The average medical school debt is an astonishing $203,062. That number has continued growing as we have progressed further into this decade.
Some individuals are able to get scholarships that pay for some or all of their medical school bills, but that number is in the minority. Many times, med school students are saddled with large debts from the loans they’ve felt compelled to take out, and they have to spend many years trying to pay back that money.
If you’re in this category, you might wonder if there’s a viable way to get loan forgiveness for your med school debt. We’ll talk about that in detail right now.
What Does Medical School Loan Forgiveness Mean?
Loan forgiveness for medical school debt means you can get the lending entity to forgive some or all of the money that you owe. There are certain times when you’ll be eligible for such relief. However, you’ll need to meet certain qualifications if you want the lending entity to consider such a drastic action.
Qualifying for Medical School Loan Forgiveness
To receive full or partial forgiveness for a medical school debt that you owe, you’ll need to look at the details of the program for which you are applying. There are different ones, some usually offered on a state level, while the federal government is responsible for others.
The first thing you must do is research the program and apply to it. Often, one of the qualifications is for you to work at a particular kind of medical facility, such as a nonprofit. That kind of work is regarded as helping society, which makes you a more favorable candidate to get some or all of your debt forgiven.
Now, let’s look at a couple of the specific programs to which you might want to apply.
The NIH Loan Repayment Program
NIH stands for the National Institute of Health. They have a loan repayment program where you can get up to $50,000 of your medical school debt forgiven per year. The catch is that you must work in either the biobehavioral or biomedical fields.
To get accepted by this program, 20% of your base pay must equal your student loan balances. You must also do research in either of the applicable fields for at least 20 hours each week.
NHSC Loan Repayment Programs
You can also look into the National Health Service Corp loan repayment programs. To qualify, you must work for at least two years at one of the required sites. A full-time medical professional who is deemed eligible can have up to $50,000 forgiven, while part-time medical workers can get up to $25,000 forgiven.
To be eligible, you must also be a certified nurse midwife, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, a physician, a nurse practitioner, or a licensed clinical social worker. Certain other jobs in the medical profession might also be acceptable.
Getting Med School Debt Forgiven is Possible
Even though President Biden’s student loan forgiveness has stalled in the court system for the moment, former med school students with debts have some different options for getting those forgiven. The NHSC Loan Repayment programs and the NIH Loan Repayment Program are two viable options. You can also look into additional state and federal-level programs for which you might be eligible.
Working in a locale or at a medical field job that is regarded as humanitarian in nature is definitely in your best interest if you want to get some or all of your student loan debt forgiven. Consider this if you still have a sizable amount of student loan debt and you’re considering what career path to take in the medical field.