Most people come out of vet school with a considerable amount of debt. This can certainly have an impact on how you approach your career as well as your personal life. It’s important to get a handle on your vet school debt as soon as possible so that you can enjoy the benefits that your education provides. Here are a few tips for how to manage your school debt so you can focus on the things that matter most to you.
Why You Need to Get a Handle on Your Debt
Debt is never a fun thing for anybody to deal with over the long term. The decisions you make now about how to best manage your vet school debt will likely influence your life for many years to come.
Check Into Loan Forgiveness
Some vets can have their school loans completely forgiven if they choose to work in certain locations or have a specialization. Common options for loan forgiveness are:
- Your employer offers school loan debt payment
- You work in a rural area or with large animals
- You work for a government or non-profit agency
Check to see if there’s anything in your area that falls under these categories or consider moving to a location that offers these options.
Income-Driven Payment Forgiveness
Income-driven repayment plans usually offer payments at 10% of your income level. This means that you can actually afford your loan payment. These plans usually mean that you’ll be paying off your loan longer, but the payment will be affordable based on your salary.
Follow a 10-Year Loan Repayment
For vets who have a streamlined income and can afford long-term payments, this is the best option for the long term. The loan is split into 120 equal payments, and then you are finished paying it off after ten years. If the payment plan is manageable, you could even look for ways to make extra payments so that you pay off the debt faster with less interest.
If you have a good debt-to-income ratio and don’t need federal benefits, then loan refinance may be an option worth considering. You can refinance your student loan debt with a new private loan that has better terms. However, you shouldn’t do this option if you’re interested in loan forgiveness or income-driven repayments. Consider that even if your refinanced loan has less interest, it will likely have larger payments.
Decide What is Best for You
Managing your vet school debt will be one of the first things you are faced with after graduation. Consider your options and make the choice that makes the most sense for your financial situation. Reach out to a financial advisor to help you make the best decision about your future.
A Name You Can Trust
At IVPA, we believe that small and private veterinary practices should have the fulfillment that comes with independent ownership. If you’d like to join us, please reach out to us today to learn more about what we do and how it could benefit you and your practice.