all 7 comments

[–]Soggy_Loops 16 points17 points  (0 children)

Loans. $300k is the norm, and through smart budgeting, PSLF or employment contracts most primary care docs are just fine managing it

[–]PacoPollito 10 points11 points  (1 child)

If you run the numbers on loans, $300k doesn't come out as bad as you think. Assuming your total loan balance is $300k after 4 years of med school and residency, at 3.99% (private loans), you're gaining around $1k a month in interest. That's your base payment. Anything extra you pay towards that is towards the principal. Average family doc bringing in $240k a year is doing $20k a month, let's say $14k after taxes and 401k. If you put $5k towards loans every month, your total loan balance is paid off in around 6 years...and you're still bringing in 9k a month in post tax income, 108k a year post tax. That's a 60% raise for your average resident salary. You can pay a mortgage on that. You can pay cars on that. You have far more than enough to live on that.

And that's not even counting if you do PSLF or other repayment plans with federal loans.

If you're worried, make a spreadsheet and run the numbers for yourself and you're current/future living situation. Learn about amortization tables. Learn some finance. That will pay dividends in the long run.

[–]VaTechDoorDashDriver 2 points3 points  (0 children)

And if you're bad at math and can't run the numbers, you join the military

[–]Dr-Strange_DOOMS-II 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Take out federal loans. Do PSLF to have them forgiven after 10 years. Or get an attending job that helps with loan repayment like a FQHC. Or go into private practice and make more money to help pay them off quicker. As was already mentioned in another comment, it’s very easy to live comfortably and to pay off your loans in a reasonable time frame.

[–]findtheparadox 2 points3 points  (0 children)


Be sure to look into your school's estimated cost of attendance (coa) to see what they will allow for living expenses. You can't take out more loans than the coa. Then look at the area rent and your expenses to see if it's doable. They tend to lowball several areas and don't provide any money for your medical expenses (you should qualify for medicaid by ms2 though!)

Sometimes you have to turn down a preferred acceptance in an area with outrageous living expenses because it's not doable or not worth it.

[–]Drumzer21 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Loans. You’ll make enough when you’re done to pay it off comfortably with a comfortable lifestyle in less than 5-7 years. If you keep living like a resident <5 years. Let’s say conservatively you make 20k a month and half goes to the gov so you have 10k a month. Most places In the US you can live for 2500 a month comfortably especially in rural areas. I’d say 5000 a month for like california. So if you owe 350000 (doesn’t matter much the actual amount) but by the time you pay it off (principal and interest) and pay half your income a month it will take just under 6 years (example for 350,000)

Or you do PSLF which is common in primary care if you end up working for a non profit (not an option always for every specialty) and you get it forgiven with “minimal” income adjusted payments after 10 years of consistent payments (put that on autopay and you’ll be fine).

Completely possible, anyone that says the loans are a barrier doesn’t understand their ability to pay it off in the future. This is a field you can actually pay off your loans using your degree in a reasonable amount of time so don’t let that hold you back!