Can Medical Students Afford to Choose Primary Care?

This Academic Medicine article analyzes whether a physician earning a typical primary care salary can repay the current median level of education debt and meet standard household expenses without incurring additional debt.
young woman at dining room table with laptop, calculator and wallet

The Cost of Applying to Medical School

Before you're accepted to medical school, you'll have some admissions-related costs to plan for, including the AMCAS® application service and the MCAT® exam.

Consumer and Federal Financial Aid Resources

Review student loan, scholarship, and financial literacy resources, guides, websites, and publications available from various government organizations and programs, such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Health Service Corps (NHSC), the military, and more.

2017 Education Debt Manager (EDM) for Graduating Medical School Students

Use the Education Debt Manager (EDM) to learn about common-sense strategies for managing student loan debt and loan repayment when graduating from medical school.

FIRST Videos and Webinars

Watch videos and webinars to learn about paying for medical school, repaying student loans, and more.

Want To Get Better At Managing Your Money? SALT Can Help!

Enhance your financial literacy skills and knowledge by learning more about practical financial topics like budgeting, money management, credit, debt management, scholarships/grants, loan repayment/forgiveness, and more!

Student Loans and Repayment Strategies for Graduating Medical School Students

Watch the Student Loans and Repayment Strategies recording for graduating students to learn about ways to manage your student loan debt and determine which repayment strategy is right for you during residency.

10 Tips for Managing Your Money During Residency

Obtain various ideas to better manage finances and student loans after medical school.

2017 Education Debt Manager (EDM) for Matriculating Medical School Students

Use the Education Debt Manager (EDM) to learn about common-sense strategies for receiving financial aid, managing money, understanding loan debt, and exploring future loan repayment options as a new medical school student.
young woman smiling, paying monthly bills

10 Tips for Managing Your Money During Medical School

Get tips for money management and wise student loan borrowing during medical school.

Everything You Need to Know About Your Student Loans

This session addresses the financial concerns of a medical graduate carrying education debt into residency. At the end of this webinar, you will be best prepared to make the right decisions at the right time in the management of your education debt.

Should I Refinance My Federal Student Loans?

Answer these questions to reveal if refinancing would benefit your debt situation.

FIRST Friday Webinars

Watch more previously recorded FIRST Friday Webinars to learn about managing your loans during residency, repaying student loans, improving credit, and more.

Living on a Resident’s Salary AND Paying Your Student Loans – You Can Do It!

Review this infographic to see how you can live on a resident’s salary, live within a realistic budget, and make a student loan payment.

Medical School Costs for Non-traditional Students

It is possible to finance a medical school degree and repay the student loan debt that you may incur. As a non-traditional student, you may have additional choices and details to consider prior to starting medical school; however, there are resources to help you with these decisions along the way. ...

Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School

Physician Education Debt and the Cost to Attend Medical School

Match Support

Determine questions to ask yourself, review strategies and actions you may want to implement, obtain information to manage your student loans, and understand where to turn for additional support and resources after the Match.

Pay As You Earn Repayment (PAYE)

For those who qualify, this plan may allow for one of the lowest possible monthly payments – offering an affordable repayment solution to graduates with student loan debt.

Q&A Transcript from Financing Medical School Webinar

Question and Answers transcript from the Financing Medical School Webinar detailing how to successfully manage the costs of applying and attending medical school using some of the AAMC’s resources.

2017 Education Debt Manager for Matriculating Medical School Students

Use the Education Debt Manager (EDM) to learn about common-sense strategies for managing student loans when matriculating at medical school.

MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC)

The MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC) 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...

AAMC Monthly Payment Estimator for Medical School Borrowers

Charts for Direct Unsubsidized and PLUS Loans display repayment plan options, monthly payments, and the total interest paid for each plan based on a range of debt amounts.

