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Veterinary student debt

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.

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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!

 

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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:

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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.

 

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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:

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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Apply Smarter Q&A: Student Loans and Financial Aid

Apply Smarter Q&A: Student Loans and Financial Aid

Here are some questions and detailed answers about Student Loans and Financial Aid asked during the 2019 Apply Smarter webinar.  We also covered questions and answers about veterinary school application and veterinary income.

“What is a “standard” amount of financial aid offered by vet schools? I know it varies a lot, but would you say it’s easy to get some aid?”

 

“Can Dept of Education Stafford loans cover the entire veterinary program? Are there options for anyone unable to secure a co-signer?”

 

The “standard” amount of financial aid offered for your veterinary education is defined by the Cost of Attendance (COA) published by each school. The COA includes Tuition & Fees as well as living expenses.

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

Apply Smarter Q&A: Veterinary Income

Here are some questions and detailed answers about Veterinary Income asked during the 2019 Apply Smarter webinar. We also covered questions and answers about veterinary school application and veterinary student loans.

“How does the type of animals you treat (small/large/exotic) factor into how much money you’ll make a year in veterinary medicine?”

 

“What is the difference between starting salary and earning potential 5, 10, 20, or 30 years into your career?”

 

Type of practice, experience, and location are major factors in a veterinarian’s income.

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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | Aspiring Veterinarians Apply Smarter

For the Aspiring Veterinarian – Apply Smarter!

Veterinary medicine is experiencing a student debt crisis. Yes, many higher education graduates experience loan repayment hardship; however the magnitude affecting recent veterinary graduates is unique.  Every day I counsel pending and recent graduates through the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) and via VIN Foundation who report student debt balances in excess of $200,000, $300,000 and $400,000 with incomes between $70,000 and $90,000 depending on where they choose to live and what type of veterinary medicine they are pursuing.  

 

While we can help veterinarians navigate these repayment challenges, the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is a significant part of the solution.  A key driver of the crisis is the decreasing availability of discounted tuition seats for veterinary school; those seats that allow you to pay an in-state or otherwise discounted tuition rate.

 

We’re knocking on the door of another veterinary school application cycle.  The Veterinary Medical College Application Service (VMCAS) for the veterinary class starting in Fall 2020 is now open.  As you apply for veterinary school this year or beyond, Apply Smarter!

Did you miss the recent Apply Smarter?

 

Visit the Apply Smarter page on the VIN Foundation Vet School Bound website for the webinar recording and additional Apply Smarter resources.

What is “Apply Smarter”?

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VIN Foundation | Supporting veterinarians to cultivate a healthy animal community | Blog | You Want to be a veterinarian? Apply Smarter!

Apply Smarter Webinar in Collaboration with SDN and APVMA

VIN Foundation announces pre-veterinary school webinar in collaboration with Student Doctor Network and the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association

 

Free webinar helps hopeful pre-veterinary students apply smarter to veterinary school, improve their chances and save thousands in student debt

 

Davis, CA: The VIN Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing tools and resources to support veterinary students and veterinarians throughout their careers, is excited to announce an educational webinar on strategies for applying to veterinary school and minimizing student debt for pre-veterinary students. In collaboration with the Student Doctor Network (SDN) and the American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA), the webinar will be held Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 5pm PT / 8pm ET. Interested attendees can register using the Apply Smarter registration link.

 

A veterinary degree can cost as much as or more than a medical school degree and more than the average U.S. home mortgage. However, starting veterinary salaries are about ½ to ⅓ of what a new physician can earn.

 

In an effort to save future veterinarians years of heartache and financial stress, the Apply Smarter webinar will help pre-veterinary students narrow their target list of schools to those where they have the best odds of acceptance and also save them hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt.

 

“Educating pre-veterinary students on the wide range of veterinary school costs and student loan impacts prior to applications is vital to helping them make educated decisions and reducing the financial stress we see with many new graduate veterinarians,” said student debt educator and VIN Foundation board member Tony Bartels, DMV, MBA. “By collaborating with SDN and APVMA we are bringing together organizations on the forefront of educating pre-veterinary students and the future of the veterinary profession.”

 

“Student Doctor Network is excited to partner with VIN Foundation and the APVMA,” said Student Doctor Executive Director, Laura Turner. “We share their passion for helping pre-veterinary students with free resources to aid in their application process.”

 

“APVMA is excited to partner with the VIN Foundation and Student Doctor Network,” stated APVMA Vice President Ian Brown. “We’re looking forward to informing future veterinary students on smart ways on applying to veterinary school and how to save an extra penny in the process!”

 

Those who register for the Apply Smarter Webinar will be kept up to date on student debt and application information for veterinary school. They will also receive a recording of the webinar and the ability to ask further veterinary school application and student debt questions.

 

 

About the VIN Foundation

The VIN Foundation was created by members of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) in 2005. VIN is an online community of veterinarians and veterinary students with over 70,000 members worldwide. Learn more about the VIN Foundation and its resources at https://VINFoundation.org. The VIN Foundation, a platinum level nonprofit, is made possible through generous gifts by individual donors and grants; all gifts made to the VIN Foundation are tax deductible.

 

About Student Doctor Network

Student Doctor Network (SDN) brings together thousands of current and future healthcare students and professionals into one community where they can share information, offer guidance, and provide encouragement to their peers and those coming up behind them. Whether considering a gap year, struggling with the intensity of their classes, or navigating the Match, members can find someone who understands what they’re facing.

 

About American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association

The American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA) is a national organization of students. Our goal is to promote and stimulate interest in the field of veterinary medicine, provide open communication between pre-veterinary clubs and organizations nationally, provide resources to students on pursuing the field of veterinary medicine, and hold the annual national APVMA symposium.