Student Loan Forgiveness and Repayment For Doctors

Learn all about the forgiveness and repayment plans for doctors such as military program, IHS, NHSC, NIH and assistance from state and also learn about the best ways to manage it from here!

Updated by Gowtham Ramesh on 19th July 2019

If you are finishing education from a medical institution then it's a big accomplishment which talks about all your hard work, commitment, and skills. But don't get too excited to celebrate your achievement as there is a significant setback as there is an enormous student loan debt which comes in along the medical degree.

Well, you are not solely there are a lot of people out there like you. common medical institution debt is around $189,000 for the year 2017 graduates by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Further, many scholars have also had debt than common as they hold their undergraduate studies.

If you are among the characters who have common debt or even higher than it then looks into the programs that you pass for the medical institution repayment options and the loan forgiveness program for the doctors.

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Student loan forgiveness for Doctors

Looking at the layouts that are possible for repayment you may also consider looking at the student loan forgiveness for doctors. It may be a hope for many practitioners who are struggling in the common debt from the medical institution.

This might be the reason why many practitioners after getting their residency in 2017 citied student loan forgiveness as the biggest matter according to the study from health care research firm Merritt Hawkins.

Despite that, you are expected to operate in a high need area or a nonprofit hospital to get fit for programs to offer loan forgiveness for doctors. Eligibility for these programs can also limit the choice of pay in location and employer. If you can sacrifice these then student loan forgiveness programs can help you. 

Loan forgiveness option

Here are some of the popular loan forgiveness choices for doctors. It offers the highlights of every program in order to serve you better in understanding the program.

Learn all about the forgiveness and repayment plans for doctors, military program, IHS, NHSC, NIH and assistance from state

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Before entering the loan forgiveness or repayment plan you need to keep in point the restrictions that you might have to work with, in that area of a specified time. If you are not able to meet it then you will lose help.


Forbearance provides you an important thing it might be an easy looking option to hop. It will be good not to make any payments when you are working your path in the residency it wouldn't hurt you in the last.

You can stop the payments but the interest will not stop accruing. If your loan is $192,000 at a 6.8% interest then you would rise up $39,000 in interest earned. It's better to pay off your debt as soon as best you can even you are just only paying the interest.

Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

practitioners can fit for public service where it can even pass for Public Student Loan Forgiveness Program. Where it largely based on their employer. These consist of full-time employment by a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit or public institution such as hospitals. It is consist of areas that are under or in need of medical professionals.

You need to make 120 payments which are for ten months taking out PSLF qualified work. Where the federal government might forget the balance debt.

Military Programs for Medical Student Loan Repayment

Departments of military provide you with the tuition for medical students who are service members. Doctors who have been graduates and are practicing can enroll them in military service and get student loan assistance.

Where they get benefits can be added where others are choice-based. They take the big size out of common medical institution debt and make sure that you understand these programs and service required so you can signup for it.

Army doctor student loan

There are many student loan repayment assistance choices for Army practitioners available and where you can help by yourself manage your medical institution student loans.

1 - Financial Assistance Program 

This award grants up to $45,000 each year and also a monthly stipend of $2,000 or even more to Army members who have enrolled in an accredited residency.

2 - Active Duty Health Professions 

It offers up to $120,000 for repaying medical institution loans. Where practitioners must be on active duty in order to pass and these benefits will be paid out in $ 40,000 disbursement for 3 years.

3 - Health professionals special pay 

It offers you up to $75,000 to both active-duty practitioners and doctors who are members of the Army Reserve who have completed a residency under a qualifying specialty payment can be made up to $25,000 in the 3 years.

4 - Navy medical institution loan repayment assistance

Members of the military servicing as navy practitioners can take advantage of these incentives and here are some Navy medical loan repayment assistance choices.

5 - Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP) -

Provides you a yearly maximum payment of $40,000 to the medical institution loan less federal income and its taxes it is 25 %. It's available to medical students or residents and newer physicians.

6 - Navy Financial Assistance Program 

It offers $275,000 in assistance to medical residents. It's been paid in grants of up to $45,000 each year for 4 years. It also has a monthly living stipend of $2,200 for a period of 48 months.

