Doctors play a vital role in communities, addressing healthcare needs and helping to promote overall wellbeing. However, because the financial journey to becoming a doctor has become increasingly expensive, many doctors must factor their ability to pay down student loan debt into decisions about where to live and work, and which communities they can serve.
Fortunately, through the federal government’s Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)1 program, doctors employed by government entities or qualifying nonprofits can get financial relief from student loans in the form of reduced monthly payment amounts and forgiveness on their remaining balance after 120 months of repayment. Read on to learn more about how student loan relief through PSLF can help doctors serve the communities that need them most.
How doctors can take advantage of PSLF
For many doctors working in public health, the PSLF program is a key part of their student loan debt management strategy. To take advantage of the program benefits, you must work at an eligible nonprofit or government organizations and make 120 qualifying payments (or 10 years of repayment). Typically, borrowers pursuing PSLF enroll in an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan to keep their monthly payment amounts low. IDR plans calculate your monthly student loan payment amount based on your discretionary income and family size.
At the end of your repayment period, you can have the remaining federal student loan debt forgiven. Doctors working for several different types of employers could qualify for PSLF, including:
- Qualifying not-for-profit hospitals or organizations
- State hospital systems
- Federal hospitals
- Public schools, including universities and K-12 school systems
You can find the eligible employer search tool on studentaid.gov here or learn more about how to qualify for PSLF through our interactive resources:
Enhancing doctor impact through PSLF
For many doctors with a passion for helping underserved communities and higher-risk populations, the PSLF programmakes a career in public health financially possible by:
The crucial role of doctors in underserved communities
Doctors who work in public health play a critical role in improving the quality of life for patients from vulnerable populations by:
Navigating the PSLF process
The PSLF program is a powerful financial tool that can empower doctors to serve communities in need without the burden of overwhelming student loan debt. By reducing financial barriers, offering career flexibility, and encouraging long term commitment, PSLF enhances the impact doctors can have on underserved populations.
If you have PSLF questions or would like one-on-one guidance on navigating the PSLF process as a doctor, schedule a free 30-minute consultation with one of our student loan specialists who can help you understand how to make the most of this program and answer any questions that come up. Learn more here.