Medical School Loans – Methods to Get Out of Debt Fast!

medical school loans

Success! You’ve completed medical school. With luck, you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing and life is good. Now, if you could only get rid of those medical school loans…

If you borrowed money to attend medical school, you know how onerous that debt load can be. In fact, median student loan debt for those who graduated in 2013 was $175,000 (including undergraduate studies but excluding interest). Compare that sum with the median debt of $13,469 in 1978 and you realize that your debt load seems like a heavy burden because it is a heavy burden. 

A manageable monthly payment may be small comfort knowing that you’ll be making those payments for years to come. Fortunately, things might not be as grim as they appear. There are ways to get out from under the debt of your medical school loans faster than you might think if you’re committed to doing so. 

Possessing the proper perspective is critical to carrying out the steps necessary to pay off your medical school loans as quickly as possible. Feeling guilty because you’ve incurred so much debt will not serve you. You are not alone. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (October 2014):

  • 79% of medical school graduates carry education debt of at least $100,000
  • More sobering is the fact that 63% of med school grads owe at least $150,000 in education debt
  • 86% of medical school graduates have at least some education loan debt. 

Knowing that there’s nothing to be ashamed of, if ridding yourself of your education loan debt as fast as possible appeals to you, here are some steps that can help you do so:

Know your debt.

Take inventory of whether your loans are government issued, from private lender(s), or a combination of both. The nature of the lender may impact which debt management strategies are available to you.  


Seems obvious, but if you fail to follow basic debt reduction steps such as calculating what money you can make available to pay off your medical school loans, you’ll simply make the minimum monthly payment, precluding you from satisfying the debt sooner. 

Pay more than the monthly minimum.

Most student loans agreements contain no prepayment penalty provisions. If yours does not, paying more than the minimum amount required will save you money and shorten the repayment period. 

  • For example, if you pay off a $30,000 loan with an interest rate of 4.5% over a 20 year period, you will end up paying just over $15,500 in interest in addition to the $30,000 principle amount. If, however, you pay that amount off in 10 years instead, you will only pay a little over $7,200 in interest. 

Even a little bit helps.

That $5.00 you spend every morning on your favorite double whip, low fat, extra jolt coffee can make a difference over the months and years ahead. offers an incredibly useful calculator that will help you “estimate the size of your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them.” Your lender may also help you calculate your options. 

Consolidate your federal medical school loans. Making a single monthly payment at a fixed interest rate can help you strategize your payments and eliminate the vagaries of variable interest rates. This suggestion does not apply to loans with low fixed-interest rates. Further information is also available at  

Medical school loans are an example of “easy come, easy owe” – money easily borrowed at seemingly low interest rates. While it certainly adds up, you may be able to pay less and over a shorter period of time. 

One other way to pay off your medical school loans is to find a job you love! If you are still searching for the perfect position consider Elliot Health System!

Apply to Elliot Health System

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