Student loan debt can be a huge detriment to a healthcare provider just beginning a career. Large loans hanging over your head can impact your cash flow and get in the way of your goals as a professional. The experts at Bankers Healthcare Group are familiar with the challenges of financing medical school, and we’re here to help. Get in touch with us to learn about how we can help you refinance your student loans, and check out our strategies for coping with debt below.
Start While You’re Still in School
Ideally, your strategy for dealing with medical school debt will begin while you’re still in school. As an undergraduate or while a pharmacy, physical therapy, dental, nursing, or medical school student, pursue all methods of financing medical school that are available to you. Apply for any scholarships you qualify for, and consider assistantships that could get you a full or partial tuition waiver. When you do take out loans, try to make payments on the interest you’re accruing throughout your undergraduate years. This will cut down on the interest that accumulates over time and make your payments more manageable after graduation. If possible, start making full loan payments during your residency. The sooner you begin paying off medical school debt, the less you could owe in the long run.
If your interest rates are out of control and you have to keep track of multiple payments to different lenders each month, refinancing might be your best option. Bankers Healthcare Group offers student loan refinancing and consolidation through ELFI from SouthEast Bank. We can help you with flexible refinancing options that can save you money and simplify your monthly payments.
Look Into Loan Forgiveness
If you’re flexible about where you work when you finish school, there are a variety of loan forgiveness programs that may be available to you. By working for a non-profit hospital or in an area considered “high-needs,” you may qualify for Public Student Loan Forgiveness programs. Doctors who enroll in the military to serve as physicians may also qualify for loan forgiveness. The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) also offers loan forgiveness options to doctors who work at an NHSC-approved site. In short, if you’re willing to dedicate your time and expertise as healthcare professional to an area in need, you may end up with far fewer loans to repay as a result.
Make a Budget
If you’ve reduced your debt through all means available to you and still have a significant amount to repay, often the best thing you can do for yourself is to create a budget plan and stick to it. Figure out exactly how much money you owe and how long your repayment period is, and then make a plan based around how much you owe each month. You may need to make sacrifices during the lean years after school like living with roommates or carpooling to and from work. As you pay down your loans and advance your career you’ll be able to change your lifestyle accordingly.