Medical school comes with a hefty price tag for most people. Hopefully, you were lucky and had the help of those around you or scholarships to help keep your debt to a minimum. Still, with help or without help, after graduating, you have to face the debt that comes from furthering your education.
And this debt is all too real. According to an article written by the Association of American Colleges, as of 2016, the average medical student graduated with around $190,000 in loans. And approximately 74% of new graduates were experiencing education debt. These estimates have only increased over the years, and will most likely continue to do so. You may feel like you’re swimming in this debt and that being able to make your last payment is miles away. When you do make that final payment, you’ll feel exponentially better. So, how can you reach that final payment day, faster? We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you get there.
1. Create a budget and stick to it.
List all of your expenses and compare them to your current take-home pay. It’s likely that if you have included your student loans into this equation, you’ll be at a negative number. Try your best to reduce your expenses as much as possible; it will help ensure that you have more left-over than you previously did. Yes, as a healthcare worker, you may have a good income, but you do not want to be indebted forever.
2. Try to stay out of consumer debt.
If you learn nothing else from student debt, learn that there is no such thing as “good” debt. Your income could be too high to write off having mortgage debt. Plan to get out of debt and stay that way. When it comes to credit cards and student loans, try and pay more than your minimum required payment as often as you can. Doing this can help to diminish the total interest paid on your debts.
3. Pay your highest percentage loan first.
It may feel great to have your smaller loans paid off first, but you’ll pay less in the long run if you try and pay off the highest interest rate first. When your highest one is paid off, move on to the next highest, and so on. If you have to make monthly payments on multiple loans, you could consider having them combined. But it would be best if you only did this with ones that are at the same interest rates.
Pay off your private loans first, and don’t combine private and government loans. You will want to rid yourself of any loan that your estate would end up being responsible for.
Pay off your government loans last. Stafford and Perkins loans tend to have lower interest rates. Try and make the minimum payment until you pay off other loans. Then ensure that your emergency fund is sufficient; that way, if you find yourself out of work, your family will have resources. Once you have a 6-month emergency fund in hand, go ahead and pay these off.
4. Make more money!
When you’re in debt and currently working, you are in a unique position. As a locum tenens provider, you have the opportunity to pick up additional shifts and even be paid more than you would in a permanent position. A MedCare Staffing recruiter can help you to get the best rates for your services. Being able to work evenings, nights, or weekends, that provides even more opportunities to earn more money.
With locums positions, you have a chance to be more flexible with your scheduling and shifts. Whether you’re trying to make an extra loan payment or you’re building an emergency fund, take advantage of these options. You can choose when you want to work and pick shifts at a better rate. Being able to get out of medical student debt is worth working a little extra.
Once you get out of debt, you will feel such a great sense of relief. When you finally make that last payment, go and celebrate!
Who are we? MedCare Staffing is a small, veteran-owned, family-oriented team. We start every day with gratitude because we LOVE what we do! We are a team on a mission to make a positive difference in the lives of our clients and providers.
What we do: We place Physicians, Dentists & Advanced Practitioners in Locum Tenens, Contract Positions and Permanent Jobs