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Dr. Tony Bartels and Dr. Rebecca Mears on the latest student debt hot list topics and what borrowers need to do now

Listen in as student debt expert and Board Member Dr. Tony Bartels and student debt team member Dr. Rebecca Mears in this next installment of our Student Debt Series. This episode we’re going through the current hot list of student debt topics the team is hearing from colleagues and a to-do list of what borrowers need to do now. 
Hot List:
Did you finish vet school before 2014? – You may have privately-held FFELs.  Consolidate and benefit from the one-time forgiveness count adjustment
Do you have loans that have been in repayment longer than you’ve been using income-driven repayment? – Consolidate and benefit from the one-time forgiveness count adjustment.
Are you eligible for PAYE? Are you using PAYE? – Make sure you find out before PAYE is phased out!
Did you make any payments before the pandemic forbearance benefits began, March 13, 2020? – Request a refund before the benefits end!
Do you know when your income-driven repayment renewal date is? Hint – it’s not until sometime after January 2024, at least. Use the My Student Loans tool to see your “Anniversary Date” and start planning your post-forbearance strategy.
Married? Have you been filing your taxes separately from your spouse recently because of your student debt? – You can amend recent prior year tax returns from separate to joint! We covered this in a recent Dear Dr. Debt column. Visit with your accountant to see if you can get a refund.
Graduating veterinary school in 2023? Congratulations! Did you miss the New Grad Student Loan Repayment Playbook webinar? – Here is a link to the playbook recording, slides, and checklist.
Honorable mentions (coming soon):
Most unpaid interest capitalization is going away starting July 1, 2023
One-time forgiveness count adjustments will be applied in 2024 (or sooner if you are due forgiveness)
The Supreme Court will rule on the special cancellation benefits this summer
Interest and payments are likely starting up later this summer, possibly after August 2023.
Interest rates have been set: 
As always, we want to hear from YOU. Please share your thoughts by sending an email or joining the conversation.  


Dr. Tony Bartels
Tony Bartels, DVM, MBA graduated in 2012 from the Colorado State University combined MBA/DVM program and is a VIN Foundation Board Member and Student Debt Expert, and an employee of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). He and his wife, a small-animal internal medicine specialist practicing in Denver, have more than $400,000 in veterinary-school debt that they manage using federal income-driven repayment plans. By necessity (and now obsession), his professional activities include researching and speaking on veterinary-student debt, providing guidance to colleagues on loan-repayment strategies and contributing to VIN Foundation resources. Beyond debt, his professional interests include small- and exotic-animal practice. When he’s not staring holes into his colleagues’ student-loan data, Tony enjoys fly fishing, ice hockey, camping and exploring Colorado with his wife, Audra, and their two rescued canines, Addi and Maggie.
Dr. Rebecca Mears
Rebecca Mears, DVM is from Lexington, KY, where she completed her BS at University of Kentucky. She is a graduate of University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine. While in vet school, she served as the National Business Certificate Director for the Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA) and as a board member for Vets for Pets and People. During this time she took an active role in wellbeing awareness and access within the veterinary community. Rebecca then worked as an equine general practitioner and is an active AAEP member. In her time away from veterinary medicine, she can be found hiking, baking, and hosting impromptu dance parties. She is passionate about giving back to the profession and improving the lives of veterinarians, pre-vet and vet students. 

Get Student Debt Updates:
VIN Foundation Student Debt Tools:
VIN Foundation Student Debt Center:
Check your current student loan servicers and other loan details — VIN Foundation My Student Loans tool:
Loan Repayment Simulator: 
VIN Foundation WikiDebt:

Additional links:
Personalized student loan Help from VIN and VIN Foundation: 
Repay Wiser:
Borrow Better: 
New Grad Student Loan Repayment Playbook: 
Federal Student Aid Data, Consolidation, and Repayment Application:
New Proposed Regulations Would Transform Income-Driven Repayment by Cutting Undergraduate Loan Payments in Half and Preventing Unpaid Interest Accumulation: 
Student Debt Relief Information: 
Department of Education press release (Nov 2022): 
Department of Education press release (April 2022): 
One-time Forgiveness Count Adjustment
Federal Student Loan Servicers:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF):
Stay up to date with VIN Foundation updates:
VIN Foundation GIVE page to support these programs & tools:
Email VIN Foundation:

You may learn more about the VIN Foundation, on the website, or join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Twitter.
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