Examine these fact sheets to learn about budgeting, debt management, credit and credit scores, identity theft, disability insurance, education tax benefits, selecting a financial planner and more!
For a printer-friendly version of a fact sheet, please contact FIRST.
Budgeting Basics: Managing Your Money During the Lean Years
Money will probably be tight during medical school and residency. That’s why a realistic spending plan (budget) – one you can stick to – will be critical to your financial well-being during this time.
Budgeting Ideas and Tips
Living on a budget as a medical student or resident is an essential step for minimizing the debt you’ll face upon entering repayment. Try to think of a budget the same way you’d think about maintaining a healthy diet: make sensible, responsible choices and you’ll reap the benefits. Following are some tips and ideas to save money and/or time.
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.
Selecting A Financial Planner
During medical school, it’s likely your financial questions will revolve around student loans and money management. However, upon graduation, additional expertise may be needed to help manage the other areas of your financial life (investments, retirement, insurance, taxes, estate planning, and more).
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.
Taking Control of Credit Card Debt
If you are making only the minimum monthly payment on your credit card, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. Instead, step back, breathe deeply, and take the necessary steps to get your credit card debt under control.
Your Credit Score
You probably already know that the better your credit score, the more likely you are to get approved for your next consumer loan, but did you also know that your score affects the interest rate that the lender charges you? Read on to find out how your credit score is computed, what steps you can take to improve your score, and how to get a copy of your credit report.
Getting Married During Medical School or Residency
Some students and residents may decide to get married during their education or training periods, and though it is no secret that marriage is a life-changing experience, it is especially important for medical students and residents to understand the ramifications it will have on their finances.
Tax Benefits for Education
The IRS can help put some of the cost of medical school expenses back in your pocket. Qualifying taxpayers can benefit from tax credits and tax deductions. Three programs are highlighted below, and additional programs are detailed in IRS Publication 970. Choose the program that will benefit you the most.
Identity Theft Protection
The Federal Trade Commission indicates that millions of people have their identification stolen each year. Don’t be part of those statistics! Instead, be proactive and protect yourself.
Roommates and Finances
Many people choose to live with a roommate to make ends meet and save money. After all, what could be better than having someone pay half of your bills?
Steps for Making a Big Purchase
Medical students and residents may want or need to purchase a house, a car, or other expensive items before their education or training is complete. Indebtedness and limited salary may be concerns when thinking about this type of purchase; however, if you plan and approach the purchase wisely, many times the affordability concern can be mitigated and the purchase may possibly be more affordable than originally imagined.
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.
The AAMC Financial Wellness Program
Managing money is something we all must do. Some people are better prepared and/or more experienced than others; however, improving your skills and learning new tips are part of an on-going financial journey.
Disability insurance offers financial protection for future income if you experience a disabling sickness or injury. This may be particularly important for physicians who are unable to work in their chosen specialty.