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1 | Consider Maxing Out Loans in Senior Year of College

1 | Consider Maxing Out Loans in Senior Year of College

Medical school is far more expensive than college. To get through it without significant loan burden usually means you either have parents helping you out, or you were a super impressive pre-med that earned merit-based scholarships, or you’re able to secure scholarships based on other criteria, like where you grew up or your family background.

Student loans in college tend to come with better terms than student loans in medical school, usually in terms of being subsidized with lower interest rates. For this reason, it may benefit you to max out your loans during senior year in college and put that money towards your medical school tuition expenses.

If you go to medical school in San Francisco or New York City, it’s going to be much harder to live frugally since the cost of living in these major metropolitan areas is so high. That is… unless you go to tuition-free medical schools.

3 | Apply to Free Tuition Medical Schools

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New York University and Columbia medical schools are now offering free tuition to medical students. Hopefully, more schools follow suit in the future. You should always apply to free tuition medical schools given the asymmetric risk payday loans in Texas profile very high upside and quite limited downside.

4 | Continue to Live Frugally

I know you were living frugally in college, but medical school isn’t the time to #treatyoself . Still live with roommates, purchase used textbooks and medical equipment, ride a bike to save money but also to keep you healthy, and avoid going out every night.

5 | Seek University Loans

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Medical school loans are generally not subsidized unless you are able to obtain student loans directly from your university, called University Loans, which often have better terms.

6 | Consider Contract Scholarships

Certain organizations will pay for your medical school expenses with the contractual agreement that you’ll work for them for a certain period of time. Examples would be the Health Professions Scholarship Program, the National Health Service Corps, Indian Health Services, or state pris. My recommendation is you only pursue these options if it aligns with your interests. For example, don’t do HPSP if you aren’t happy to work as a doctor in the military.

7 | Consider Debt When Choosing a Specialty

Your student loan burden and the compensation of a specific specialty should not be primary considerations when you’re deciding what type of doctor you want to be. However, if you’re graduating with $500,000 in student loans, it’s going to be much more difficult to pay off as a family medicine doctor.

8 | Apply to Scholarships like the Med School Insiders Annual Scholarship

Medical school is expensive, and I get it. I had to front the cost of college and medical school on my own, and receiving scholarships and grants was a big factor in making it possible for me. We understand the importance of giving back, so we’ve created the annual Med School Insiders Annual Scholarship.

As a resident, you’ll no longer be taking out new student loans, and you’ll be earning a salary as a doctor for the first time. Congratulations! Unfortunately, that salary is going to be around $50,000 per year, which means you probably won’t even be able to pay off the interest that’s accruing on your loans month to month.

When paying off your loans, it’s important you first knock out the loans with the highest interest rates. For private student loans, you can refinance your loans, thus allowing you to pay a lower interest rate and also have lower monthly payments. It’s standard to be going from a 6-10% interest rate before refinancing to a 4-6% rate after refinancing, although I have friends and colleagues who have gone substantially lower than that by having a parent cosign on the loan.

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