The Truth : Average Medical Student Debt

The Truth about Average Medical Student Debt

About $241,600 is how much debt the average medical student has when they graduate. If you take out debt from college for premed and another schooling, the total is about $215,900.
In fact, 73% and 55% of medical school students take out loans to help pay for school (as opposed to undergraduate or premed).
Some other facts about people with medical school debt:

  • • Over the past 15 years, the average debt amount has increased by 177.7%.
  • • If debt keeps growing faster than the cost of school, the average debt of a medical student will be more than $300,000 by 2024.
  • • In the end, the average doctor will pay between $365,000 and $440,000 for student loans and interest.

To pay off debts in 10 years, the average medical school graduate must pay at least $2,480 per month.
People who attend public medical school end up owing about $2,000 less than those who attend private medical school, even though private school can cost a lot more.

This could be because private schools offer more scholarships and grants than public schools, which is something to consider when applying.
Medical school graduates often have a lot of debt from student loans. EducationData.org says that 76–89% of people who graduate from medical school have some kind of student loan debt. About 43% of medical school graduates said they had taken out student loans before attending medical school.

The average amount of debt a medical school graduate will have in 2021 is $241,600. The average amount of medical school debt had gone up since 2020 when it was only $200,000. With totals this high, it’s no surprise that medical school graduates have a lot more debt than the average student loan debt of $39,351 in 2021.

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How much do you owe for medical school?

This is a real worry for a lot of students. People who graduate from medical school take out about $4.39 billion worth of student loans each year. The average medical school graduate has more than six times as much debt as the average college student.

How much do you owe on your student loans?

Average Amounts of Student Debt by Type Debt type Average debt Bachelor’s degree debt $28,950 Graduate school loan debt $71,000 Parent PLUS loan debt $16,452 Law school debt $145,500
How much is the average debt for medical school?

The median medical school loan balance is a better measure of how much debt a typical doctor has than the average medical school debt. This is because half of the graduates owe less and half owe more. This number stayed the same from 2018 to 2019: $200,000.

Most of a doctor’s college debt comes from medical school, which is unsurprising. If you don’t count loans from premed school, the median debt for 2019 graduates with medical school loans was also $200,000. The average premedical loan debt was $25,000.

According to data from the AAMC, new doctors who went to private medical schools tend to have more student debt than those who went to public ones. The median student loan balance for those who went to a private medical school was $215,005, while it was $193,186 for those who went to a public one.

8 programs help doctors get rid of their medical school debt

Doctors who work in the public sector or low‐income areas for a certain amount of time can often get their medical school loans forgiven. If you want to be a doctor and meet these requirements, loan forgiveness is a great way to pay off your medical school debt.
Here are eight loan forgiveness programs for doctors and information on how to get medical school loans forgiven.

1. Forgiveness of public service loans

Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a program run by the U.S. Department of Education that lets you get rid of any federal student loan balance. You still owe after making payments for 10 years while working for the government or a nonprofit. Doctors can get help from Public Service Loan Forgiveness, especially if they do their residency at a nonprofit or public hospital that meets certain requirements. Public Service Loan Forgiveness doesn’t charge taxes on loan forgiveness.

2. State programs to pay back loans

Many states have programs that will pay back some or all of a doctor’s student loans if they work in a rural or low-income area for a certain amount of time, usually at least two years. A database of state and federal programs is kept by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

3. Program to pay back loans for the National Health Service Corps

In addition to state-based loan repayment programs for doctors who work in underserved areas, the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program gives primary care doctors who work for at least two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area up to $50,000 in tax-free loan repayment.
If you specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, geriatrics, or psychiatry, you may be able to get help from the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program. Parent PLUS loans aren’t eligible.

4. National Health Service Corps Student Loan Repayment Program for People Who Work in Health Care

The National Health Service Corps Students to Service Loan Repayment Program gives fourth-year medical students who agree to work full-time for at least three years in a Health Professional Shortage Area up to $120,000 in tax-free student loan repayment (up to $30,000 a year for four years).
You might be eligible if you want to specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, geriatrics, or psychiatry. Parent PLUS loans aren’t eligible.

5. National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program for People with Substance Use Disorders
The National Health Service Corps Substance

Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program will pay back up to $75,000 of a doctor’s student loans. That if they work at an approved site for at least three years treating drug abuse.
You will be given priority for the program if you have a DATA 2000 waiver that lets you prescribe approved narcotics to treat opioid use disorder, if you work in an opioid treatment program, or are licensed or certified in substance use interventions.

6. Programs for paying back loans from the National Institutes of Health

There are eight National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs that will pay back up to $35,000 per year of a doctor’s student loans if they work in biomedical or biobehavioral research. Each program is for researchers in different fields, such as clinical, pediatric, AIDS, contraception, and infertility research.
If you refinanced or merged your loans with loans given to someone else, like a parent or spouse, they don’t qualify.

7. Program to pay back loans to the Indian Health Service

The Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program pays off up to $40,000 in student loans for doctors who work for at least two years in communities that serve American Indian or Alaska Native people. Then You might be able to extend your contract past the first two years and keep getting loan repayment benefits until your eligible student loans are paid off.
If you refinanced or merged your loans with loans given to someone else, like a parent or spouse, they don’t qualify. This benefit for paying off a loan is taxable, but the program pays some of the federal taxes on it.

8. Programs for paying back military loans

Doctors who serve in the U.S. military can get help paying back their student loans. For example, the Navy Health Professions Loan Repayment Program pays off loans for up to three years at a rate of up to $40,000 per year. Contact your branch of the military to find out more about your options.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a bill has been proposed to forgive the student loans of doctors and other frontline health care workers. The Student Loan Forgiveness for Frontline Health Workers Act would cancel all federal and private loans held by medical professionals, but it hasn’t been passed yet.
Student loans were not forgiven as part of the CARES Act or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Federal student loan payments are on hold until September 30, 2021, and those payments count toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you want to use a different option for paying off your medical school loans, check with the program’s administrator to see if missed payments affect your eligibility.

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