PracticeLink Magazine

FALL 2018

The career development quarterly for physicians of all specialties, PracticeLink Magazine provides readers with feature articles, compensation stats, helpful job search tips—as well as recruitment ads from organizations across the U.S.

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26 F A ll 2018 Practice l ink.com ▼ T HE C O n T r AC T S & C OMPE n SAT IO n ISSUE D E P A R T M E N T S Financial Fitness J ason D i L oren Z o 5 common student loan questions Being strategic about your student loans and repayment will help you maximize your compensation. as F o U n D er o F t H e C ompan Y D o C tors W it H o U t QU arters (DW o Q), I speak to residents and fellows often about their financial goals — and how to get there. The answers to these five common questions can help you, too, manage your debt and maximize your income. 1 Most of my federal student loans are between 5.4 and 8.5 percent. Are there opportunities to refinance to lower rates, and if so, does that make sense? This is an important question, as many students and graduates are being approached or seeing advertising for lower rates available from companies like SoFi, Laurel Road, Credible, CommonBond, Earnest and many others. The private lending marketplace has become increasingly crowded and competitive over the last year, which is good for borrowers. The issue to consider is suitability, as lenders tend to be transaction-focused and refinancing isn't always the best option for you. Once you refinance federal loans to a private lender, you lose all of the federal benefits. Though a 3 percent rate might seem attractive, if it comes with a high origination fee and is a variable rate loan, you might find yourself in a more costly loan if rates go up from their current historic lows. Even more importantly, a refinanced loan will also not be eligible for Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plans or the substantial loan forgiveness available through these programs for those who work in nonprofits or public service. 2 Are public service and federal loan forgiveness really viable options? I'll assume that most of you at this point are familiar with the PS l F program (if you aren't, please contact me), and that your residency/fellowship can count toward this 10-year clock if you're utilizing an IDR. Some people don't believe that this program will exist as it does currently, and in fact recently proposed legislation suggests considerable changes. But housestaff at nonprofit programs should be reassured by a few things. For one, the Master Promissory Notes created a legal contract between you and the federal government saying that you borrowed under the assumption you'd be able to utilize the PS l F

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