Starting Off on the Right Foot
While you are attending medical school, one of the most important offices in your life will be your financial aid office. Financial aid may, at times, seem complicated, even if you had student loans as an undergraduate; however, the financial aid office staff is available to assist you when you have questions or concerns.
The amount you borrow in medical school may be a larger amount than what you borrowed as an undergraduate student, or even as a graduate student; however, don’t let loans intimidate you. Be mindful of the amount of money you borrow to cover your education expenses so that repayment will not be a surprise.
Remember, you don't have to borrow the entire amount you are offered. Instead, consider accepting and borrowing only what you need. If you borrow more than necessary, check with your financial aid office to see if you can return a portion of your loan. Remember, once a loan is disbursed, you pay an origination fee and interest starts accruing on the loan, so you will pay back more than just the amount you borrowed. Keep in mind, the less you borrow during medical school, the less you will have to pay back when you graduate from medical school.
Money Management Tools and Resources
The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC), is a tool designed specifically for medical students to keep track of their loans and manage their loan repayment options.
Financial Aid Fact Sheets are one-page informational documents that explain topics sometimes considered complicated or confusing. Fact sheets that may be of interest to transitioning medical students include:
- The Financial Aid Application Process
- Budgeting Ideas and Tips
- Direct Loans 101
- Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students
- Repayment Assistance Through Forgiveness, Scholarships, or Service
- Budget Worksheet for Students
FIRST Quick Clips are short videos regarding financial topics.
Talk to Your Advisors and Friends
You are not alone. Many of your classmates are in the same financial situation as you. Support each other by using, sharing and discussing the FIRST resources and tools available to help with understanding financial aid, money management, and loan repayment.
If Possible, Start at Zero
One of the best things you can do prior to beginning medical school is pay down any debt you have on credit cards and/or undergraduate loans. If you can pay this debt off before starting medical school, that’s even better! The less debt you have when you start medical school, the less you will have to repay when you enter residency or practice.
Debt Management Tip: If you can't pay off all your debt, try to pay down the debt with the highest interest rates first.