January 2019 Posts
Your student loans are huge, and they need to be paid back. The average physician graduates with student loan debt well into six figures. In addition, many will make mistakes when they are young physicians when it comes to their student loans. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid if you’re in this situation.
Choosing the Wrong Repayment Plan
There are so many repayment options that it can be easy to choose the wrong one. When you have a lower income and a high balance, you want to consider the RePAYE’s option, while avoiding the PSLF option. Usually, this will lower your payment and make the most sense.
Paying too Much Interest
Those not using the PSLF repayment plan may be paying too much in interest. When you don’t use this repayment option, your student loans become much more like a normal debt. Make sure you get a good rate, as they can range from 2% to 10%, and even a small percentage difference can add up to a ton of cash.
If you don’t decide to use PSLF or another forgiveness/subsidy program, you need to refinance if your loans are above 5%. The higher your rate, the more you will pay, and it can cost you thousands of dollars.
Not Fighting Against Servicer Errors
Errors are made by loan servicers all the time and cost the borrowers money. Make sure you stay on top of your loan servicer and make sure you handle any mistakes they make quickly. You should keep a record of everything and make sure your records match the records provided by the servicer of the loan.
If you find an error, submit the necessary paperwork and address it immediately. You should also keep copies of all the correspondence and paperwork between you and the servicer of the loan.
Not Considering Tax Implications
Your student loan decisions will impact your taxes. You want to make sure you make the right decisions to get the most forgiveness possible. It’s a good idea to speak with an expert before choosing your repayment option and filing your taxes.
Not Verifying Employment
When you don’t verify your employment for your student loans, it can cause issues if you apply for PSLF. You can either verify when you apply, or you can do it as you progress through time. Many opt to verify later and forget to do so. This can cause huge issues and cost you thousands.
Believing Bad Advice
Many young physicians make the mistake of taking advice from those claiming to know student loans, but really, they don’t. Make sure you only take advice from those you trust. Even a student loan advisor may not give you the best advice since they are compensated by a refinance company in one way or another.
There are several other mistakes a young physician may make with student loans. These loans need to be taken very seriously and you need to make sure you understand your options before making decisions.