Consolidating Your Medical School Loan Debt

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While for most people the single largest expense of their lifetimes will be their mortgages, those who have to borrow money to pay for a medical school education may be saddled with the equivalent of a mortgage when they graduate, only have no house to show for it. One of the best ways for them to take control of their medical school debt is to consolidate their medical school loans, so that they only have a single monthly payment with which to contend. Medical school loan consolidation payments, as a further benefit, are often lower than the total of the monthly payments of individual loans.While consolidating a medical school loan debt will give you a more convenient repayment schedule, it may also increase the term of your debt. While many medical school loans have relatively short repayment terms, ranging from six to twelve years, a medical school loan consolidation may leave you with a repayment period of up to thirty years. Your monthly payments, of course, will be much lower. But the amount of interest you pay over the term of the medical school loan consolidation will be much, much higher.Making A medical School Loan Consolidation Work For YouYou can, of course, simply pay more each month on your medical school consolidation loan than its terms require. And as you become established as a medical professional and your income rises, you will be able to increase the amount you pay on your medical school loan consolidation even more. But if you decide to adopt this method of repayment, make sure you stipulate in writing with each payment you make that the extra funds go toward reducing your principal, which will in turn reduce the amount of interest you pay with each passing month.Consolidating medical school loans is always a good idea, in particular for those who are still in school or in the six-month grace period which follows graduation. If you apply for a medical school loan consolidation during these periods, you will be offered a lower interest rate than you would if you waited until the end of your grace period. And when you’re first starting out as a medical professional, trying to live on an intern’s salary, the money you save each month from having a single lower monthly loan payment can come in very handy.Medical school consolidation lenders frequently have a variety of repayment options; one of them will factor your income and debt into your repayment plan. With this plan, your monthly payments will increase as your income does.PrecautionIf you’ve used both Federal and private loans to finance your medical school education, you may not be able to consolidate them. And even if you find a lender willing to consolidate them, doing so will cost you many of the benefits of your Federal loans. Federal loan issuers, for instance, will allow you to reschedule payments in times of financial difficulty, but private loan consolidators will not.