You asked. You expressed concern. You have questions about how best to handle your student debt.
We have answers.
Veterinary educational debt is a complex and continually evolving topic impacting all colleagues, not just current students and new graduates. A recent Merck Animal Health study named student debt as the biggest stressor reported by colleagues. That study also indicated that fewer veterinarians are recommending the profession as a career choice.
Practice owners hire indebted associates, more seasoned associates work alongside indebted associates. Given the magnitude of this issue — many call it a crisis — and the fact that the gap between veterinary educational debt and income continues to widen, most colleagues are coming to recognize that saying “It’s not my problem” is no longer an option for any of us.
It’s not surprising that most borrowers, their parents, other advisers and even the leadership at veterinary schools and organizations struggle to understand the topic and various options for managing the debt.
Seeking a lower interest rate or paying more towards loan payments almost always makes sense when managing traditional debt, such as a mortgage or business loan. However, it often results in higher monthly payments, reduced flexibility, or a higher total repayment cost when managing veterinary student debt.
Tony Bartels and I have made helping colleagues understand and manage their student debt a focus (some call it an obsession) over the past six years since Tony graduated with and married into Federal educational loans exceeding $400,000. In recent years the VIN Foundation has taken this on as part of its mission to help colleagues in all stages of their careers from pre-veterinary candidate through retirement.
Most pre-veterinary students apply to multiple schools. Costs vary widely between schools and within schools depending on whether the applicant qualifies for a discounted seat based on residency. The Foundation’s goal in generating this tool is to enable students to apply smarter, seeking the high quality education they desire at the most reasonable cost.
Congratulations, new veterinary doctors! It’s time to celebrate graduation! It’s also time to learn why and how a Federal Direct Consolidation Loan can help you start your student loan repayment plan ASAP.
Interest rates for the student loans you might borrow for the 2018-19 veterinary school academic year have been set. As you may have anticipated, the rates are increasing.
The VIN Foundation is excited to announce the addition of three new members to the Board of Directors.