7 - Practicing physician sign-on bonuses  

It provides you by the Navy and it's also great and impressive. As they can be between $220,000 and can go up to $400,000 based on the specialty and experience of the physician.

8 - Air Force medical institution loan assistance

The key points through which the air force helps its members pay for the medical institution is by its Health Professions Scholarship Program. This is for students monthly who are yet to complete a degree.

  • Air Force Financial Assistance Program (FAP) might help you practitioners in the Air Force pay for their medical institution debt.

  • Familiar to it, Navy's program provides you a $45,000 for every year of residency and even has a monthly stipend of $2,000 for you.

  • On completion of your residency, you will be required to do a year of service for every year you receive FAP Plus on additional year.

Indian Health Services Loan Repayment Program

Indian Health Services (IHS) is a federal health program for the American Indians and Alaska natives which offers the loan program for the health profession. Where it can be taken in the advantage of these programs based on the IHS facilities under the greatest need.

In exchange for the 2-year service that is done, IHS Loan Repayment will repay up to $40,000 in medical institution loans. They can renew their contract for further student loan benefits until the debt is repaid.

National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs

There are many programs which offer you medical repayment and assistance for doctors who are practicing, National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides awards to health professionals in the area of research careers.

In order to pass for the NIH Loan Repayment program, you must agree to participate for a minimum years contract to perform research which is funded by a nonprofit organization in the U.S. You can fit for $35,000 for each year in student loan repayment. It goes with undergraduate, graduate and medical institutions debts too.

There are 8 programs in the health research you can get student loan assistance when employed with the NIH intramural programs and eligible organization outside the NIH extramural programs. NIH provides you 2 loan repayment programs for clinicians. One assist on clinicians from the point of disadvantaged background and the other assist in conducting health disparity research.

National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Assistance

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Provides you loan repayment assistance to Doctors and medical professionals. It provides repayment programs, Student to the service program.

NHSC Loan Repayment Program

The loan repayment program is provided to the participants who have committed to work for a period of 2 years at the NHSC-approved site. This program can earn licensed health care providers up to $50,000 towards their student loans. Further participants can also serve as a primary care medical or mental/behavioral health clinicians.

The loan of the student is tax-free and will be distributed from the starting of service which is committed to maximizing the interest in saving. Programs who are participants can able to apply to extend their benefits beyond their 2 years. The duration and level of assistance will be based on the area of service and the high need are qualified for a larger part of loan repayments.

Students to Service Program

For students who are in their last year of the medical institution, where NHSC provides you a student to service program which gives you up to $120,000 for their educational cost and student loans. The medical students commit to giving primary health care at any of the NHSC approved site for a period of 3 years post-graduation.

Medical institution loan repayment assistance programs by state

Many state-sponsored programs are there to help you, practitioners and doctors, to repay the medical institution loans. Many provide it through the NHSC's State loan repayment programs (SLRP). Where it provides incentives for doctors to practice in the federally designated "health professionals shortage areas" (HPSA).

It's listed in the AAMC's database of state-level loan forgiveness and repayment programs for medical institutions. Where some states have their own student loan repayment programs LARPS for physicians. These programs offer student loan repayment or special pay for doctors who are committed to doing medical practice in an underserved area.

Best ways to manage your medical debt

It's reasonably common for medical graduates to put their student loans into forbearance when they are complete their residency. Despite doing it it can cost you later. The loans will get high due to the interest charges which makes your loan to balance and to grow over time. You will be ready to do your payments and where you can also owe thousands more than what you initially borrowed.

By making payments in the residency even though its a small one where it can help you in understanding and controlling it. There are 3 options for medical institution loan repayment which you make better use of your debt without damaging your budget.

1. Refinance your medical loans

It's a tool where you can make use of the lower interest that you pay in the loan of yours. Where refinancing can take you out of the new loan from a private lender. makes use of these funds that you pay off for your existing loans. Where these new loans will need to complete different repayment terms,m which includes minimum payments.

In the case of a high-interest loan, your refinancing can help you save a vital amount on the duration of the loan. Its strategy is to make some practicing practitioners have used it to save thousands on the life of their loan.

Learn about the forgiveness and repayment plans for doctors  and also learn about the best ways to manage it from here!