Medical Student Education: Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Facts

Review the FIRST 2017 Debt, Costs, and Loan Repayment Facts, also known as the Debt Fact Card (DFC), to get an idea of the recent graduating class' debt, as well as loan repayment estimates.

NHSC: Scholarship and Loan Repayment Programs

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers scholarship and loan repayment programs to help with the cost and debt for those pursuing careers as primary care doctors.

Grace, Deferment, and Forbearance

After graduation, you will likely have a grace period on your student loans, but after that time, you may want to continue to postpone payment on your student loans. Postponing payments can be accomplished by requesting a forbearance (or in some cases, a deferment). These options may help you get...

How to Manage Student Loans During Residency

This webinar hosted by a panel of AAMC experts answer student loan questions from new and current residents. Topics include: choosing the best repayment plan, postponing payments, and refinancing or consolidating student loans. Also reviewed will be information about Public Service Loan Forgiveness...

What Programs May Help You Pay Back Your Student Loans

The burden of repaying student loans does not have to be one that you carry alone. Because of your training and expertise, there are numerous repayment assistance and forgiveness options available to you that could lead to a reduction in your debt by tens, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of...

The Value of an M.D. Degree

Take a look at this video describing the value of pursuing a medical degree and the impact student loans and medical education debt levels have in relation to the value of the degree.

The Economics of Residency

Review a synopsis of possible money management options within the financial life of a medical resident during loan repayment.

Using the MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator to Determine Your Loan Repayment Options

This webinar provides an overview of how to use the MedLoans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC) to securely organize and track your student loans, and it also provides instruction on how to use the tool to compare your loan repayment options.

Direct PLUS Loans for Graduate/Professional Students

Direct PLUS Loans are loans for graduate students who have additional financial need beyond what Direct Unsubsidized Loans cover. In most cases, borrowers are encouraged to use federal loans before turning to private loans.

The Financial Aid Application Process

While the process of applying for financial aid varies by medical school, here are some universal steps to help you get started. Always check with the financial aid office at your medical school for specific instructions.

You Can Afford Medical School

If you want to be a doctor or physician scientist – they are good career choices, both socially and financially. Although medical school may be expensive, there are options available for financing your education. The key to affording medical school is educating yourself about your choices.

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. With large purchases come valid concerns about student loan indebtedness and limited residency salaries. If large purchases are approached wisely,...

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.

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...

Transitioning to Medical School: Financial Tips

The FIRST 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.

Can You Afford Medical School?

This video contains tips to help you prepare to pay for medical school.

Loan Repayment Timeline

A visual representation of time periods in school, during residency, and after residency, and the related considerations for repaying student loans.

How Time in Medical School and Residency Can Improve Your Credit

Understanding your credit score, what it is and why it matters, is critical information for your financial future. Learn how to take care of your credit so that you can get what you want, when you want it, and at the lowest possible cost.

Repayment Assistance Through Forgiveness, Scholarships, or Service

Interested in a service career, or want to reduce your medical school debt by working in public service or the military? Good news—there are numerous possibilities available.

NHSC: Students to Service (S2S) Loan Repayment Program

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers the Students to Service (S2S) Loan Repayment Program (LRP) to current medical students in their final year of school. By committing to provide primary care health services full-time, for at least three years (or six years of part-time service), at an...

Income-Driven Repayment Plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Managing federal student loan payments during residency can be difficult, but income-driven repayment plans may offer more manageable payment amounts that could also count towards Public Service Loan For¬giveness (PSLF).

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you aspire to work in the public service sector, you’ll find that the reward is not only emotional – but possibly monetary as well. That’s because the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 established a program that forgives some federal student loans under certain circumstances.

What Loans Did You Borrow and Who Will You Pay

In order to make the best debt management decisions for your student loans, you must first know the details of the debt. This short clip directs you on what the most important details of your student loans are and how to quickly and easily find them.

