Did you see the New York Times photo of a white-coated physician protesting the latest change in debt cancellation? His poster read:
“In debt $350,000 to learn how to save your life.”
Feel familiar? Never before have there been so many changes so fast to student loans. And for physicians, it’s serious money. YOUR money.
Many physicians say, “Why do anything when things may change?” Answer: Because there are some physician student loan options with fast-approaching deadlines that could save – or cost – you a bundle. This is one time in which avoidance could hurt your financial future. Need proof?
“The students who are most inquisitive about debt are the most successful at paying it off…The students who don’t plan or study their options typically struggle,” says Jerel Arceneaux, MS, student services manager at USC’s school of medicine with 22 years in financial aid.
So, as 2023 unfolds, here’s critical information you should know lest you make costly financial mistakes or miss deadlines. More information is available from Navigate Student Loans, an organization that specializes in reducing physician student loan costs. To date, their clients are on track to save over $402,000,000 on student debt.
For all physicians with Federal Student Loans, here are six things to know heading into 2023:
- The Department of Education has moved back the COVID National Emergency Forbearance restart date.
Rather than January 2023, repayments will likely begin on September 1, 2023. Your billing statement should arrive at least 21 days before your payment is due.
- The Supreme Court will hear the Biden-Harris Student Loan Forgiveness ($10,000-$20,000) case in February 2023.
It’s important to note this plan has an income limit: $125k for individuals and $250,000 for household income. Most resident physicians and fellows will qualify for $10,000 or $20,000 of forgiveness.
- Physicians who have made 25 years of payments could save a bundle.
You might qualify for forgiveness on your remaining balance. One step is required prior to May 1, 2023. For details check with Navigate Student Loans.
- Physicians working in Texas and California:
The Department of Education regulations updated the definition of “qualifying employment,” which will take effect July 1, 2023.
State law in Texas and California prohibits health systems from employing physicians. Therefore, until now, they have been ineligible for Public Student Loan Forgiveness. But new regulations “allow a qualifying employer to certify employment for a contractor if that individual is providing services that by state law cannot be filled or provided by an employee of that organization.” If you’re employed in either state, this could be great news for you.
- Factors Affecting Loans
Compounding loan confusion is that students have many various loan types – each with its own rules and deadlines. In addition, there are statewide physician student loan forgiveness programs in some states – each with their own requirements. Putting these together is extremely complicated. What may help a state program may jeopardize a federal program and vice versa.
- Life Changes
Also affecting your student loan repayments are things like job changes, marriage, divorce, children and the list goes on. Each of these can affect your payments. Lacking accurate information can cost you thousands of dollars.
One Solution: Professional Physician Student Loan Analysis
Many physicians can’t find the time to analyze their loans. This is understandable—especially with the changes and wading through the studentaid.gov web site. Yet, deadlines march on.
One solution is to work with a firm specializing in physician student loan analysis. They know the rules and regulations and can quickly spot opportunities to reduce your costs. The best firms know the loans and programs in all 50 states.
In Navigate’s case, physicians get help for the life of their loans at no additional charge. Physicians report significant relief after working with Navigate.
What Physicians Say about Student Loan Analysis:
“I can’t express what an incredible help & positive force you have been in my life… I received seriously useful information, and walked away with a 10-year plan to help make sure I maximize all the program benefits available to me.” – Pennsylvania physician
“Your student loan advice helped me refinance my loans, which was the key to me qualifying for our new home. It is our dream house, and we wouldn’t have been able to do it without your advice. I really appreciate your help and think it is awesome that you are helping people in this way.” – Florida physician
Save money and time in 2023 by working with a professional physician loan analysis firm. To receive Navigate’s free 15-minute loan assessment, showing potential savings, click here. It’s the best, free 15-minutes you’ll ever spend on your financial health.