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For instance, you have $189,000 at 7.00% of interest where you would be paying $74,000 in interest payments by the time you pay it off. In the case of refinanced of your debt, you can qualify for a loan with a 5.50% interest rate where you would be paying $57,000 in interest.

Refinancing might not be the solution for everyone it also has drawbacks like loosing of certain federal loan benefits, Make it clear to understand it all and move towards it.

2. Income-driven repayment program

In Standard 10-year program, where the monthly payments for the common medical institution $189,000 are more than $2,100 per months. Looking at the financial commitment can make you stretch for doctors from their institution Special when they have a small salary that you might expect on the first-year resident.

If you have federal student loan then you can get to income-driven repayment (IDR) programs to make the payments on a smaller scale. These programs may set you monthly payments of $300 to $350 based on the AAMC.

If you are under the income-driven repayment program for medical institution loans then you won't be the cheaper or the faster way to pay off the debt. Unlike the forbearance, the PAYE will help you get the balance out of the accrued interest. The eligibility and requirement might vary so look carefully before getting into the programs.

3. Negotiate a signing bonus

It's very common to signing bonuses and it's a great way to employers attract the medical professionals they require. 90% of doctors from the Medicus firm in 2016 have received job proposals which include a signing of bonus from health leaders Media.

common signing bonus offered to practitioners where you can $25,000 and 25% income tax rate where you can take $18,750 after making a signing bonus. Where you can apply that sum to do the extra payments that you would save $15,650 in interest on the common medical institution debt balance of $189,000 if its 6.50% of interest with a standard 10-year term.

If you are looking to join a practice or hospital rather set up your own office, You are looking for chances to get some more money for the student loans.


  How Long does it take to pay back medical school debt?

If you are repaying your debt with the timeline of 10 years rather the usual 30 years then you might have higher payments on monthly that is $1,830 for average if you have  $164,800 with an interest of 6.00%. The Medical School debt will mostly be held in the state of graduate student loan.

  Can Doctors get their loans forgiven?

Under the state loan repayment program. You might find out both federal and private student loan are eligible in your state. many states have these programs where they repay some of your or all of your doctor student loan if you are working in a rural or unserved area for a specified period of time where it should be at least 2 years.

  Do doctors pay back student loans?

Like other students, you will mostly pay your medical institution loans by either student loans, scholarship and some with the hard earned money. You are needed to pay back the loan if it\'s under the federal loans you will be getting repayment programs like income-based repayments where it caps down your monthly payments.

  How long does it take to pay off student loans as a doctor?

With the standard repayment plan where you need to make 120payments or 10 years of it then there is other where it suggests you take around 20 years  for most of the borrowers to pay off their degree with the 60% of people paying their loans in the 40s

  How many hours do resident work per week?

According to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education says residents are permitted to work for a max of 80 hours a week. residents work 40-80 hours a week based on the specialty and rotation in the specialty within the residents logging 136 out of 168 hours in a week.

  How can I pay for medical school without a loan?

You can look for a scholarship, Where it comes to scholarships you can get around undergraduate education. you can apply for federal financial aid, look for private student loan enroll in the service programs in order to try other options which provides you with the funds.

  Will the Army pay for medical school?

If you get under the health professional scholarship program (HPSP) before getting in medical school then the military will cover your 100% of your tuition and education-related expenses for all the 4 years of school in return of you will be on 4-year active duty after doing your residency.

  Can the Navy pay for medical school?

The Navy will pay for your medical education if you do not need to go military medical school under the navy health professional scholarship program (HPSP), you can get 100% of your tuition paid by them while you are in the medical institution. A monthly stipend of $2,200 will help you in the expense for a period of 48 months.

  Will the Air Force pay for my medical school?

Under the HPSP they will pay for your medical school and it has an internship program where you can be backed with the financial assistance in order to help you pay for the education which also added for Air force ROTC and Academy.

  Does the Air Force pay for pharmacy school?

Air force Pharmacy health profession scholarship program (HPSP) scholarship which has a time limit of 1 or 2 years to pay your full tuition fees with all the fees that are required. You are paid back with a minimum requirement of 3 years and after the completion of your pharmacy school.