Taking a Break from Your Medical Education

Some medical students decide to interrupt their medical education to accommodate educational goals or special circumstances. It is important to know how to handle a leave of absence. Carefully consider the ramifications of how such a break in your education may delay graduation or other milestones...

Prepare for Repayment and Prevent Default

Managing federal student loan payments during residency can be difficult, but missing payments can lead to greater financial difficulty. Know your rights and responsibilities so that you can prepare yourself for repayment.

Finding the Details of Your Loans in NSLDS

Do you know how much you owe in federal student loans? Do you know to whom or where you will send your payments? Do you know the status of your loan – are they in a grace period, delinquent or in default? If you’ve never made a payment, do you know when your first payment will be due? Not sure?...

Federal vs. Private Education Loans

More so than ever before, 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 their long...

Easing into Residency: Transition Tips

While you're looking forward to this next step in your medical career, you may also be experiencing mixed feelings about the decisions that you have to make in a short period of time.

If You Don’t Match: Steps to Manage Student Loans

This may be a stressful time in your life and medical education career, so the following information is shared in an effort to provide helpful guidance on how to manage your student loan debt in the coming days and year.

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.

Strategies for Repaying Private Student Loans

Learn about some of the private loan repayment strategies you can use to manage your money wisely.

Determining the Where, What, Who, When and How Much of Your Student Loans

In this webinar you'll learn about a one-stop place to gather what you need to begin the process of choosing the best repayment strategy for your loans, and then how you can see all of the repayment options for this debt with a few clicks of the mouse! This webinar will guide you on the first steps...

Effects of Federal Student Loan Consolidation

Obtain information about what effects may occur if you consolidate your federal student loans. Consolidating may or may not be right for you.

Next Steps

Use this guideline to determine when to take the steps to organize your loans, deal with your grace period, determine when to consolidate, apply for a forbearance, or begin repayment on your student loans.

How to Select the Best Repayment Plan in 2 Steps

Watch this video to learn about the various loan repayment options and a two-step plan to determine the best repayment plan for you.


Watch this video to learn how to use the Medloans® Organizer and Calculator (MLOC).

2 Steps to Select the BEST Repayment Plan

Repaying student loans can be overwhelming, even when it comes to choosing HOW to pay the debt back. In this short clip, learn the simple way to determine the best student loan repayment plan for your loans.

The Next Steps to Successfully Manage Your Student Loans

If you don't know where to begin in managing your student loans, this webinar is for you. AAMC's FIRST team provides medical graduates with a step-by-step guide on WHAT decisions need to be made and WHEN it is best to make these. At the conclusion of this session, you will be armed with a roadmap...

The Real Cost of Borrowing Student Loans and How to Minimize It

View this webinar to see the numbers and learn the steps to create a plan for living on financial aid.

Loan Repayment, Loan Forgiveness, and Scholarship Programs Database

Utilize this free, searchable database that provides detailed information about many of the state and federal programs available to medical students, as well as other health professions students.

Repayment Plans Compared Chart

Review this chart to see a side by side comparison of the federal student loan repayment plans [Standard, Graduated, Extended, Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)]. This chart can then help you determine which...

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Eligibility and Action Plan

Review this informative guide about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. It provides information about eligibility requirements and steps to take to enroll in the program.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) ebook

Learn about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program with this ebook that explains eligibility requirements and the steps you will need to take to participate in the program.

Is Postponing Payment During Residency a Good Idea?

This webinar includes understanding the many options available during residency - including how to postpone paying, obtain a payment of zero dollars, easy ways to get organized, and general strategies to accomplish your financial goals.

When Private Loans Are a Good Idea

Watch this video to understand why some borrowers may choose a private loan over a federal loan even though most financial aid officers will recommend borrowing through federal programs first.

What the Military Can Do For You And Your Student Loans

The United States military offers career options after medical school, and medical school financing for those interested in serving their country as uniformed physicians. This webinar, you'll learn about the Health Professions Scholarship Program, the Uniformed Services University of the Health...

