Got Loans?

I know extremely few people who have gone through PA school and come out the other end with out a decent amount of debt.  Those who don’t have debt are either lucky enough to have parents who significantly contributed to their education or–I mean they were like the first class of graduating PA’s when a year cost 800$ or whatever.

Anyways, below are listed the resources I know that are available for loan forgiveness or payback in a decent sum.  This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if you know something I don’t please e-mail me and share so I can provide to the masses!

National Health Service Corps (NHSC)

There are two options here.  One is a schloarship award–that I believe is really hefty and the other is repayment for committing either 1 or 2 years to an underserved population.  I would be lying if I said I knew a TON about these options.  I did briefly look into the loan forgiveness and I can tell you that there is a certain window where they accept new applicants and you must HAVE the job first and then apply for the forgiveness.  There is up to $60,000 in repayment available for 2 years of service commitment. They have a website that you can access by area to see what employment opportunities are available and approved as a NHSC site.

Public Student Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

As I talk to more people int he medical field, I’m becoming aware that not a lot of people know about this which is sad.  So–if you work for a non-profit this applies to you (most major hospital systems are non-profit by the way). The link above is to the form that is needed to fill out partially by you and partially by your employer to be sent to your loan provider for approval.  Several important notes: Federal loans only and they must be consolidated first.  What this program does is that after 120 qualifying payments as you work for a non-profit–the rest of your loans go bye-bye. Some will tell you that they have to be “consecutive” payments–meaning 10 years in a row; however, that is not the case.  Find yourself a good financial person who knows the system.  I made some qualifying payments prior to taking a job with Barton Associates (which is for profit so payments while I am working here do not qualify) and those will continue to “count” once I go back and work for a hospital system in several years.

Income Based Repayment/Driven Plans 

Can I get an “AMEN” for this shit right here?  I know the most about income based repayment because it made the most sense for me.  However, there are other options available and you can read about them by clicking the link above.  Income based repayment takes a percentage of your income and basically makes it so that you will not pay more than X percent of your monthly income.  There is some fancy-schmancy formula that is used.

Hopefully one of these options are helpful to some of you out there who are overwhelmed by the whole student loan fiasco.  I know when I graduated I was and had no idea what to do.  This is also likely not a comprehensive list of everything that is available out there, and as stated earlier if you know about something that I don’t please let me know!