Debt Management

General Suggestions

The following are proffered regarding to debt management and your financial future.

  1. Consider all scholarship options including the military, NHSC, and outside scholarships.

  2. Consider low-interest loan options, including the Primary Care Loan Program

  3. Keep good financial records, including all records of your student loans.

  4. Ask questions. Financial mistakes can be very costly over time.

  5. Maintain contact with your lenders at all times.

  6. Live frugally. It will reduce your need to borrow while in school and provide extra money to repay loans after graduation.

  7. Attack debt aggressively. When you are able after graduation, make voluntary payments toward your principal to accelerate loan repayment.

  8. Know and review periodically your after graduation deferment options, such as the economic hardship forbearance.

  9. Know and review your repayment options, such as the graduated repayment plan, the income sensitive repayment plan, the extended repayment plan, and loan consolidation.

  10. Consider loan repayment programs, such as those offered by NHSC, by NIH, by the military, and by many state governments

  11. After completion of training, include student loan repayments in a carefully constructed budget.

  12. After graduation, seek help when needed from a qualified financial advisor.

  13. Start an investment and retirement program early. You will be surprised how small investments over time will grow in value.

  14. When negotiating with prospective employers who are recruiting you after the completion of your medical training, discuss your loan repayment obligations.

  15. Ensure your future success by completing a residency training program and becoming board certified in your field. Expect to be well-paid for your services. Make sure your income is sufficient to allow you to repay your educational debts.

  16. Whatever you do, do not go into default on your student loans!

Information Resources on Financial Aid & Debt Management

Selected Financial Aid Web Sites

These are web sites that are portals for general information on financial aid:

Non-Profit Organizations


Government Agencies


Commercial Sites


Recommended Readings

(MD) 2: Monetary Decisions for Medical Doctors is an electronic publication of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) intended to provide financial planning information for pre-medical students, enrolled medical students, and physicians in residency training.

The Student Guide is a free publication on federal financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education. The publication has sections providing general information on federal student aid and on the Direct and Federal Family Education Loan Programs, as well as on other federal financial aid programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Other sections address borrower rights and responsibilities and loan deferments.

The manual also has a section defining important terms used in federal financial aid. A hard copy of the Student Guide can be obtained by writing to the Federal Student Aid Information Center, P.O. Box 84, Washington, DC 20044-0084 or by calling 1-800-433-3243.