student loans...student loans...student loans

I have a question about student loans, just in case you didn’t all ready figure that one out…but anyway, I am curious as to how it works when you have student loans from undergrad and then you try to go on to med school and need more loans. Will you be able to get them? Will you have to start paying on the under grad loans while in med school or do you get the option to defer them until after med school?
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Hi there,
When you have student loans as an undergraduate they are added to what you will need to borrow as a medical student. As long as you are not in default, you will be eligible to borrow unsub loans from the Feds up to what your school budgets. Anything above the budget has to come from private sources such as banks. The private loans generally have higher interest than the federal loans. You also need to know that funding for higher education has been really cut back so get your FAFSA in very early. Students going in even this year are going to have a tougher time if you wait too late.
I have a classmate who owed $80,000 for his undergraduate and ended up borrowing another $150,000 for medical school. He is now in an anesthesia residency so his chances of paying off that huge amount are pretty good. Another classmate went to West Point, spent 10 years in the Army and is now in a military Surgical residency. She will owe nothing when she is done. I fall in the middle having borrowed only for living expenses $50,000. I plan to start paying on the interest next year and get the whole principle paid off within 2 years of practicing. I had no undergraduate or graduate loans so I was able to borrow both sub and unsub.
Having to borrow money does make this medicine-thing pretty difficult for non-traditionals but not impossible. You have to make a strict budget and know your limits before you get into medical school. If you have any credit card debt, get it paid off and cut the things. Learn to live out of a debit card and learn to love mac and cheese.
Loans are deferred while you are in school full-time. Medical school is full-time and more.
biggrin.gif Natalie

I don’t know if I am wacked but I am not really worried about the loans even with the assumption that they will be +/-$100,000. It is clearly a boat load of money but after paying off (almost done) about half that from undergrad and grad school at a salary less than that of a Resident it’s clearly manageable. Assuming you get payments commensurate with your pay while a resident it seems like there would be no problem in quickly finishing them off once you get in practice. That is on the assumption that you don’t go nuts once you start making a good salary and make getting out of debt a priority. Even if you went into the relatively low paying area of family practice you could give yourself a nice big pay raise from your resident salary (let’s say 50-100%) and pay off 100 grand in 2-4 years. My reasoning is based on the post graduate pay scale used by Vanderbilt listed below and a table of first year starting physician salaries which can be found at the following link Physician Salaries.
PGY Level Stipend
1 $37,433
2 $38,556
3 $39,713
4 $40,904
5 $42,131
6 $43,395
7 $44,697
8 $46,038
9 $47,419
10 $48,842

One more thing,
I will add however that while I am married, we have no kids. Also, my wife is in academia and is very supportive and adamant that it is “my turn” since I supported here through her Ph.D. I know that this clearly removes some of the large burdens of responsibillity that many others on this forum have.

Hey Damon,
You can be a “kept” man. You have the best of both worlds. Did I also mention that medical school loans are deferred while you are in residency but the interest does start to accrue. You have to apply for deferrment but you can still pay on the interest so you are not totally poverty striken. I have also quickly learned that I don’t need that much money during residency. My hobbies are sleeping and reading. I have gotten to be pretty dull. Occasionally my chairman takes us flyfishing.
Natalie biggrin.gif

Some people are just lucky I geuss. Hopefully by the time I get in Darleen will be faculty and getting paid as such as opposed to the more meager post doc pay scale. Thanks for the info on the loans. Can you eally defer for your whole residency? What about during fellowships (ie cariology…)I wasn't quite sure how that works. We have recently started to pay off Dar's loans so I was assuming that it would be same for a resident. That is to say you have to start paying loans of after a one year grace period post graduation.

Hey thanks you two…I feel so much better about all the loan thing. My biggest fear was having a $50,000 + undergrad loans and then being able to get loans to get through med school. But if what ya’ll say is true, then it looks like I won’t have any problems. So I will let the loan issue be the least of my worries.

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Hi there everyone on this thread, since we're talkin' 'bout money, does anyone know why for an out of state resident, the University of Colorado medical school (which I wouldn't mind going to but NOT at the out of state prices) is like 60K/year ??? I love Colorado , so ya I'd like to go to med school there, but not at those prices and no I'm not going to pack up and move there just to become a resident (actually I wouldn't mind, but my husband's business and business connections are here in WI).
But why would Colorado's out of state tuition be so dang high?? Anyone else out there thinking about med school in Colorado? Vita

Hey Vita,
I think the deal with UC is that it is a state school and therefore there mission is the education of their students and they don't want to subsidize the education of non-residents. Granted their out of state tuition is outrageous but generally if you look at the out of state tutions (as I'm sure you have) they are generally 3-4 times that of in state. Maybe they use as a deterrent or maybe they try and use it to subsidize in state costs.
I have thought about UC cuz I like Colorado too but the tuition definitely gave me pause. If you like mountains and such check out my alma mater University of New Mexico. It's got mountains, sun, green chile (yum!!!). The scool has a great rep for turning out family practice docs. I will definitely be applying there. Out of state folks must apply early decision

Hi there,
Medical students have a six-month grace period after graduation before they go into repayment. You are entitled for deferment as long as you apply for it before your grace period is up. (To take advantage of that grace period, apply for deferment towards the end, but BEFORE it ends.)
We think it's fabulous if students can manage paying interest payments during your residency, it really helps save you a lot of money and get ahead.
Be sure to ask questions (of your lender) if you are considering a fellowship and find out its effect on your loans. In some cases, fellowships pay only a stipend and are not able to receive financial aid. So be sure to ask, ask, ask!

Hi dmaes, thanks for the word on Univ. of New Mexico, yes when the time comes I definitely will be applying there. I Love the mountains, horseback-riding and the desert and also green chile (I am a definite mexican food junkie, since I'm a born and bred Arizona girl but married a WI boy, so here I am).
Thanks for your input. Vita