It is important to know and clearly understand your responsibilities when borrowing loans to cover the cost of attendance. Our office understands that most students will need to borrow loans to fund their education. It is also important to understand that all loans must be repaid. Therefore, students should be smart about their loan choices and develop a realistic budget to avoid over borrowing.
Our Office of Financial Aid conducts Debt Management and Loan Counseling presentations during orientation and throughout a student’s medical education. Programs are also presented throughout a student’s medical education to assist with strategies for managing their student loan debt. Students are also encouraged to make appointments with our office for individual counseling. All medical students are also required to attend an Exit Counseling presentation.
Know Your Loans
From the beginning, students should keep accurate records of both personal and educational debts. Make sure to keep all copies of financial aid notifications, copies of promissory notes and loan disclosure statements, correspondences from servicers or lenders, and all other debt-related documents. In order to save both time and money, students should understand how to repay their loans. On a regular basis, students should be viewing their current student loan portfolio and calculating their future estimated monthly payments. If you are unsure of the status of your federal loans, who the servicers are that hold your federal loans, current outstanding principal balance and unpaid interest, or other information pertaining to your federal loans, please visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Students who borrowed Private/Alternative loans should contact their lenders to determine the current status of their loans. If you are unsure who services your private loans, you can request your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Before students graduate, they should start to think about how they will repay their student loans. Each student should select a repayment plan that fits their individual financial situation and financial goals. It is important to realize that the best strategy for one individual may not be the best for another individual. There are several flexible federal loan repayment plans that are made available to federal loan borrowers. For information on what loan repayment plans are available to you, please visit StudentAid.ed.gov. Our office also suggests using the AAMC MedLoan Organizer and Calculator to determine future monthly estimated payments under each repayment plan option.
Loan forgiveness programs give physicians another opportunity to repay educational loans. Typically, loan forgiveness programs contract physicians to provide service in medically underserved areas. Refer to this list of available options to help eliminate or reduce student loan debt. On October 2007, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program was created as a means to encourage people to enter and maintain careers in the public service industry. For more information, visit the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) website.