Study these articles to learn about borrowing loans, loan repayment plans, postponing repayment during residency, consolidation, refinancing and even evaluating different loan repayment scenarios with the MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC).
Transitioning to Medical School: Financial Tips
The FIRST (Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools) program can help you make a smooth, successful, and informed transition to medical school. This is probably one of the biggest financial and personal investments of your life. Utilize the resources available to make wise and knowledgeable decisions about your future.
Debt Management Relies On Good Record Keeping
Managing your debt effectively and repaying your medical school loans wisely is easier when you keep good records. It is important to know how much you owe, the terms and conditions of each loan type, and what agencies are servicing your loans. You need to know what documents to save, where to find them when you need them, and who you may need to contact if you have a question or concern.
Federal vs. Private Education Loans
Both federal and private loans are viable options for financing an education, but it is important for the funding source to be one that best complements the student’s expected career path and financial goals. Medical students face a unique situation with long enrollment periods followed by additional years of post-graduation training. Therefore, careful consideration should be given when choosing financing options.
Direct Loans 101
Direct Loans are federal education loans with fixed interest rates and flexible repayment terms. Borrowers should consider maximizing Direct Loan options before borrowing other loans with higher interest rates and/or possibly more stringent terms and conditions.
Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students
Direct PLUS Loans are loans for graduate students who have additional financial need beyond what the Direct Unsubsidized Loan covers. In most cases, borrowers are encouraged to use federal loans before turning to private loans
Unforeseen Emergencies and Financial Needs - What to Do
Occasionally unforeseen emergencies occur that can affect your finances, and your eligibility for financial aid. Under certain circumstances, financial aid administrators have the authority to adjust your financial aid eligibility.
Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs
Some college graduates consider a postbaccalaureate premedical program or coursework to be a stronger, more qualified medical school applicant. When researching these programs, make sure to consider any financial implications that may impact your present and future situation.
The Cost of Applying for Medical Residency
Though the costs associated with applying for a residency position will be a minor portion of the total cost of your medical education, they can still add up. Because application fees are not always covered by student loans, it is important to develop a plan early on for how you will manage these expenses.
How to Select the BEST Repayment Plan in Two Steps
If you have federal student loan debt, the good news is that you get to choose how to pay it back, and it takes only two simple steps to pick the best plan for you.
Postponing Loan Repayment During Residency
Borrowers can temporarily postpone loan payments through grace, deferment, or forbearance. During residency, when money may be tight, a temporary reprieve from required monthly payments (with a Mandatory Residency Forbearance) may be the “budget-saver” you need.
Residency and Relocation Loans
Fourth-year medical students may encounter expenses not included in the standard student budget and may find it necessary to borrow additional funds through a residency and relocation loan. If you are considering a residency and relocation loan to cover some of your additional expenses associated with the residency match (traveling for interviews, related meals, lodging) or relocation costs, it’s important to understand how these private loans differ from federal loans.
Prepare for Repayment and Prevent Default
Managing federal student loan payments during residency can be difficult, but missing payments can lead to greater financial problems. Know your rights and responsibilities so that you can prepare yourself for repayment.
Grace, Deferment and Forbearance
After graduation, you will likely have a grace period before beginning loan repayment. After your grace period is over, if you want to continue postponing payments, you can request a forbearance (or in some cases, a deferment). These options may help you get through residency without making monthly loan payments.
Find the Details of Your Federal Loans
Do you know how much you owe in federal student loans? Do you know to whom or where to send your payments? Do you know the status of your loan – are they in a grace period, delinquent or in default? Do you know when your first payment is due? Where can you find the answers to all of these questions? Login to your Federal Student Aid account.
The Cost of Interviewing for Residency
The biggest cost of the residency process will likely be the cost of interviewing, so its important to develop a strategy for managing these costs.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Managing federal student loan payments during residency can be challenging, but income-driven repayment plans may offer more manageable payment amounts that could also count towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
Income-Based Repayment (IBR)
This is one of the income-driven repayment plans available to federal student loan borrowers. The plan allows for a reduced monthly payment on most federal student loans – making it a viable option for some borrowers to successfully manage, and afford, their student loan debt.
Repayment Plans for Federal Student Loans
With medical school behind you, you’re certainly due for congratulations. But that’s not all that’s due – loan repayment is just around the corner – either beginning now or after residency. Fortunately, when it’s time to repay, you have flexibility in structuring your repayment schedule by choosing the plan that works best for you.
MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)
The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator was developed to assist medical students and residents with managing their education debt. The MLOC provides a secure location to organize and track student loans while also displaying possible repayment plans and costs based on the borrower’s student loan debt.
Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)
REPAYE, like PAYE, offers one of the lowest possible monthly payments, which can make repaying your federal student loans more manageable during residency. Review the features of REPAYE to determine if it’s the right repayment plan for you.
Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE)
For those who qualify, this income-driven repayment plan allows for one of the lowest monthly payments – offering an affordable repayment solution to graduates with student loan debt.
Should You Consolidate?
Your answers to the following questions may help you determine if loan consolidation is right for you.
Consolidating Your Federal Student Loans
Borrowers can combine multiple federal student loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan, possibly making the debt easier to manage. Simpler, though, is not always better, so the decision to consolidate should be made carefully.
Should I Refinance My Student Loans?
Answer these questions to reveal if refinancing would benefit your debt situation.
If you have good credit, you may be able to refinance your existing federal student loans into a private loan. Before doing that, it’s important to understand the full impact of making this permanent change to your loans.
Borrowing 101: An Introduction to Credit
Credit—buying something now and paying for it later—carries with it many rewards when handled responsibly. Learn what credit is, the benefits you may enjoy by having access to credit, and how to manage your creditworthiness.