Taking Out Loans for Your Healthcare Education

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If you’re going to medical school to become a doctor, loans are almost a given. Because of the cost of medical school, nearly every physician carries some student debt in the early days of their career. However, for many other healthcare professions, you may need to borrow money as well, whether you’re a nurse, a physician’s assistant, a radiologist, or something else in the field. Below are a few things to keep in mind if you’re trying to figure out how to pay for your healthcare education.

How Much

One thing to consider is how much you need and whether you will pay for your education solely with loans or with a combination of that and other funding sources, such as scholarships. Some employers may cover a portion of your tuition costs. Be sure to take into account such costs as textbooks, which can be expensive. You should also loosely consider the rest of your budget and financial goals like saving for retirement or covering your mortgage payments and how this new financial element will affect them. 

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Understanding Interest and Repayment

Before you borrow any money, you should make sure that you have a good understanding of debt, how simple and compound interest works and what kind of interest you will have on your loan. The amount that you borrow should be proportional to what you anticipate earning after graduation. This is less of an issue when it comes to careers in healthcare because there tends to be a lot of demand for most of these positions. 

However, it is still something to keep in mind. You should also understand your repayment plan as well as various strategies to pay your loans off more quickly, such as paying on them while you are still in school even though you aren’t required to. Another strategy might be to refinance your loans after you graduate. You’re not necessarily locked into the original interest rate and payment plan that you signed up for, and a NaviRefi student loan refinance may put you in a more favorable position for repayment.

Budget

It’s a good idea to make a budget while you’re in school and stick to it. This isn’t the time to make big purchases or risky financial decisions. Your focus should be on completing your degree and minimizing your spending so that you can keep your loans manageable. There are apps that can help you with tracking your spending and budgeting, or you can simply create your budget with a spreadsheet or a piece of paper if you’re more comfortable with that approach. This tracking and budgeting will also help you with realistic strategies for repayment.

Other Points to Remember

There are a few other things that you should keep in mind. One is that while the category of things you can use your loans for is fairly broad, it isn’t infinite. That means you can use the money for costs related to getting your education, including transportation, supplies and living expenses like groceries. You aren’t supposed to use it to go on vacations or go out to dinner with friends. You should ask as many questions as you need to about your loan so that you feel comfortable about it, including who your servicer is that administers the loan.

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