What is an Award Letter?

An award letter is an official notification from a school where you have been accepted, and outlines your financial aid award package.

Top 10 Questions Pre-Meds Should Ask Medical School Financial Aid Officers

The cost of attending medical school is high and most medical students will need to borrow some federal student loans to cover their medical education. However, paying for medical school is possible. We've developed a list of 10 questions to get the conversation started about financial aid and what...

FIRST Financial Aid Fact Sheets

Read these short articles about common financial aid topics important to pre-med students, current students, and residents.

The Cost of Residency Interviews

The biggest cost of the residency process will likely be the cost of interviewing. While these may be a minor part of the total cost of a medical education, it is still important to develop a strategy for managing these costs – before they are incurred.

The Cost of Applying to Medical School

Before you're accepted to medical school, you'll have some admissions-related costs to plan for, including the AMCAS® application service and the MCAT® exam.

Borrowing 101: An Introduction to Credit

Credit—the privilege of 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 only making minimum monthly payments on your credit cards, 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?

Eight Tips on Money Management for Entering Medical Students

Understanding how to manage your money is critical for financial success. Follow these eight basic tips to start your medical career off right.

Consolidating Your Federal Student Loans

Borrowers can combine multiple federal student loans into a single Direct Consolidation Loan, making the debt easier to manage. Simpler, though, is not always better, so the decision to consolidate should be made carefully.

Should You Consolidate?

The following questions and answers may help you determine if loan consolidation is right for you.

Pay for Medical School Through Service

Some students who want to borrow less, or who want to have some or all of their loans forgiven, might want to consider providing medical service for a particular organization, employer, or program after medical school (or licensure).

Online Advocacy Helps #SaveStudentAid

While medical education is an excellent investment, federal financial aid programs are critically important to helping ensure medical school remains affordable for all students. Many federal programs also provide support and incentives for physicians to practice in public service.

Postbaccalaureate Premedical Programs

Some college graduates consider enrolling in or completing a postbaccalaureate premedical program or coursework to be a stronger, more qualified applicant. When researching these programs, make sure to consider any financial implications that may impact your present and future situation.

Direct Loans 101

Direct Loans are federal education loans with competitive 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.

Residency and Relocation Loans -- To Borrow or Not to Borrow

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.

Unforeseen Emergencies and Financial Needs - What to Do

Occasionally unforeseen emergencies occur that can affect your finances, and your eligibility for financial aid. Financial aid administrators have the authority to make adjustments to your financial aid eligibility, under certain circumstances.

The Cost of Residency Interviews

Listen to this webinar to gain insight on the general funding options available to cover expenses incurred during the interview process and hear an analysis of data related to interviewing costs. Also gain working knowledge on total approximate costs (based on specialty), couples matching, funding...

Roommates and Money

Many people need a roommate to make ends meet. After all, what could be better than having someone pay half of your bills?

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.

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.

Financial Health Checklist

Being financially healthy is just as important as being physically healthy. Below are a few activities that can help prepare you for a healthy financial future as you begin your medical school journey.

Education Tax Incentives

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...

Selecting A Financial Planner

During medical school, it’s likely that 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,...

Budgeting to Pay for Medical School

Before entering medical school, its important to begin thinking about your financial situation while in school. One way to get a handle on your finances is to create a budget. Learn about tools to help you get started and tips for managing your budget going forward.

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.

SALT for AAMC: Credit

This webinar will help you approach credit decisions in a positive way so your choices support your lifestyle. After the webinar, you will be better educated about credit basics and what questions you should ask yourself as you approach multiple credit decisions.

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

There’s a benefit to federal student loans of which you may be unaware, and that’s the ability to temporarily postponing loan repayment through grace, deferment, or forbearance.

Managing Your Student Loans After Graduation

Congratulations! You graduated! Now what should you do with your student loans before you start medical school? Depending on your plans for applying to medical school and the type of loans you have, you have options that will fit your needs before, during, and after medical school.

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.

Loan Repayment Options

With medical school behind you, you’re certainly due for congratulations. But that’s not all that’s due – loan payback time is just around the corner – either beginning now or when residency is over. Fortunately, when it’s time to repay, you have flexibility in structuring your repayment schedule...

Indian Health Service (IHS) - Loan Repayment and Scholarship Programs

Federal loan repayment programs exist to help students offset the costs of medical school in return for a service commitment. The Indian Health Service’s Loan Repayment Program provides repayment assistance for a two-year commitment to practice in health facilities serving American Indian and...

What Is and Isn't in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

This is a discussion of the current details of the PSLF program, how to qualify for it, potential forgiveness amounts, possible changes coming in the future, and what actions can be taken now to get involved in the program.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness – What You Need to Know

This webinar discusses the eligibility requirements for the PSLF program and how the program works in conjunction with the federal student loan income-driven repayment plans.

Why Federal Loans Are Better Than Private Loans

Watch this short video to learn why federal loans may be a better borrowing option compared to private loans when applying for financial aid.

Home Financing for Graduating Medical Students and Residents

This is a highly informative session explains the ins and outs of obtaining the best home financing. Emphasis is placed on proper steps to take when applying for a loan and exact questions to ask Loan Officers. Details covered during this session include what loans are available for doctors,...
couple working on finances

Budgeting Worksheet for Students

Utilize this budgeting worksheet to help with money management throughout medical school.

Budgeting Worksheet for Residents

Utilize this budgeting worksheet to help with money management throughout residency.

SALT Money Management

This webinar will help you understand how your choices and goals are connected and impact money management, define opportunity costs as it relates to money management and review how to develop a net-worth statement.

Financial Planning for Medical Residents

Learn the basics of financial planning including W-4 allowances and taxes, employee benefits, retirement plan options, emergency funds, combining finances for newly married, and more.

SALT Saving and Investing

This webinar will help you learn how you can connect key topics and questions to your goals and examine your needs through a savings and investing lens. You will develop a better understanding of how to organize your financial thoughts into a solid, yet flexible strategy, to set you on the right...

SALT for AAMC: Taxes

This webinar will simplify taxes to help you prepare for tax season (even if you’re not the one prepping them) and identify salient tax related information that a student (or soon to be graduate) should know. After the webinar, you will have a solid understanding of relevant and critical tax...

Consolidation Quiz

Utilize this resource to determine if you should consolidate your federal student loans. Consolidating may have benefits and/or consequences, so do your research before you consolidate.

Postponing Payments During Residency

Watch this video for an explanation of how a medical resident can postpone loan repayment throughout residency and what the impact is for using this type of strategy.

3 Ways to Minimize the Cost of Your Student Loans

This clip will provide you with easy to implement strategies to reduce the total repayment cost of your federal student loans. Knowledge is power.

When Postponing Payments is the Best Strategy

Federal loans allow medical residents the ability to postpone payments during their training years, but is this a good strategy? Watch this short clip to learn when it makes the best sense to postpone payments and when this same action could negatively affect your financial goals.

Can You Afford to Make Payments During Residency?

To determine if you can afford to make payments during residency, watch this video and then access the Medloans® Organizer and Calculator ( to see the results for your situation. After doing this, you will know if making student loan payments during residency is a feasible option...

Which Income Driven Repayment Plan is Best IBR, PAYE, or REPAYE

The popularity of Income-Driven Repayment plans has left us with a number of plans to choose from... and possibly little direction on which one is best. This webinar reviews the benefits (and disadvantages) of using anyone of these IDR plans - and use case studies to identify scenarios when one...

When Postponing Payments During Residency is the Best Option

This webinar highlight case studies where postponing payments during residency may be a medical resident's best option (based on length of residency, post-residency salaries and debt levels).