After years of training and education, you’re finally ready to hit the medical field on your own. That’s not something people can easily accomplish, so give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. But don’t celebrate too much as your journey in the medical field is just beginning. During your career, you’re going to be faced with many trials and tribulations.
This means that you can’t afford any additional stress. Much of the unnecessary stress that medical practitioners face comes from their debt payments. If going through medical school was not stressful enough, your stomach could sink when you receive the first repayment bill after graduation. While you will be earning high wages, it can take time to get set up financially before you can really put a dent in medical school debt. In this post, we’ll be going over how you can pay off medical school debt and finally be able to get ahead going forward.
Refinance Your Student Loans
Regardless of the niche you’ve decided on, the debt alone can make your job a little more difficult. What’s worse is that the debt can even impact your personal life such as not being able to build financial security and struggling with the basic necessities. As you’re aware, medical degrees are among the most expensive forms of education you can receive. The average cost of a medical degree is at least $60,000 and it can be more than $150,000 depending on your niche. In fact, did you know that the most expensive degree in the medical field is anesthesiology. This degree can be slightly over $400,000 because the training and education is so rigorous.
Perhaps you’re looking to further your education for a higher-paying position. If you want to go this route, your best bet is to refinance your student loans. Student loan refinancing is when you take your current loan and turn it into a new one. This is done to procure a new education while simultaneously cutting back on costs. Once you meet these requirements, you can review the student loan refinance rates. These are rates determine what you’re going to be paying back each month. Make sure to research what the current rate is, so you can have a rough estimate of your new payments going forward.
Try Paying While You’re Still Doing Your Residency
Every medical practitioner’s situation is different. Some of them are still even in their residency program. If you’re someone who’s still doing their residency, you can opt for freezing your student loan payments while you’re completing it. This can give you a much-needed break, but it’s important to remember that you’re halting how much you have to pay. By freezing your payments, you’ll have to deal with having to pay for an additional balance. How much is added to your payments depends on the current interest rates and how long you freeze your payments. There are stress management tips to support both options so think about your lifestyle and how both scenarios would affect you’re your overall wellbeing as well as your wallet.
See What You Can Do for Student Loan Forgiveness
Student loan forgiveness is a little rare, but it can certainly give doctors, surgeons and even nurses some breathing room on their debt. This is when you’re basically relieved from having to pay off anything else. However, that’s just putting it in a very basic way. There’s a lot that goes into this process ranging from the various types of programs available to how much you’re exempt from paying. Not everyone is entitled to a complete student loan forgiveness. You may only be forgiven for a portion of it, which can be up to half, depending on the situation. As for the programs, there are several you need to be aware of:
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness
- Teacher Loan Forgiveness
- Closed School Discharge
- Perkins Loan Cancellation and Discharge
You may have noticed that the last two options say cancellation and discharge. These are essentially the same thing as forgiveness; what sets them apart is how they operate. Forgiveness is more along the lines of how long someone has worked while the other two terms refer to a person’s inability to pay back their debt. It simply depends on the situation you’re currently in. Medical practitioners are best going with public service loan forgiveness because it’s the easiest to apply to. All you have to do is become employed through a government or work for a non-profit organization.