3 Myths About Public Service Loan Forgiveness For Doctors Put away student loans

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the average cost to attend medical school in 2018-19 is about $ 37,000 per year for students in the state and nearly $ 61,000 for international students in the state. public universities. Class of 2018 public medical school graduates had an average debt of more than $ 188,000, and nearly half of them had student debt of $ 200,000 or more, according to data from the ‘AAMC.

One option available for paying off federal student loans is Public Service Loan Forgiveness. To be eligible for the PSLF, you must work full time for a government agency or for certain types of nonprofit organizations, have federal direct loans, be on an income-based repayment plan, and make 120 qualifying payments, according to the office of the US Department of Education. Federal student aid.

Any loan amount canceled under the PSLF is not considered income for tax purposes; therefore, it is not taxable. This is not the case in other types of forgiveness programs offered by the federal government, but it is for those who qualify for the PSLF.

The PSLF can be very complicated and there is a lot of misunderstanding about who might be eligible. Here are some common myths about public service loan forgiveness for physicians.

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Your income will be too high to benefit from the PSLF. Doctors earn an average of about $ 57,000 per year during their residency. Overall, the average income for a physician in a general medical or surgical hospital was around $ 178,000 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The truth is, some doctors work for many years before leaving their residences. According to Medscape, a website that brings medical news to doctors and healthcare professionals, even six to eight years after medical school, resident doctors earn an average of $ 64,300.

It is wise to begin repaying student loans as soon as you enter residence if you plan to take advantage of the PSLF program. The amount of the monthly payment will be based on the physician’s discretionary monthly income and will take into account the individual’s marital status and number of children.

Borrowers can use the PSLF Help Tool to determine if they may be eligible and what steps to take to begin the process.

It will be too difficult to find an employer who qualifies. For a physician’s work to be eligible for the PSLF, it must be for a government or non-profit organization. Doctors should consider looking for a job in a hospital. Many not-for-profit community hospitals or government-run hospitals are 501 (c) (3) companies.

According to the American Hospital Association, there are a total of 5,534 registered hospitals in the United States. Of these, 2,849 are non-profit community hospitals, 956 are state or local community hospitals, and 209 are federal government hospitals. That’s a total of 4,014 hospitals, about 73 percent of hospitals, that would likely qualify under the PSLF.

Doctors working at those hospitals that have federal student loans should ask for more information on whether they may be eligible for the PSLF. Working for a skilled organization is only one piece of the puzzle; It is also important to ensure that all loans are federal direct loans and that the payment plan is eligible.

The program will be closed for current borrowers. Many doctors have given up on the idea of ​​getting the PSLF due to the student loan discussions going on in the current administration. Some have even started to refinance and consolidate their loans, which automatically disqualifies them from the program.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said she plans to end the PSLF program, so there is some unease over her future. But any changes to the program will not apply to current borrowers on track for the PSLF.

If you’ve always had an income-based repayment plan, have never been in arrears with your payments, and have paid the full amount owed each month, these may be considered qualifying payments. Any time you have spent working for a nonprofit or approved profession can count.

It is important to submit the PSLF application form to the Ministry of Education to start the program. All payments and work history will be reviewed to determine how many actual payments count towards the 120 and how long it will take to meet the PSLF requirements once the application is submitted.

This form must be submitted annually for certification of all payments. If you’ve always had an income-based repayment plan, have never been in arrears with your payments, and have paid the full amount owed each month, these may be considered qualifying payments. Any time you have spent working for a nonprofit or approved profession can count.

Since the future of the PSLF program is unknown, it is important to take action if you think you might qualify for a student loan forgiveness through this program. Becoming a doctor is an honorable achievement, and the Student Loan Ranger wants to help you cope with medical school debt as easily as possible.

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