Do You Qualify for Medical School Loan Forgiveness

Jul 14, 2016


Do You Qualify for Medical School Loan Forgiveness

Posted in : Medical school on by : Dylan

Graduating from medical school is a major accomplishment. Any type of higher education is tough, but medical school takes the concept of tough to a whole new level. Physicians are held to a higher standard than most other occupations, and they have to undergo a heck of a lot more education. All told, by the time most medical school graduates finish school, their educational debts can be well into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In fact, most physicians, by the time they begin to practice medicine have between $150,000 and $500,000 in unpaid education loans. That is a significant amount of money, and it can be very difficult to repay.

Forgiveness for Medical School Loans

There are government plans in place to help alleviate some of this debt for certain individuals. Of course, many doctors, who go on to high paying specialist roles are able to pay these loans off in a reasonable amount of time. Others, however, are not so fortunate. The group of doctors hit hardest of all, also happen to be those who are the most needed of all – general practitioners, or family doctors. The average salary for a physician just getting started with a private practice or partnership is around $150,000 a year, and with new regulations on insurance and healthcare, in general, it is even more difficult for these physicians to make a profit.

After putting in years of tough education, many physicians find that they can make more money by going into another line of employment, and many throw in the towel as they are unable to repay their steep college tuition loans. Many of these physicians may benefit from the loan forgiveness plans mentioned earlier. Of course, not every person can qualify for medical education loan forgiveness, but it is worth investigating for thousands of doctors who may not even be aware that these plans exist.

Here are a few factors that may help to qualify you for medical school loan forgiveness:

  • Working for a non-profit organization. Many hospital systems are non-profit, so hospitalists and other doctors associated with these organizations may qualify for loan forgiveness
  • Working for a tribal college or university. Hospitals associated with these types of educational institutions may afford loan forgiveness to many of their staff physicians.
  • Performing public service for the elderly or disabled. Physicians who contribute their times and talent to performing medical services for the under-served may be eligible to have a big percentage of their medical school loans deferred.

These are just a few of the ways that you might qualify to have your medical school loans forgiven. Of course, not everyone will qualify for medical school loan forgiveness, but for many who do, this can be a great way to continue practicing medicine without huge amounts of debt hanging over their heads for years to come. If you got into medicine to help people, don’t let educational debts drive you away from your life’s calling. Find out if you meet some of the guidelines for full or partial medical school loan forgiveness.

Where to Find Medical School Loan Forgiveness Programs

The National Health Service Corps offers medical loan forgiveness to physicians who agree to work in underserved areas for a predetermined number of years. The National Institute of Health (NIH) offers to repay up to $35,000 for medical graduates who decide to pursue a career in medical research.

National Health Service Corps offers loan forgiveness for medical graduates who agree to serve in underdeveloped areas for a set amount of time. They offer up to $145,000 in loan repayment for completing a 5 year service agreement or a $50,000 award for 2 years of service.

Nursing Education Loan Repayment Program is a program run by the U.S. government to encourage registered nurses to serve certain areas of non-profit health care facilities experiencing shortages. They offer to repay up to 85% of total qualifying nursing education loan balance for up to 3 years of service agreement. Registered nurses are also eligible to receive salary and benefits agreed upon by the employing facility.

National Institute of Health Loan Repayment Program was designed to help research scientist repay up to $35,000 of qualifying student loan debt. The program can be applied towards extramural loan repayment programs (LRP) at universities and other nonprofit organizations.

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