who don't give you any support probably won't need your help so much later in retirement. I think it mostly evens out in the end.
     
  25. EMDrMoe

    EMDrMoe Senior Member

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    Thanks, all, for your help. This is a very interesting thread, with the different sides. I'm married, and don't expect my parents to help out at all (even though one has the resources). I think it's just the way you're brought up. I'm not sure it is how I would raise my children, actually. Anyway, the reason I asked about "extra" money was because car payments that we will not be able to pay off before school starts. I know you cannot use funds to "buy a car", but as far as existing payments, it doesn't make much sense. Just as we cannot use federal loan money for a down payment on a home, can we not use it for monthly payments? I think we will be able to fit within the budget if we go very inexpensive on the house, so that is probably our option. Thanks again for your help!!
     
  26. Rhys

    Rhys Member

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    Sorry for the confusion, Lilycat, and thanks for trying to answer anyhow! :) A GSL is just another term for the Stafford Loan (it stands for Guaranteed Student Loan). So basically I was just wondering if there's any other sources of loans that are easy to get, as the Stafford is, since the most you could borrow EVER over your whole life for a Stafford Loan is 138,000; and as I've used more than half of that on other degrees already, I didn't think it would be enough.
     
  27. DNALadder2002

    DNALadder2002 Senior Member

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    Rhys,

    where did you get info on how the most one can "borrow EVER over whole life for a Stafford Loan is 138,000." Is this true?

    I am planning to take $38,500 for 4 years starting next fall. But if there is a limit on stafford loan of $138,000...how would I make the difference of
    [($38,500)x(4)] - $138,000 = $16,000.
     
  28. Dr. Kermit

    Dr. Kermit Senior Member

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    I have yet to matriculate and hopefully I will in Fall 2002. I have a question about FA. From my understanding at interviews, the FAO sets a budget for the school year, say $40,000. However, if tuition is only $25,000 is it possibly for me only to take out that amount in loans. My parents are going to help me out with everything but tuition (ie. books, fees, insurance and room/board.) I'm just curious if I take out loans only for tuition, will the school know to bill me for the rest of the fees?
     
  29. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I don't know the exact amount, but it is true that there is a lifetime limit on the amount of Stafford loans you can get. If someone isn't as lazy as me, they'll look it up for you. :)
     
  30. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I'd say that the school will be on top of that. I am sure that they've dealt with many students in your position before.
     
  31. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator

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    A gift? Isn't that free giving? That still falls along the lines of mommy and daddy taking care of an adult child way too long.

    Parents paying for an adult childs education is ridiculous...even paying for undergraduate education is a luxury, one that many do not as such.

    I disagree with the above posters! I do NOT think that parents paying for an adult child's education is ridiculous!! My parents paid for my undergraduate education and they were MORE than HAPPY to, and same goes with my medical education (when I start it). Just b/c my parents are willing to cover the financial aspects of my education doesn't make ME any less of an adult. And, they also plan on footing the expenses of my other two siblings' undergrad and medical education!!! My parents don't want us to go through the headache of loans and such if they have the financial means to cover our educational costs!! In my family, my dad makes the money to support his family, and that includes his children. Both my mom and he are more than willing to spend their hard-earned money paying for our education! Does this mean my siblings and I will be living off our parents $$ when we're 40? NO! Do they expect paybacks? Yes, they do! Their payback is our success (not paying them back in terms of $$$). I grew up in a very family-oriented atmosphere, so perhaps that's why I have a hard time swallowing the above comments. I'm sorry my post was random and really not-to-the-point. I suppose those comments just hit a nerve....

    Everyone's entitled to their own opinions.
     
  32. Rhys

    Rhys Member

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    Hi DNA and others, yes, the lifetime limit for Stafford Loans is 138,000---it's listed on the FAFSA site, or any college financial website. (Also confirmed by a man I talked to who works for the Federal Financial Aid office--he said the whole amount is actually 138,550.)

    I know, not the best news! Which was why I was wondering if other loans--as easy to get approved for as this one--are at our disposal.
     

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