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Financial Management for Residents

If you have been paying for your medical school education with loans, you have most likely accumulated a large debt you will need to repay. The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), Federal Student Aid (FSA), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other organizations offer valuable information on repaying, consolidating, and deferring your loans. AAMC has a range of materials on debt management, options available to you when managing your debt, financial resources and tools, debt and loan repayment data and the Layman's Guide to Educational Debt Management for Residents.


Loan Repayment

Public and Military Service

Commissioned Corps and U.S. Civil Service Loan Repayment Options: AAMC offers a chart of various loan repayment options, eligibility requirements, available funds, and other key information for residents in military residency programs, medical school graduates interested in public service work, and residents interested in a service career. To find out more about this option and obtain additional resources, click here.

Loan Forgiveness Program: Public service work may qualify you for a loan forgiveness program, which was established by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. 

Other Options

Health Professions Education Foundation Loan Repayment Program: This program is available to aspiring health professionals who agree to practice in a medically underserved area for up to four years. 

National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Loan Repayment Program: The NHSC offers $50,000 in loan repayment funds to family physicians who agree to serve two years in a NHSC-approved community-based site in a high-need Health Professional Shortage Area. Recipients are eligible to apply for additional years of support after completing the required two years of service.


Loan Consolidation

You may be able to combine your existing loans into one consolidated loan. AAMC and FSA are valuable sources of information on loan consolidation to determine if this option is right for you.

Federal Direct Consolidation Loans, Information Center: Additional information and application resources on direct consolidation can be found here.


Postponing Your Loans

Postponing Repayment: Student Loan Borrower Assistance offers detailed information on grace periods, deferments, and forbearance.


Income-Based Repayment

Effective July 1, 2009, a new Stafford and Consolidation loan repayment option is available to those with federal student loans. The Income-Based Repayment (IBR) option serves as a "safety net" to ensure that all federal loan borrowers have access to a repayment plan that's sensitive to their ability to pay these loans. The IBR program sets a payment cap of 15 percent based on the income and family size of an eligible individual. IBRinfo, an independent non-profit source of IBR information, and Federal Student Aid offer a variety of facts on the program and the eligibility chart. If you want to check your eligibility for the IBR and estimate your loan payments, click here to access SallieMae's calculator, or plug in your income and the amount of student loans you owe here. Contact your lender directly to find out more about IBR and to apply. Don't remember who is servicing your federal loans? Find this information in the National Student Loan Data System database. Additional information on the IBR plan is available here.

You must demonstrate "partial financial hardship" to be eligible for IBR. Here is an IBR Calcuator to help you determine your eligibility:


AAFP Resources

The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) also offers financial management advice, compliments of Mountain Area Health Education Center’s Residency Director Blake Fagan, MD. His comprehensive presentation can be viewed at:


More information can be found on the following Web sites:



U.S. Department of Education:

Sallie Mae:

Medical School Loans:


Federal Direct Consolidation Loans Information Center: Student Loan Debt and Bankruptcy: What You Need to Know

SLBA project, department of the National Consumer Law Center:


California Student Aid Commission: and

Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development:

College Scholarships and Grants:

NHSC, US Department of Health and Human Services:

Health Resources and Services Administration, US Department of Health and Human Services:

Equal Justice Works: