By Pamela Murphy, MSW, AACOM Vice President of Government Relations
April is Financial Literacy Month. Many medical students rely on federal student loans to finance their education. For these students, understanding the student debt burden they will face after graduation is critical for planning a sound financial future. Earlier this month, I talked about how medical students can speak up about the federal policies that impact their debt. Today, I want to share resources that empower medical students to take control of their financial future by planning ahead.
For instance, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (AACOM) and its Council of Student Financial Aid Administrators (CSFAA) provide a series of financial aid debt management modules to help medical students make educated decisions about borrowing responsibly when they enter into medical school and managing the repayment of their loans after they graduate and enter residency training.
Tools for soon-to-be residents
Having a game plan for repaying your loans will help you better manage your finances as you advance in your career from resident to full-time physician. This module, which complements your Loan Exit Interview, will help you understand your debt and the repayment options available to you.
Understanding how repayment plans and forgiveness programs fit into your loan repayment strategy is critical to managing your post-grad student debt and understanding your finances. This module includes important information on Income Based Repayment (IBR), Pay As You Earn (PAYE), the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, and the new repayment plan, Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE).
Knowing how to budget your finances is an important skill for residents. This module is designed to help you learn how to budget your money during residency, including tips for how to allocate your income.
Tools for current students
Don’t wait until you get close to graduation to think about your post-grad student debt and how it impacts your finances. Use this module for information on cost and repayment of your osteopathic medical education.
Being a knowledgeable borrower means being a responsible borrower. Get educated on your student loans so you can be better prepared financially for life after medical school.
Click here to see all of the 2016 Financial Aid Modules for Osteopathic Medical Students and Graduates.
Looking for more information about your student loans? Your school’s Financial Aid Office is an invaluable resource for more information on managing your debt after graduation. Talk to your financial aid officer to discuss the repayment and loan forgiveness programs available to you, and how to apply.