Four ways doctors of tomorrow will pay for their degrees

Life in general

Congratulations on your acceptance into medical school! Now the question becomes how will you pay for this expensive educational investment? There are a few avenues you can take to fund your education. These include federal loans, private loans, grants and scholarships. Federal student loans are a great resource because they allot loans with fixed low interest rates.

Furthermore, once you finish your studies, federal loans will help you set up income-based payments. These loans even permit you to request payment deference or forbearance if necessary. You also do not have to submit to a credit check for federal loans. Since there is a limit to the amount of federal funds you can borrow, you may find yourself needing to resort to private loans.

Federal loans

Federal loans also provide the excellent option of loan forgiveness. Loan forgiveness enables you to work for a specific institution or area in exchange for forgiveness of a certain amount of accumulated debt. The stipulation with these programs is that you generally must work in a rural, urban or underserved area. The issue with federal student loans is that they have a maximum amount you can borrow which many doctorate students have already surpassed.

Private student loans

Private student loan lending is not handled by the government, so the lender fixes their own interest rates. These rates may be higher or lower than what you would receive with the federal government. There are websites that exist to let you compare interest rates among private loans to get the best funding for your education.

Lending from private establishments normally allows you to get your funds faster, and there is generally no limit to the amount you can borrow. These loans do require a credit check, and you might have to make payments on the accruing interest as you study.

These loans are a great option for anyone who has reached their cap on federal funds. Similarly, you should consider private lending if the interest rates are better than what you would receive with federal loans. Private lenders present the option for refinancing federal loans in the future for a lower interest rate.

A decreased interest rate will ultimately help you pay off your loans faster. This is because less of the payment goes towards interest and instead goes towards the actual debt you owe.

However, you will then lose access to a forbearance or deference if your funds are unstable. If you use loans to finance your education, make sure you submit your loan payments on time once you are no longer studying. You should likewise live modestly as you begin to get on your feet.


Grants are finances provided by the federal government, educational institutions and research facilities. Your medical institution’s financial aid office is a great place to gather information on available grants. Similarly, you should seek out information on the web and government resources relevant to the medical field.


Scholarships are the fourth option to pay for your medical education. Institutions generally offer a number of merit-based scholarships to assist students. Research facilities and large corporations offer scholarships as well. Scholarships, like grants, is money you do not have to pay back. This would equal less debt for you.


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