CRNA Student Loan Repayment Strategy - All you need to know

Learn in detail about Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA) student loan repayment options. Get to know how to eliminate different types of debt and the repayment plans available.

Updated by Chinmoy Dutta on 24th February 2020

Most careers in the medical field require high investment because the cost of education is very high. Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthesiologist (CRNA) is not a piece of cake. It requires hard work and dedication to become a medical professional but the work and their future can be very rewarding.

CRNA’s earn a decent amount of salary but they also have to deal with their student loan debts. It is essential to have an intelligent repayment strategy when having high student loan debts and high income.

Table of Contents

CRNA Student Debt Elimination Strategies

As most of us would know, student loan debts can be removed in one of the two ways: student loan forgiveness and student loan repayment. Student loan forgiveness could be attained by CRNA’s even with their high salary.

Student loans are of two types: Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans. Federal Student Loans are student loans issued by the government. They have a variety of repayment plans and various benefits such as loan forgiveness programs. On the other hand, private student loans are issued to borrowers by banks or other private lenders. They do not possess so many benefits when compared to federal student loans. But sometimes, borrowers might get a lower rate of interest. The Department of Education has a database which contains all the details about student loan borrowers. People who want to know their loan types can track using this database.

CRNA Federal Student Loan Repayment for public servants

The biggest perk of federal student loans is the public service loan forgiveness program. People working under the Federal government or a 501(c)(3) organizations are likely to be eligible. Most hospitals in the US are 501(c)(3) and are most likely to be eligible.

It is advised to understand Public Service Loan Forgiveness Programs in detail. However, the basic requirements of PSLF are as follows:

  • Work full time for government or a non-profit organization

  • Enroll in a suitable repayment plan, and,

  • Make 120 payments

It is a good idea to fill your employer certification forms every year. Filling up that form is the best way to track your progress as it will trigger a review of whether the borrower has an eligible employer and is on an eligible repayment plan. This can also be used to track the borrower’s progress towards the required 120 monthly payments.

However, it is very difficult to qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. The numbers indicate a very low approval rate. Many people fear that the PSLF might not be there by the time they complete their repayment, and hence don’t go for the program. But this seems to be highly unlikely.

One more issue that concerns people regarding the PSLF program is that they might spend more while chasing their loans to be forgiven. Making minimum payments towards the program can generate a lot of interest. People with high CRNA salaries could probably save more with aggressive repayment. It is crucial to find a balance and go for the option that suits the person better. Find out in detail whether you should wait for forgiveness or pay off your student loans.

Federal Student Loan Elimination without PSLF

Federal student loans offer a variety of interesting and beneficial features that other lenders cannot provide. Hence, it is always advised to exhaust all your federal loan options before going to a private lender. The interest rates offered in federal loans are not bad but they are not great either. Private lenders offer attractive rates of interest to lure customers. But choosing this move might be risky as you might lose your borrower protection.

The Income-Driven Repayment Plans are an excellent example of borrower protection that comes with Federal Student Loans. In case, something happens to a borrower, or they lose their job, or there is a salary cut, the IDR plan protects them from default or delinquency.

This, however, is the borrower’s decision whether they should go for refinancing or should they opt for the security of a Federal loan.

Worried about your College Tuition? Find the best student loans suited for you.

CRNA Private Student Loan Elimination

Private student loans are disbursed by private banks and lenders. They cannot provide benefits like those in federal student loans. Hence, private student loans are difficult to eliminate. Hence, this type of loan has a simpler strategy: we need to pay off the debt in full. The repayment urgency should depend on the interest rate offered. Loans charging 8-10% or more should be paid off as fast as possible because high-interest rate loans are extremely expensive. Loans with interest rates of less than 3% could be kept at a much lower priority. At a lower level, it is advised to make minimum payments to save for future plans.

The best thing to do with private student loans is to refinance them. Many private student loan lenders provide the option of refinancing. It would be good to learn about student loan refinancing in detail and make an informed decision before one goes for it. It is beneficial for borrowers with more than one student loan to refinance their loans. In student loan refinancing, the lender takes off all your loans and provides you with a single loan to pay with a better rate of interest. Student loan refinancing is available to borrowers with high income and good credit scores and hence qualify for lower loan interest rates. We know lenders such as SoFi and ELFI offer lower rates to the general public. Laurel Road focusses its offers on healthcare providers. It is advised to check with various lenders and find the best possible option that suits you.

Concluding Thoughts

CRNA repayment strategies can vary based on the amount of loan, the type of loan and the income of the borrower. The best option for a borrower has to be found by themself. It’s important to understand the various repayment plans available with the type of loan and the capability of the borrower to make the payment. After reading this article, we hope most borrowers should be able to find a suitable repayment plan or strategy for themselves.