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Medical school loan forgiveness programs

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If you went to medical school, you probably accumulated a large amount of student loan debt. Fortunately, there are many loan waiver and repayment assistance programs available for medical schools. You may be eligible for federal, state, or local programs that can eliminate all or part of your debt.

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Federal loan forgiveness programs

For borrowers with federal student loans, there are two main forgiveness programs.

1. Discount income based repayment plan

If you have federal student loans, you may be eligible for a income based repayment plan (IDR). Depending on your income, the size of your family, and your student loan balance, signing up for an IDR plan can help you lower your monthly payments. Your loan manager will extend your repayment term from 20 to 25 years and cap your payments at a percentage of your discretionary income.

If you still have a balance after 20 to 25 years of payment, your loan manager will forgive you for the remaining balance. However, the remitted amount is taxable as income.

You can apply for an IDR plan online.

2. Delivery of the civil service loan

If you have federal student loans and work for a government agency or non-profit organization – and many hospitals are eligible – you may be eligible for Public service loan remission (PSLF). With this approach, you sign up for an IDR plan and make 10 years of on-time payments.

After 10 years, the government will completely forgive you for your remaining balance. And, unlike the surrender of the IDR plan, the released amount is not taxable as income.

Use the PSLF Help Tool to find out if you qualify and to track your progress towards loan cancellation.

National loan cancellation programs

If you have federal or private student loans, you may be eligible for one of the following national programs.

1. Repayment of the National Health Service Corps loan

Primary care medical, dental, mental and behavioral providers can obtain up to $ 50,000 in student loan repayment assistance in exchange for a two-year service engagement in an urban, rural or tribal community with a limited access to care. Federal and private student loans are eligible for the program.

Visit the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website for more information.

2. National Health Service Corps students must repay the loan

If you are pursuing a degree in allopathic or osteopathic medicine or dentistry, you may be eligible for loan repayment assistance of up to $ 120,000, payable in four installments of up to $ 30,000 per year. In return, you must agree to work for at least three years in full-time clinical practice at a site approved by the National Health Service Corps.

Visit the ARSA website for more information.

3. National Health Service Corps Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment

To combat the opioid crisis in the country, the NHSC has launched the Substance Use Disorder Loan Repayment Program. It supports the recruitment and retention of health professionals in underserved areas. If you qualify for the program, you can get up to $ 75,000 in repayment assistance in exchange for a three-year service commitment.

To be eligible for the program, you must be working or have accepted a job offer at an NHSC-approved service site.

Visit the ARSA website for more information.

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4. National Institutes of Health loan repayment

Health care professionals pursuing careers in biomedical or behavioral research can receive up to $ 50,000 per year in repayment assistance through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) loan repayment program. In return, you must commit to engaging in research relevant to the NIH mission.

For more information, visit the NIH website.

5. Repayment of the loan from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities

Doctoral health professionals who conduct clinical research on health disparities in non-federal research settings for at least two years could receive up to $ 50,000 per year in loan repayment assistance students.

For more information, visit the website of the National Institute on Minority Health and Disparities.

6. Loan repayment for Indian health services

If you agree to serve at least two years in health care facilities serving Native American and Native communities in Alaska, you could receive up to $ 40,000 in student loan repayment assistance. As a participant in the program, you can extend your contract each year until your student loans are paid off.

For more information, visit Indian Health Service website.

State-specific loan cancellation programs

If you don’t qualify for a federal or state program, you may still be eligible for a state-specific program.

For example, you could receive up to $ 70,000 in repayment assistance under the State of California Loan Repayment Program in exchange for a two-year full-time service commitment.

Or, Colorado health professionals who are willing to work in shortage areas can receive up to $ 90,000 in student loan repayment assistance in exchange for a three-year service commitment.

To find out if your state runs a similar program, visit the Association of American Medical Colleges database.

Learn more: 10 Best Companies to Refinance Medical School Loans

Military loan repayment programs

If you are in the US military service, you may be eligible for loan repayment assistance. For example, medical professionals who serve as officers in the military can receive up to $ 40,000 per year for up to three years in student loan repayment assistance. Contact the administrator of your military branch for information on relevant loan repayment programs.

See more : Tips for repaying medical school loans

Manage your medical school loans

While there are loan waiver and repayment assistance programs for medical schools, not everyone will qualify. If you don’t, another way to manage your debt is student loan refinancing. With this approach, you could lower your interest rate, save money, and even pay off your medical debt ahead of schedule.

If you decide that student loan refinancing is right for you, you can compare the offers of some of the best refinance lenders.

See: The Best Student Loan Refinancing Companies

Find out if refinancing is right for you
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  • Will not impact credit score – Checking rates on Credible takes about 2 minutes and will not impact your credit score
  • Data confidentiality – We do not sell your information, so you will not receive calls or emails from multiple lenders

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About the Author

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer covering everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. His work has been featured in publications like The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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