Watch the webinar recording below of the recent Borrow Better in Veterinary School webinar from the VIN Foundation in collaboration with the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), the UC Davis Veterinary Business Management Association (VBMA), the Student Doctor Network (SDN) and Drip.vet. Join Tony Bartels, DMV, MBA and Lance M. Roasa, DVM, MS, JD to learn how you can Borrow Better while in veterinary school! We welcome any questions and feedback.
Review the Borrow Better presentation materials including clickable links to the resources referenced in the presentation. Think of this as the “slide deck” that you can click through and review at your own leisure as a quick summary of the webinar.
All this information can be overwhelming. The Borrow Better Checklist provides a clear outline of five steps to help veterinary students Borrow Better while in veterinary school.
Let’s face it — finance is not the forte of most veterinarians and veterinary students. But you can change that! If you can pass organic chemistry and get into veterinary school, you can certainly lean finance. And you’ll be a better vet because of it. To help you learn financial principals, VIN and VIN Foundation have partnered with Drip.vet to offer you a FREE personal financial success course. After registering, you’ll receive small snippets of various financial concepts delivered to your email box on a regular basis to help you develop and expand your financial knowledge base.
Student loans can be a necessary tool to pay for your education, but you are not helpless in reducing your costs. Borrow Better covers tips, tools, and resources you can use as a student to save money now and set yourself up for repayment success.
Your financial aid award is meant to cover your Cost of Attendance (COA): tuition and fees as well as living expenses. While your tuition and fees are required for you to obtain your degree, the living expense allowance is where you have some flexibility. Take a moment to add up your monthly expenses, or, for the gunners, open your monthly budget. Determine whether or not you need all of the living expenses amount offered to you.
You do not have to accept your entire financial aid award. To the extent possible, reduce the amount you borrow in Direct Loans, particularly Grad PLUS loans, and look for less expensive opportunities like Health Professions Student Loans, Loans for Disadvantaged Students, scholarships or grants.
Maybe you have already accepted your financial aid award…after all, it’s easier to accept all of the award than to reduce it. But that’s OK — you still have 120 days from the time you receive your funds to return excess amounts (above your budgeted needs) to the Department of Education. If you return award funds in that 4-month window, you will return the principal, interest and fees as well. A dollar returned reduces your loans by much more than a dollar paid towards interest.
Speaking of interest, you may have noticed that your federally held student loans are not accruing interest right now. This is a bonus due to the CARES Act and presidential actions that have suspended interest and payments through December 31, 2020. Combined with very low interest rates prior to the suspension, this will reduce the interest cost for all veterinary students. Avoid the temptation to pay the interest on your student loans while you’re in school. I often ask students who do this “Where is the money coming from to pay the interest on your student loans?” The most common answer is “my student loans.” Even if your current student loan rates are zero now, they are likely to start accruing interest in the near future. Thus, the same general principals will apply — You will save more money by reducing what you borrow or returning excess amounts during the 120-day window vs. paying the interest.
You can see the impact of your student loans, interest, and various scenarios for paying interest or reducing what you borrow using the VIN Foundation In-School Loan Estimator.
There are two ways to access the In-School Loan Estimator:
Borrow Better is part of the VIN Foundation Student Debt Center three-part series of helping veterinary colleagues throughout their student loan path. It starts with pre-veterinary students learning how to Apply Smarter to veterinary school, continues for veterinary school students as they learn how to Borrow Better while in school, with the final step on the path is helping veterinarians Repay Wiser with specific student loan repayment strategies to save time and money.
As always the VIN Foundation welcomes questions and feedback.
The helpful three-part student loan series Apply Smarter, Borrow Better and Repay Wiser is part of the VIN Foundation Student Debt Center. The VIN Foundation Student Debt Center is a mobile-friendly comprehensive resource helping veterinary students, veterinarians, and those who support them manage student debt through school and beyond. Explore the VIN Foundation Student Debt Center.