We all know how amazing a career in health care can be. Only a small percentage of people in this world can do what we do. At the very least we help people improve their standard of living but often we are saving their lives. Part of what makes us so important to our communities is that we are highly educated and highly trained professionals. However, one of the challenges we al,l as medical professionals, have to face is the debt that is innately embedded in our journey. In fact, depending on your level of training you could owe more than half a million dollars before your gain your coveted degree. Half a million dollars!!!
Yes, our country is inundated with student debt. At over 1.5 trillion dollars, it is obvious that almost everyone is dealing, in one way or another, with this crisis. Outweighing credit card debt and car loans, this problem is a nation wide and ultimately a global problem when the US is, quite frankly, spending less and starting their lives later, all due to the debt they are in. But dentist, doctors and medical professionals are some of the most in debt. As a point of reference, I graduated UCLA School of Dentistry in 2013 with $235k of debt. I had no undergraduate debt and I lived relatively frugally throughout my four years in LA. If you really want some nightmares to haunt you at night, the estimated cost to attend the USC School of Dentistry is $514,888, according to the school itself. Now, I think that's quite conservative. I told you it can be north of half a mill. And no, we don’t make that much to pay that back quickly after we graduate.
Fortunately, there are ways to erase this debt. As you might have guessed, we’ll be investigating PSLF or Public Service Loan Forgiveness. A program that will allow you to erase you student debt in the same amount of time it would take you to pay your student loan off using a standard repayment regiment and you’ll be able to pay less per month so you can free up money to get your adult life started. I personally have been working towards PSLF for the past 3 years. Unfortunately, caveats and pitfalls are a-plenty as with all things related to large sums of money. The obvious one being you have to be committed to 10 years of working in the public sector of your field. The other major caveat is most who have applied for loan forgiveness have been DENIED. The program started in 2017 and naturally the first wave of those who have tried to apply for forgiveness were in 2017. Sadly, only a minute percentage of those who applied succeeded in receiving their prize. Interested in going this route? Scared out of your skimpies about the uncertainty? You should be. I know I am.
Therefore, I have compiled a few links that are a must read to make sure you're crossing your i’s and dotting your t’s so you can qualify for PSLF after 10 years of maneuvering your life around it. So, read on and stay woke. Also, if you find that you have more insight that the community can benefit from, please contact me and I’ll update this blog with the new info.
Data on loans forgiven:
If you only have time to read one article:
Article on Congress’ response to low qualification percentage: