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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | COVID-19 impact to your student loans

COVID-19 impact to your student loans

Stay tuned, stay safe, stay healthy — stay the course on your student loans


UPDATE, March 27, 2020


Today, the House passed and the President signed the “CARES Act.”  Within this $2.2 trillion package likes a relatively small but extremely beneficial provision titled “Temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers.”


Anyone with federally held Direct or Federal Family Education Loans will automatically receive a suspension of payments due through September 30, 2020.


During the suspension, there will be NO accrual of interest.  This provision is in addition to the previous student loan interest waiver that took effect March 13, 2020.


You will also receive credit for each month of suspension as if you had made a payment for the purpose of forgiveness — both public service loan forgiveness or income-driven repayment forgiveness.  This suspension is much more beneficial than a forbearance or deferment.  You should keep your student loans in repayment under this suspension rather than requesting a deferment or forbearance.


There will be no negative reporting to consumer reporting agencies during the suspension and your federal held loans will be considered in good standing.


Within the next 15 days, you will receive notice from your loan servicer of federal held student loans regarding the payment suspension and interest waiver.  You have the option to continue making payments during the suspension period. Any payments would first be applied to existing unpaid interest, outstanding fees, then principal.


Whether or not you should continue to make payments during this suspension will depend on the specifics of your circumstances.  For example, if you are using income-driven repayment and planning for forgiveness, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to make payments during this suspension — enjoy the break in payments and use your extra funds to weather the economic impacts of the pandemic.


However, if you are using a standard or extended repayment plan and your situation allows you to make payments during the suspension, you’ll make a dent in your principal and reduce the time and interest cost for the duration of repayment.


VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Should I refinance my Federal Student Loans?

Should I refinance my Federal Student Loans?

How to know if or when you should ReFi your Federal Student Loans


Managing your veterinary student debt can be as emotionally charged as managing patients.  But, in finances as in medicine, the best decisions are evidence-based.


The bombardment of marketing campaigns encouraging you to refinance your federal student loans into a private loan(s) can be overwhelming.   Claims of lower interest rates and faster, less expensive payoff are attractive and tempting. Entertaining these offers is a risky venture for most recent graduate veterinarians.


If you remember one thing from reading this: A LOWER STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATE DOES NOT EQUAL LOWER PAYMENT; nor does it always equal lower repayment costs. If you’d like to know why, read on!



VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Student Loan Forgiveness: Taxable or Tax-Free? Either way, It’s a Blessing

Student Loan Forgiveness: Taxable or Tax-Free?

Paying back a veterinary school student debt load can be extremely stressful and confusing, particularly when we see yet another news headline with a proposal to eliminate student loan forgiveness. 


Analyzing the various federal repayment options and programs and choosing the best for your situation is challenging.  Spending nearly the last ten years helping veterinary students, veterinarians, and those who work with them navigate their student loans and repayment options, we’ve seen student loan forgiveness and the debates around it cause significant confusion.  First, make sure you understand the differences between Public Service Loan Forgiveness and the taxable forgiveness under income-driven repayment.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness:


VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | income-driven-repayment-plan-application-2019

Applying for or Renewing your Income-Driven Repayment Plan

A small, but significant change to the Department of Education (ED) updates Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) Plan Request was made in 2019.  The IDR Plan Request form allows you to apply, renew, or update your student loan payment using Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE), Pay as you Earn (PAYE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR) or Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) for Direct or FFEL program student loans.  You can apply for/renew your IDR plan via studentloans.gov or your loan servicer(s).


Documenting income is a source of financial, emotional, and logistical stress for those with student loans as well as for the loan servicers who process the applications.



VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Resources | Solutions for the Profession Veterinary Student Essay Competition

VIN Foundation Announces 4th Annual Solutions for the Profession Competition

Fourth annual essay competition asks veterinary students to suggest ideas to improve their veterinary education experience

The VIN Foundation is excited to announce its fourth annual Solutions for the Profession Competition. This year’s competition asks veterinary students whether their veterinary school education is effective, efficient, and relevant to their career goals. The topic encourages them to assess their veterinary school experience — how their time and money are spent, and suggest ways to improve the education provided by their veterinary school.



VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | I am a veterinarian because

I am a Veterinarian Because with Dr. Carol Hillhouse

What drives a veterinarian to do what they do?  After all, veterinary medicine has its fair share of challenges — physical, mental, and emotional.  What keeps dedicated veterinarians passionate about their careers and professions?  Learn their stories and share your own in this VIN Foundation video series.


The I am a Veterinarian Because video series has launched featuring VIN Foundation team members. The first video in this series is of VIN Foundation board member, Dr. Carol Hillhouse:

Do you have an I am a Veterinarian Because story to share? Share your story!

VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Apply Smarter Q&A: Veterinary School Application Questions

Apply Smarter Q&A: Application Questions

Here are some questions and detailed answers about APPLICATION asked during the 2019 Apply Smarter webinar.  We also covered questions and answers about veterinary student loans and veterinary income.

“If you are from a state that does not have a veterinary school, is it possible to get in-state tuition in a different state?”


Yes. There are three ways to receive in-state tuition to veterinary school: