7 Easy Ways To Pay Off Medical School Debt

The Medical school debts are a huge burden for many of the physicians but if you can manage or optimize your student loan so as to give you an edge on controlling your outflow of money in paying off medical school loan debt and loan interest

Updated by Annany Sah on 1st October 2020

Student loans are probably the common way most students start their academic year after school looking to study in desired colleges and to pursue their dream career. 

Medical school student debt is a burden that follows many physicians well into their careers. Fortunately, there are sound financial strategies that can help you pay off medical school debt more quickly and reduce the overall amount you'll end up paying and to do that you have to optimize your way of doing things such that it is suitable to pay off the debts very easily in the following ways. 

  • Understand the options available in front of you

  • Learn to adapt and implement how other physicians are paying off their debt 

  • Know when and where to get help

This way you can pay off your debt faster without any financial stress burdening you. 

 Table of Content

What are Medical School Loans?

A medical loan is like a personal loan that’s used to pay for medical expenses. Several lenders offer personal loans that can be used for medical treatment. Medical loans may be unsecured personal loans. That means they don’t require any collateral. Since lenders are trying to judge your ability to repay the loan, applications for these types of personal loans will primarily focus on factors such as your credit history, cosigner, income, and few other eligibility criteria. You can also apply for a secured personal loan to help you make payments for medical expenses. Secured personal loans require you to put up a deposit to secure the loan, but you may be able to get more competitive rates.

The amount you are approved to borrow will depend on a variety of factors, including your credit history, cosigner details, loan amount, etc.

There are many ways you can pay off medical school debts without getting into deep interest amount debts

Paying off medical school debt can be a challenging road to take. As a resident, the probability that is you are not earning enough to make full monthly student loan payments. Then you are in luck because there are some ways you can pay off your debts very easily. Read further to explore your options. 

7 Easy steps to pay off Medical School Debts

There are a few ways you can pay off your debts easily which are as follows:

1 - Making payments while in medical college

Interest rates accrue when you are studying in school and enter repayment six months after you graduate. Unlike a few other federal loans, medical loans interest accrue when in school. Even during a forbearance or deferment be mindful that your loans accrue increasing your loan amount. Though it can sound challenging, find scholarships to reduce the loan amount you borrow. After this, you can find a part-time job with which you can start your payments while studying or take a job at college that can help you save time and money. Lastly to save on interest is a smart move in the long run. Always consider taking the amount that is needed for your studies and not an extra penny. 

It’s possible to postpone student loan payments during your residency or fellowship, but it will cost you. Interest rates increase for deferment and forbearance, which will result in increasing the total amount of loan debt. 

2 - Seek student Loan Forgiveness

Student Loan Forgiveness is the best way to approach student loan debt, as it will help you to receive forgiveness on your loan debt, which means that you don't have to make the rest of the payment after you have made a certain amount of payments towards your loans. Student loan forgiveness is applicable only to federal loans. Therefore exhaust your federal loan option before you approach private student loan lenders. 

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

Is the fastest way for doctors to pay off medical school debt. Federal student loans are discharged after 10 years if you work for a nonprofit hospital or medical facility. To make smaller monthly payments you can enroll in the PAYE repayment plan and increase the amount to be forgiven during the forgiveness program. After 120 monthly payments and satisfying certain other eligibility criteria, the remaining loan debt is forgiven. This program was revoked or removed by trump‘s government in 2018.

Don't let the burden of debt hamper your dreams of college education, learn more about the Best student loans

3 - Switch to Income-driven Payments

As mentioned above, you may strive to afford the monthly payments on your medical school debt during residency. However, an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan can help you make more efficient payments. Income-driven repayment plans help in having lower monthly payments for residents with larger high medical school debt. You can choose your repayment plans according to your financial situation calculating the income you will earn after you complete your education. By organizing your payments will reduce your stress with medical loan debts.

The repayment option offers a subsidy on your student loan interest. the federal government will cover 50% of all interest due above the monthly payment amount throughout unsubsidized loan repayment. This can help you have savings in turn help you pay off school debt faster. 

Learn more about Income-driven repayment plans

4 - Refinancing

Student loan refinancing is likely the most suitable option for doctors paying off medical school debt. If you find a lender ready to refinance your loans with a lower interest rate it can save a lot of money in the long run.

Practitioners are typically perfect candidates for student loan refinance lenders. Qualifying for the lowest rates requires excellent credit or a cosigner with good credit scores and a high-income relative to your debt. 

You have two options for refinancing medical school loans:

  1. Choose income-driven repayment during the residency period and refinance after you complete your training.

  2. Consider refinancing options when you find lower interest rates after your training period can be beneficial. 

Learn more about Best lenders to Refinance student loans

5 - Make extra student loan payments

Paying extra may be tough for you to do right out of medical school or while in residency. Managing your finances can help you make payments on student loans and reduce the longevity of your loans. Not only does it shorten your repayment term, but it also lowers the amount of student loan interest you’ll pay. Ultimately, your debt will cost you less.

Take some time to calculate your savings from prepaying student debt with this calculator and see if this is a beneficial strategy for you. If you allow your loans to move to forbearance or deferment because of a temporary financial shortage, chances are your interest rates accrue with time, this will eventually increase your loan amount. Henceforth, every extra effort to take to make an extra payment towards your loan counts! If you cannot afford full payments, the loan lender provides the option to make a partial payment. 

Learn more about Make Extra Student Loan Payments

6 - Have a minimal expenditure plan to continue making repayments

You have a divide and manage your extra payments for medical school debt. Reduce money of your living expenditures and discretionary spending low. Even though you will be getting better pay once you’ve completed your training, you might consider continuing to live like a resident. In other words, make the most of your doctor’s salary as an attending by keeping your lifestyle in check. You are already doing that as a part of being a resident, so continue doing the same for another few years. 

Ultimately, if you can spend like a resident while making three times more (or higher) as an attending physician, your expenses will comprise a smaller portion of your take-home pay. This will help you give an effective portion of your income towards making extra on your student loans.

Learn more about Lower Student Loan Payments

7 - Apply for physician bonuses

Physician signing bonuses are common benefits offered to attract doctors. More than 80% of physicians received signing bonuses in 2018. If you can snag one of these bonuses, it could go a long way toward paying off your medical school debt. Throwing this lump sum at your loans can shorten your repayment period and save you money in interest payments. So, before you spend your signing bonus, use this extra payment calculator to see the impact it could have on your financial future. 

As a recent medical school graduate, you might be anxious to get rid of your student debt. You might feel overwhelmed and unsure of the best path forward. Plus, finding the time and mental energy to tackle your student loans on top of practicing medicine can be challenging. However, keeping your medical school debt repayment a top priority can take years off your loans. Plus, you’ll save thousands of dollars in interest. Though it can seem time-consuming to manage your student loan payments, your wallet will thank you in the long run.