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What are Medical School Loans?

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When you are looking for medical loans, you should consider the options from the government first. You can check out the programs from the Department of Education (will be considered below) or from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The first program you should pay your attention to (speaking of the HRSA loans) is the Primary Care Loan (PCL).

So, you have the following options:

  • Direct Stafford Loans. These unsubsidized loans from the Department of Education offer beneficial interest rates that are lower than many private student loans offer. For the loans that were issued after July 1, 2015 but before July 1, 2016, the interest rate is 5.84%. The students have to make payments before graduation. The Stafford loans are limited to certain medical professions up to $40,000 annually.
  • GradPLUS Loans. These unsubsidized loans for medical school have an annually-fixed interest rate that makes up 6.84%. The interest rate for graduate students is 2.55% lower than for postgraduate ones.
  • Perkins Loan Program. The medical students with extra financial need can qualify for these medical school loans at the fixed 5% interest rate. Each school defines itself the level of the financial need. Sometimes, those, who look for medical loans for bad credit, get good help. Still, don’t rely much upon it because this is about being an exception. Perkin loans have a longer grace period than other federal loans – 9 months. They also have no origination fees.
  • HRSA Primary Care Loan. It goes along with the 5% interest rate for students loans, who accept the practice in the primary care until the debts will be paid off (up to 10 years). Those, who don’t meet the requirement, face 7% interest rate.

More information about medical school loans and the current interest rates you can get on the official website of the Department of Education.

What is an average student loan debt for medical school?

According to the American Medical Student Association, the average student loan debt medical school was $190,000 in 2016. Around 86% of the medical graduates have the medical debt. Taking into the account, that around 70% of all graduates financed their education through the government or lending institution, the medical sphere is a leading one in accumulation the debt.

Here is a chart from the Association of the American Medical Colleges that shows that the average student loan debt medical school is growing:


medical loans debt
Source: AAMC.org, www.studentdebtrelief.us

In the result, many students turn to the medical school student loan forgiveness. We have already written about loan forgiveness programs for nurses. Speaking of the other specialties, you have the following options:

  1. National Health Service Corps (NHSC). The program pays off up to $50,000 of your existing debt but you have to work in a high-need underserved region for two years.
  2. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). You can qualify for this [program if you have made 120 payments and agree to work full-time in a public service.
  3. The U.S. Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program (HPLRP). If you want to receive financial aid in $40,000 (minus 25% for federal income taxes) and are ready to serve in Navy, you can try to qualify for this program.

These are the major programs that will have you to pay off the student loan for medical school. Still, don’t forget about the local state programs that give you more chances to get a financial help.