The latest numbers show that the average medical school graduate leaves college with over $215,000 in debt – an amount that takes an average of 13 up to 38 years to fully pay off. This is the kind of burden that seems nearly impossible to get over, and puts a real damper on planning out the future. After all, it’s tough to draw up a road map for where you want to be in five years when you know you have over a decade of payments to make. Even with the typical salary of $210,632 after securing that hard-earned diploma, it gets hard to have enough breathing room in the budget to do anything else after you take care of your day-to-day needs and make that regular payment on your student loan. And thirteen years is a long time for someone to wait before they can start plotting the course for the rest of their lives.
Fortunately, you don’t have to put your life on hold just because you have student loans to deal with. Here at Heritage Wealth Solutions, we’ve gathered up a simple list of the simple ways to start on your future while taking on that student loan debt. Take a look at our four steps toward making yourself financially secure while you handle all those needs.
The sooner you acknowledge a problem, the less damage that problem will do. And the bottom line is, not enough people know enough about finance to navigate themselves
Some colleges are already making it mandatory that their students take courses on how to manage their finances, such as the Albert Einstein College of Medicine… but even if it’s not a class you have to take, it’s a class you should take any way you can, as soon as you can.
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has ways to help med students just like you: they have a student loan debt calculator and an e-book on how to manage student loan debt you can access right on their website. You can use these to figure out how much your education will cost long term, how much to start saving up, and come up with a plan on how to tackle that mountain of debt.
You already know the value of an education – why not educate yourself on one of the biggest things that impacts daily life for medical professionals?
The usual method of student loan repayment is based on the amount owed: Income-Driven repayment allows for regular payments based on a percentage of the student’s current discretionary income. In plain terms, this means how much you pay is based on what you have left after taxes and essentials, not just based on your loan amount total. As an added bonus, the remaining balance is still owed, but is considered forgiven for credit purposes.
This plan might be better for those who struggle to pay their bills and their student loan payments at the same time, but it does have a few drawbacks – namely the time it takes to get your loan paid off in full. Depending on your income, it can take as many as 20 years to pay the balance – even more than the average 13, which is still a pretty long time. But remember, you can always make larger payments when funds are available to knock that out a little faster.
For more information on this option, check out the official Student Aid Site.
Wouldn’t it be great to have that mountain of debt just up and disappear? Well, there are ways to make it happen. By putting your degree to use in areas where certain needs are higher, you can have that student loan debt entirely forgiven in a much shorter amount of time!
The list of places you can work to get the student loans chipped away faster is actually quite large, but some of the biggest examples are nonprofits, underserved communities, and the government themselves. You can help in places where your skills are needed most, and as a thank you for that, your loan balance will be reduced per year, or even waived completely!
There is also an option directly from the Federal Student Aid office called “Public Service Loan Forgiveness”. This one is quite simple – according to studentaid.gov, if you make 120 on-time payments while working in any form of public service, your loan will be wiped away clean.
Help yourself by helping others. After all, isn’t one of the main goals of joining the medical field to do the most good you can?
Speak to an Advisor
There are a lot of different variables when it comes to managing your money after graduation. Going from the classroom to residency to finding the right medical group to start your career develops into new financial responsibilities, risks and goals, and we want to make sure you stick the landing.
After reading this article, you might have a few ideas and resources on what to do, but the biggest question now is: where do you start? And how?
That’s why Heritage Wealth Solutions has decided to make medical students one of our primary focus areas. You worked hard, stayed up late, and earned that degree because you want to help people – we want to help you do just that.
Contact David Ayala Today!
David Ayala is one of the partners here at Heritage Wealth Solutions, and the Financial Advisor that specializes in healthcare professionals.
Schedule a time, sit back, and let us draw out a plan to get you debt-free faster. After all, you’ve earned it.