By Debra Wood, RN, contributor Sep 18, 2018
graduate with approximately $200,000 or more in medical school loan debt, which
leads many new physicians to specialize in fields with higher incomes, find
ways to earn extra income or sign up for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Indian Health Services Loan Repayment
Program, an American Indians and Alaska Natives program that will pay up to
$40,000 for two-year service.
Military programs exist for Air Force, Army,
The National Health Service Corps Repayment
Program, which offers up to $50,000 toward student loans in exchange for
working at least two years at an approved location. The National Health Service
Corps offers up to $120,000 for a three-year commitment at an approved site.
The National Institutes of Health Loan
Repayment offers up to $35,000 per year under a minimum two-year contract to
conduct research funded by a nonprofit organization.
“Student loan forgiveness programs take the stress away
from having to figure out how to pay back a Mt. Everest-amount of money,” said Kyle Winkfield, managing partner of OWRS, a
wealth management and retirement planning advisory firm in Washington, D.C. “They
can also help you develop and hone skills in your specialty.”
one-third of the graduates from U.S. medical schools plan to use the Public
Service Loan Forgiveness Program to reduce that debt. New physicians who expect
to use the program more typically come from lower-income homes, receive fewer
scholarships and graduate with greater debt, according to health policy
experts from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
in Philadelphia, writing in Annals
of Internal Medicine in August 2018.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is under siege. Some government
officials want to end it.
U.S. House of Representatives has proposed borrowers after July 1, 2019, will
be ineligible for the program. The legislation, the PROSPER Act, H.R. 4508, is
unclear whether borrowers pursuing federal loans prior to that time will be
the Department of Education has retroactively reversed loan forgiveness
certifications, according to the journal article. The department has said the
“certifications are temporary and subject to final approval.”
extra income with locum
tenens assignments arranged by Staff Care.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
“Public Service Loan Forgiveness provides a
solution to physicians who graduate with an overwhelming amount of federal
student loan debt,” said Jeremy Wine, student loan supervisor at Take Charge
national nonprofit credit counseling, student loan counseling and debt
management agency headquartered in Phoenix.
does this program work
for new physicians?
forgiveness requires borrowers to make 120 income-driven repayments on direct
federal student loans while working full-time, or 30 hours per week, for a
nonprofit or government organization,” Wine said. “Public Service Loan
Forgiveness guides students to use an income-driven repayment plan to repay
payment is based on income and family size, Wine explained.
program] affords borrowers with hope in financial security and vitality,” Wine
said. “A certified nonprofit student loan counselor can help borrowers
determine if they qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness and will guide
you through the enrollment process.”
Other debt forgiveness options
the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is a popular choice to retire a
medical student’s loan debt, other options exist.
Association of American Medical Colleges currently lists 71
programs available to physicians for loan repayment,
forgiveness or scholarships. The options include state and federal programs.
reports other loan forgiveness programs for physicians include:
Some healthcare employers will also offer loan forgiveness options as part of a
physician’s total compensation package.
Additional options for physicians with
medical school debt
strategies. Winkfield suggested trying to defer payment
of medical school loans until the physician obtains a full-time salaried
position. Then, once he or she starts paying off student loan debt, the
borrower should determine discretionary income and take half that amount and use
it to pay extra on the
medical school loan with the shortest number of months to payoff. Meanwhile,
make the minimum payments on any other loans
found that getting rid of debt fast is always the more efficient approach,”
Winkfield said. “After you’ve killed the first debt using this focused
approach, snowball that new total payment to the next debt.”
extra money with locum tenens. Picking up locum tenens
shifts offers a way to increase income to more quickly pay off student loans. This
method of medical
moonlighting is becoming more common for new physicians
in a variety of medical specialties.
medical school loans could
be another option. It offers a way to consolidate the debt and may result in a
lower interest rate.
Road, an online lender and FDIC-insured bank headquartered in Darien,
Connecticut, offers members of the American Medical Association an interest
rate discount when they refinance student loan debt.
can relieve financial burden and generate significant savings,” said Alyssa
Schaefer, chief marketing officer for Laurel Road.
Road’s program allows those who have matched with a residency or fellowship
program to pay only $100 a month, while locking in a more favorable rate for
future payments, Schaefer explained.
total amount of money saved over time as a result of refinancing is one of the
largest benefits,” Schaefer said.
and State Loan Repayment Programs Database - AAMC
Loan Repayment Programs - HRSA
Care’s Resources for Residents, Fellows & Students
Medical School Debt with Locum Tenens Work
CARE offers part-time and full-time locum tenens assignments across the U.S., for
physicians and advanced practitioners at any stage of their career.
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