Avoid These 6 Common Medical Student Loan Mistakes

The Doctor Weighs In
6 min readJul 9, 2019

By: Rebecca Safier

Make sure you’re not making one of these 6 medical student loan mistakes that could hurt your finances and keep you in debt for longer than you need to be.

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As a doctor, you promise to do no harm. But with all the student loans you have to borrow for medical school, you might not know how to avoid harming your finances.

The average doctor leaves school more than $189,000 in debt , and it’s tough to manage that level of loan repayment, especially if your loans have been sitting in deferment for years.

Whether you’re a medical student or new physician, make sure you’re not making one of these six student loan mistakes that could hurt your finances and keep you in debt for longer than you need to be.

1. Taking on too much debt to pay for school

The cost of tuition is higher than ever , but that doesn’t mean you have to choose the most expensive program. By taking cost into account before you select a medical school, you could reduce the amount you need to borrow in student loans. It also helps to apply to scholarships and grants that will reduce costs.

, a pediatrician, and financial wellness expert. “[One] mistake is not seeking outside sources to help reduce funding for medical school,” said Randi Nelson “I knew many students who took advantage of scholarships programs [that] reduced the need to obtain large loans.”

Besides making the most of grant and scholarship opportunities, make sure you don’t take on debt to pay for nonessentials.

“Medical students should only take out what is necessary and do whatever possible to keep costs at a minimum,” Randi Nelson said. “For example, when finding a home to live in, they should share household expenses, including rent and utilities, with one or several roommates.”

If you’re borrowing money to pay for dining out or entertainment, remember that those expenses will cost even more in the long run because of interest. Keep expenses down — or even find a way to make money while in school — so you can avoid the amount of debt you take on.

2. Pausing payments for longer than you need to

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