Dental School Loan Repayment

Becoming a dentist is a very prestigious profession to choose and to be in that profession you can't have the burden of debts.There are several Federal and State Programs available in every U.S. State for the repayments of Student Loans

Updated by Annany Sah on 30th January 2020

college-ave

Student loan is a type of loan designed to help students pay for secondary education and the associated fees, such as tuition, books and supplies and living expenses. Student loan may differ from other types of loans in fact the interest rate may be substantially lower and the repayment schedule may be deferred while the student is still in school.

When it comes to loan repayment for dentists after dental school, there are many federal and state options available to help alleviate a large portion of accrued debt. Many of these public service programs require employment within Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) or a Medically Underserved Area or Population defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Table of Content

The Dental School Loan Repayment Programs

There are many sources of repayment assistance and student loan forgiveness for dentists, as well as dental assistants, hygienists, and other medical professionals. In most cases, you do need to work in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA), which may mean that you have a lower salary and you’re tied to a certain location. But it could be worth it in the long run.

It is always to be well aware of all your student loans repayment options so that you can take control of your repayment phase.


Federal Loan Repayment Programs

The 4 repayment programs are listed below:

1. Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program

Dentists who want to make a difference in American Indian communities may receive up to $40,000 ($20,000 per year) in loan repayment assistance under the Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program. The program assists health professionals, including both dentists and dental assistants, working in specific disciplines who commit to two years of service in Alaska Native or American Indian communities.

2. National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program

Under the NHSC Program, a variety of healthcare professionals (including dentists) may receive up to $50,000 in student loan repayment assistance for committing to a two-year service agreement. Even better, these funds aren’t subject to federal income tax and are awarded at the beginning of the program.

3. Veterans Affairs Student Loan Repayment Program 

Employees at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who work in certain professions may be able to receive up to $10,000 per year in student loan repayment assistance. The maximum award amount is $60,000.

4. Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program

For those interested in joining the Navy, find out if you’re eligible for loan repayment assistance while on active duty. You may receive up to $40,000 per year which will be lower due to federal taxes.This program is available to dental students and practicing professionals, including dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants. Qualified candidates must commit to work for a certain period of time.


Worried about your college tution? Find the best student Loans for you


Loan Repayment Assistance Programs By State

In addition to the national programs above, there are a number of programs offered by certain states that apply to a variety of dental professionals like dental assistants, dental hygienists, dentists.

Alaska

The SHARP-II program in Alaska aims to fill shortages in certain areas and provide access to a variety of healthcare professionals. In exchange, the program offers dentists loan repayment assistance of up to $35,000 per year. This number could increase to $47,000 for hard-to-fill positions.Qualified dentists must work at an eligible site and commit to a three-year service agreement.

Arizona

Under the Arizona State Loan Repayment Program, which includes the Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program and the Rural Private Primary Care Provider Loan Repayment Program, dentists may be able to get a good chunk of their loans paid off by working in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Areas, as designated by the programThe award amount depends on the rank of the HPSA, but qualified candidates can receive between $52,000 to $65,000 for the initial two-year service period. 

California

Under the California State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP), qualified dentists and dental hygienists who practice in designated Health Professional Shortage Areas may be eligible for loan repayment assistance.Eligible candidates who work full time can receive up to $50,000 in repayment assistance for an initial two-year service agreement and can extend the contract after the initial commitment. The program pays for half of the award and requires the site to match the award, which must be on the SLRP Certified Eligible Site List.

Colorado

The Colorado Health Service Corps offers loan repayment assistance to general and pediatric dentists who practice in Health Professional Shortage Areas. Qualified dentists who work full time may receive up to $90,000, while dental hygienists may be awarded $20,000.Part-time employment is also eligible and is half the amount of full-time workers, so dentists would receive up to $45,000 and dental hygienist would receive up to $10,000.

Delaware

Through the Delaware State Loan Repayment Program, general and pediatric dentists who work at a qualified Health Professional Shortage Area may be eligible for loan repayment assistance. Practitioners must work full time, which is classified as 40 hours per week.Awards are based on available funding and only a few contracts are given out each year. For two years of service, mid-level practitioners are eligible for up to $70,000, while advanced level practitioners are eligible for up to $100,000.

While those are the maximum awards available, in most cases, awards for mid-level practitioners are $35,000 for a two-year contract and awards for advanced level practitioners are $70,000 for a two-year contract.

Georgia

The Georgia Oral Health Workforce Advancement Loan Repayment Program offers loan repayment assistance to new graduates and young practitioners that serve in Dental Health Professional Shortage Areas (DHPSA) within Georgia.The program offers $25,000 in assistance for the first year. In exchange, qualified candidates must serve a DHPSA for at least 12 months. Eligible candidates may receive a maximum of $75,000 over a three-year period.

Illinois

Under the Illinois National Health Service Corps State Loan Repayment Program, dentists who work full time or half time in a Health Professional Shortage Area may be eligible for repayment assistance.Eligible candidates must work in a HPSA for at least two years and can receive up to $25,000 each year, for a maximum award of $50,000. An additional third and fourth year may be added on after the initial service period is over.

Iowa

The Primary Care Recruitment and Retention Endeavor (PRIMECARRE), in conjunction with The Iowa Loan Repayment Program, offers repayment assistance to dental professionals who work at a qualified HPSA.The program offers up to $50,000 for full-time workers and $25,000 for part-time workers. In order to qualify, candidates must commit to working for two years in a shortage area.There’s also financial help available from the Delta Dental of Iowa Loan Repayment Program. 

Kansas

Under the Kansas State Loan Repayment Program, dentists who work in a HPSA can receive loan repayment assistance of up to $25,000 per year. Eligible candidates must commit to working for two years at an eligible site. After the initial period, it is possible to extend the contract for one-year at a time, for a maximum of three years.In addition, there’s the Kansas Initiative for New Dentists (KIND) Program, which helps recruit dentists in an effort to establish private practices that are in underserved or rural areas of Kansas.

Kentucky

The Kentucky State Loan Repayment Program offers dentists and dental hygienists who work in underserved areas loan repayment assistance for a two-year service period.Dentists can receive up to $80,000, while dental hygienists can receive up to $20,000. This is a match program, meaning for every federal dollar contributed, there must be a dollar match from an employer, state, family, etc.

Louisiana

The Louisiana State Loan Repayment Program offers loan repayment assistance to dentists as well as dental hygienists who work full time at a designated HPSA or non-profit.Dentists can receive up to $30,000 per year in exchange for a three-year service commitment. Once the initial commitment is served, eligible candidates with remaining loans can extend the contract for an additional two years for an award of $24,000.

Maine

The Maine Dental Education Loan Repayment Program offers dentists working in underserved areas loan repayment assistance.

In exchange for serving a two-year commitment, candidates can receive up to $20,000 each year.  Participants can extend the contract for an additional two years after the initial commitment is served. The maximum award amount for qualified candidates is $80,000.

Maryland

The state of Maryland offers loan repayment assistance to dentists serving the state’s most vulnerable populations through the Maryland Dent-Care Loan Assistance Repayment Program.The program requires a three-year commitment; in exchange for serving, eligible dentists can receive up to $23,740 per year. Five dentists in Maryland may be selected for the program each year, though it is dependent on funding.

Massachusetts

The state of Massachusetts is currently revising its application and guidelines for the Massachusetts Loan Repayment Program for Health Professionals and is not accepting applications at the moment.

Michigan

Under the Michigan State Loan Repayment Program, qualified dentists can receive significant loan repayment assistance.  Dentists who work in designated HPSAs can receive a maximum of $200,000 for a service commitment of up to eight years. Eligible candidates must work full time in a HPSA with a minimum two-year commitment.

Minnesota

Through the Minnesota State Loan Repayment Program, dentists and dental hygienists who work in designated HPSAs may be eligible for loan repayment assistance.In exchange for a two-year commitment, candidates can receive up to $20,000 per year in loan repayment assistance for full-time work,half-time workers may receive up to $10,000 per year.

Missouri

The Missouri Health Professional State Loan Repayment Program offers loan repayment assistance to qualified dentists who work in designated HPSAs. Candidates must serve a two-year commitment and in exchange can receive up to $50,000.

Montana

Through the Montana State Loan Repayment Program, qualified dentists and dental hygienists who work in designated HPSAs may be eligible for loan repayment assistance.In exchange for two years of service, candidates who work full time may receive up to $15,000, while part-time workers may receive up to $7,500 per year.

Nebraska

The Nebraska Loan Repayment Program offers dentists working in designated shortage areas loan repayment assistance.This program is a matching program, so the site or a local entity must match the state dollars provided. Eligible candidates must serve a three-year commitment and may receive up to $40,000 per year to $20,000 of which comes from state funds and the other $20,000 from local funds.

Nevada

The Nevada Health Service Corps aims to recruit healthcare professionals to serve rural areas in exchange for loan repayment assistance.Qualified dentists and dental hygienists are eligible to receive funds. Candidates typically need to work full time and commit to two years of service.

Wyoming 

 They provide health professions loan assistance program. This program’s aim is to enhance the ability of medically underserved Wyoming communities to recruit and retain healthcare professionals. The program repays qualifying applicants for the costs of eligible educational loans in returns. They provide dentists up to $30,000 per year for up to $90000 in repayment forgiveness. Applicants must treat Medicare, Medicaid and kid care eligible patients.

Wisconsin 

They provide Wisconsin dental health professions loan assistance program. This program requires three years of service in a federally designated HPSA site or within a rural community. A dentist could either qualify for either (rural but not HPSA or HPSA but not rural) for a maximum $50000 award.  A dentist must have completed an approved program and must have completed an approved program and must work full-time(40 hour week) in order to complete the commitment.

Washington 

They provide a health professional loan repayment program. This program encourages licensed primary care health professionals to serve in critical shortage areas within the state. Awards provide up to $35000 per year in repayment for a minimum of two-year $70000, the full-time service obligation.

