- Combine multiple accounts into one, with just one monthly payment to manage.
- Lower your interest rate, saving money over the life of the loan.
- Reduce your monthly payment.
- Shorten your loan repayment term.
- Remove the debt obligation of a joint borrower, such as a parent who cosigned your loans.
It’s important to note that refinancing federal student loans into a private loan will mean giving up certain benefits, including income-driven repayment plans, student loan forgiveness programs, and forbearance or deferment. If you ever expect to be eligible for these programs or need those federal benefits, you may want to hold off on refinancing your federal loans.
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Becoming a doctor involves many years of school and, as a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars in educational expenses why not try this out. The typical doctor graduates with an average debt of $250,222 for public universities and $330,180 for private schools, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges. And with 73% of new doctors utilizing loans to pay for their education, that’s a lot of providers walking around with six-figure debt.
Paying off that much debt – whether it’s $200,000 or $400,000 – can feel daunting and could take decades. But if you’re eligible, you may be able to take advantage of student loan forgiveness for doctors. Learn more about the various loan forgiveness programs.
- Federal student loan forgiveness programs
- National student loan forgiveness programs for doctors
- State-specific student loan forgiveness programs
- U.S. military repayment programs for medical loans
- Consider refinancing your medical school loans
Federal student loan forgiveness programs
If you took out federal student loans to pay for medical school, you s in some cases. These programs allow you to have some or all of your student loan debt forgiven, rather than needing to repay the entire debt to the lender.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
The U.S. Department of Education offers the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, or PSLF, to eligible borrowers with Direct Loans. You may be eligible for forgiveness if you’re employed full-time by a government entity (federal, state, local, or tribal) or not-for-profit organization. This includes military service members.
In order to qualify for the PSLF program, you’ll need to have federal Direct Loans or consolidate your existing federal loan debt into a Direct Consolidation Loan. You’ll also need to be paying off that debt under an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
In addition, you must make 120 qualifying payments while working for a qualifying employer before any remaining balance is forgiven. Once you’ve made 120 qualifying payments, you can request that your remaining debt be transferred to a PSLF servicer and, hopefully, forgiven.
It’s important to note that in order to be eligible (even if you meet all other requirements), you’ll need to be employed full-time by an eligible employer both when you submit the forgiveness request form and when the remaining balance is forgiven.
Unlike some other loan forgiveness options, any remaining debt forgiven by the PSLF program won’t be considered income by the IRS. This means that the forgiven amount isn’t taxable.
Income-driven repayment plan forgiveness
To prevent your federal student loan payments from eating up too much of your monthly discretionary income, the Department of Education offers four income-driven repayment plans: Income-Based Repayment (IBR), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), and Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE).