Federal loans available to graduate medical students include the Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and the Direct Grad/PLUS Loan. Both of these loans have fixed interest rates and loan origination fees. The Grad/PLUS loan also requires that students have no adverse credit history. For more detailed information about federal loans, including the current interest rates, loan fees, and repayment terms, go to www.studentloans.gov or contact the Office of Student Financial Services.
Private educational loans are also available to students. Private loans may have fixed or variable interest rates and may charge loan origination fees. All will require a credit check and many may request a cosigner to get a lower interest rate. Students will normally apply for a private loan online at the lender’s site. Most private loans will require the school to certify your student status and will send loan funds directly to the school to be applied toward your tuition and fee costs. Private loan applicants should understand that they may qualify for federal Title IV loans, which may have more favorable terms than the provisions of a private educational loan. Students are strongly encouraged to review the interest rates, fees, loan terms, and repayment options described in the promissory note before making a decision to select a private loan.
Students receiving loans for the first time must complete loan entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note before any funds will be disbursed. In addition, all first year borrowers are required to complete internal loan counseling during their first year. Furthermore, there is a second year loan counseling requirement for all students prior to entering their third year and residency. Enrolled students are encouraged to meet annually with a financial aid counselor to discuss their cumulative debt and repayment options. All students who have received any type of educational loan must participate in loan exit counseling during their last semester as a requirement for graduation.
Loan Forgiveness Programs
The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) offers two types of loan repayment assistance programs to those pursuing careers as primary care physicians. The NHSC Loan Repayment Program is open to licensed primary care health providers who are employed at an NHSC approved site. Recipients can receive up to $50,000 in loan repayment for a two year commitment. The NHSC Students to Service Loan Repayment Program is open to students pursuing careers as primary care doctors that are in their final year of medical school. Recipients may receive up to $120,000 for a minimum of 3 years of service. In return, students commit to serve in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSAs) with the greatest need.
Other state loan repayment programs may be available for those who qualify.
Federal Student Aid Website
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
National Health Service Corps Programs
Department of Education Default Rates