Virginia 

They provide the federal Virginia state loan repayment program. The loans are repaid in return for a minimum of two years of full-time practice of the recipients’ specialty in a federally designated HPSA of Virginia. The repayment program pays up to $25000 a year towards qualified educational loans of program participants. The minimum service obligation is two years and has a maximum payment of $50000. A 40 hour per week service obligation is required.

Vermont 

They provide Vermont educational loan repayment program for dentists. They provide aid to Vermont’s most underserved and undersupplies areas. Qualifying dentists will be awarded

Loan repayment assistance in exchange for service to these areas. The award amount is up to $20000 per year in state/federal funds with a $10000 minimum. A 45 hour per week service obligation is required.

Tennessee

They provide the Tennessee loan repayment program. They provide educational loan repayment to qualified dentists in exchange for practice at an ambulatory public, non-profit or private non-profit primary care site located in a HPSA. recipients are eligible for up to $20000 per year and can continue the educational support for repayment of the remainder of loans.

South Dakota

They provide recruitment assistance program. They bind the recipients to enter into a contract with the South Dakota Department of Health to provide medical support in designated areas within the state. To be eligible applicants must be licensed dentists in south Dakota with completion of an accredited residency program. 

South Carolina 

They provide a south carolina rural dentist incentive program. They provide loan repayment assistance to dentists who agree to practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) of South Carolina or serve as full-time faculty at the MUSC College of Dental Medicine. Dentists are expected to treat at least 100 unduplicated Medicaid patients. Loan reimbursement payments are made quarterly and cover the amount of all canceled loan repayment checks.

Rhode island

They provide the Rhode Island dental education loan repayment program. The aim to improve access to care, retain providers who provide healthcare services in underserved communities, and address health professional shortages that cause disparities in health. A two-year commitment to practice in medically underserved communities as identified as a Health Professional Shortage Areas is required. Funds have been allocated to the State of Rhode Island for 8 – 10 awards across several health professions including dentists.

Pennsylvania 

They provide primary care loan repayment program. The Program provides grant funding for educational loan repayment to primary care practitioners serving medically underserved populations. Provides dentists up to $100,000 of educational loan repayment for a full-time service commitment or up to $50,000 for a partial commitment. The applicants must be licensed within the state and commit to the two-year program that requires employers in primary care employment.

Oregon 

They provide Oregon partnership state loan repayment. This program requires a two-year service obligation in a HPSA designated service site. Sites decide how much they’ll contribute, from $5,000 up to $35,000, and then program funds match the service site’s funds.

Oklahoma 

They provide Oklahoma dental loan repayment program. They provide dental care to underserved metropolitan and rural areas. loan repayment assistance will be made available to up to twenty-five qualifying dentists for a two to five year period per dentist. Dentists must either practice in health shortage areas or teach at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. The award amount is at least $25,000 per year and eligible for up to five years.

Ohio 

They provide an Ohio dentist loan repayment program. They encourage new dentists to practice in underserved areas of Ohio. Loan repayment assistance will be granted to those who serve these communities on a full-time basis. The total repayment amounts are up to $50,000 for the first two years and up to $35,000 for years three and four. A part-time option is also available for a two-year initial contract with one-year renewals.

North Dakota 

They provide North Dakota dental loan repayment program. This program is designed to attract new dentists to North Dakota to practice in areas of need. New dentists are selected based on the likelihood that they will practice in a rural community or safety net clinic and will see low-income patients. Each dentist selected may receive up to $80,000 to repay educational loans. The requirement and conditions vary with several programs.

North Carolina 

They provide North Carolina state loan repayment. This program awards dentists who commit to four years of service $100,000 in loan repayment. Recipients must practice in underserved communities within the state.

New Mexico

They provide New Mexico loan repayment assistance program. This program requires the recipient to make a two-year service commitment to practice full-time in a designated medical shortage area in New Mexico. The maximum allowable award is $25,000 per year or up to $35,000 per year for a HPSA area. The award amount is determined by student loan debt on an individual basis. And also the applicants must be licensed within the state and be employed full-time.

New jersey 

They provide the primary care loan redemption program of new jersey. This program is designed to increase and improve the provision of primary care services by encouraging providers to serve in state-designated underserved areas and HPSA throughout New Jersey. Dentists are required to work a minimum of two years (maximum of four years) on a full-time basis (40 hours per week), providing primary care in an eligible underserved area.

New Hampshire 

They provide New Hampshire state loan repayment program. This program provides funds to health care professionals working in areas of the State designated as being medically underserved defined as HPSAs. Program will grant up to $75,000 over the three-year term or up to $27,500 for part-time work. Program may be extended for an additional two years of loan repayment.


Conclusion

Becoming a Dentist is prestigious profession.The burden of debt should not hinder you from becoming a dentist, you can tackle this burden by exploring different repayment programs and check your eligibility for repayment. It is an advice to know all your options before taking an informed decision

Looking to refinance your student loans? Choose from our list of best companies to refinance your student loans.