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Dental Student Debt

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We all know going to dental school is by no means cheap! Many of us will graduate with around $200,000-$500,000 in student loans to pay back. While this may seem like a gray cloud looming overhead, there are some repayment programs which can help those large sums seem slightly less daunting.  Below are two of the payment plans which maybe most beneficial to dental students:

 

Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR): Your maximum monthly payments will be 15 percent of discretionary income. Your payments change as your income changes. This plan is up to 25 years, and any outstanding balance after 25 years will be forgiven. Keep in mind you may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven. Eligible loans include direct subsidized and unsubsidized, subsidized and unsubsidized federal Stafford loans, all PLUS loans made to students.

 

Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan: Your maximum monthly payments will be 10 percent of discretionary income. Your payments change as your income changes. This plan is up to 20 years, and any outstanding balance after 20 years will be forgiven. Keep in mind you may have to pay income tax on any amount that is forgiven. Eligible loans include direct subsidized and unsubsidized and direct PLUS loans made to students.

 

For more detailed information on these types of repayment plans you can visit: https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/plans

 

While the payment plans listed above are two options there are also many other ways to help alleviate student debt. Some of these options include military scholarships while attending dental school as well as military repayment programs after graduation. There are also different types of public health scholarships which may repay up to a portion of your student loans.

 

Ultimatley, there are many different options to explore and before deciding to choose one make sure you explore all your options. So what is my best advice as a current dental student? Do as much as you can to educate yourself about your loans and interest rates. Also make sure you find out all the details about any type of repayment plan before signing an agreement. While in school live frugally and maintain that lifestyle once you graduate until you have your finances under control. Also if your thinking of buying your own practice after graduation try to set money aside and don’t put it all towards student loans, this will help you when trying to take out a loan to purchase your practice. Also if you have any credit card debt try to pay it off prior to graduation. I know dental school is expensive, but in the long run it will all be worth it as long as you manage your finances wisely!