Loan forgiveness programs for medical students can significantly lessen the financial strain of those overwhelmed with their student loan debt.
Medical school education can provide you with the ability to serve others; however, medical school is expensive. Student loans may allow you to cover the cost of your medical education, though that’s just the beginning. When entering a medical career or after just graduating from a degree program, you may be wondering how to pay back student loan debt. In such cases, while you’re struggling with your debt, medical school loan forgiveness programs might make repayment a bit more manageable.
Loan Forgiveness Programs for Medical Students – How to Qualify?
Loan forgiveness programs for medical students help erase some or all of medical school debt after meeting certain criteria. Points to consider to get qualified for loan forgiveness.
- Make sure you take a federal loan for medical school that qualifies for forgiveness. And choose a payment plan that qualifies for forgiveness after 120 payments.
- Make on-time payments as outlined in the qualifying repayment plan and follow other rules set by the loan forgiveness program.
- To be eligible for federal loan forgiveness, you must have taken a qualifying federal loan and a qualifying repayment plan.
Loan Forgiveness Programs for Medical Students – Steps to Consider
Every loan forgiveness program for medical students is different, so make sure to research all options based on your locality and talk to your school’s financial aid office for loan details. Follow these steps from the starting and make loan forgiveness as part of your plan to pay back your student debt.
- Select the allied medical field in which you want to study.
- Apply for financial aid through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Take an approved Federal Student Loan and choose a Loan Repayment Plan qualified for loan forgiveness.
- Work for an organization that is on the approved list.
- It will take ten years to qualify. Make 120 qualifying repayments on your loan.
- Follow the payback plan to the letter!
- After making 120 payments, apply for loan forgiveness.
Loan Forgiveness Programs for Medical Students – Where to Apply?
There are several types of loan forgiveness programs available through the federal government or other organizations. After choosing a federal loan and a repayment plan that qualifies for forgiveness, take a look at these options.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a tax-free loan forgiveness program for medical students that might be a wise way to save money. It is available to medical school graduates and professionals who work for qualifying nonprofit organizations or government agencies.
Private student loans, Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), or Federal Perkins Loans are not eligible. Only direct loans are eligible for forgiveness, however, and you may be able to consolidate your Perkins or FFEL loans to participate in the program. From there, you’ll need to make ten years of payments toward your student debt.
National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) offers a student loan repayment program. NHSC loan repayment program is a tax-free forgiveness program for eligible full-time and part-time medical professionals. To get qualified for this program, you’ll need to be licensed and work in an eligible discipline, such as Health Service Psychologists, Physicians (DO/MD), Physician Assistants, Certified Nurse-Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Psychiatric Nurse Specialists, etc.
A service commitment to work, even if only part-time in a critical-need medical facility (as approved by the NHSC), for at least two years could erase as much as $50,000 of eligible student debt. If you work in underserved communities, you may qualify for a higher amount of student loan repayment support.
For more information, visit https://nhsc.hrsa.gov/loan-repayment/nhsc-loan-repayment-pro
Armed Forces Loan Repayment Programs
Medical school students or doctors who serve in the U.S. military may receive student loan aid in exchange for their service. There are numerous repayment programs offered in the different branches of the armed forces; however, benefits may vary slightly.
State Student Loan Forgiveness Programs
Numerous states offer student loan aid to medical professionals. Requirements for state-specific loan forgiveness programs for medical students can differ. You can consult the AAMC’s database for student loan forgiveness programs that might benefit you.
A commitment to serve a community with a health care professional shortage for two- to four-year might help you reduce a portion of your student debt.
Finding the right loan forgiveness programs for medical students can be a great strategy to reduce your medical school debt. However, this approach isn’t the right fit for everyone. So, choose your loans for medical school wisely!