In this VETgirl online veterinary continuing education blog, we interview Travis Hornsby, Founder of Student Loan Planner, LLC. He's a student loan consultant and is here to discuss the veterinary student debt issue. With so many veterinary students having six figures of student debt, how does one find help to come up with a repayment strategy? You can also check out his blog here on veterinary student debt HERE.
Some additional information from Travis - this is an important topic and wasn't mentioned in the podcast...
One important program to mention if you're a not for profit, government, or university employed veterinarian is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF). Under this program, you can make 10 years of payments on REPAYE, PAYE, or IBR and have the remaining balance forgiven tax free. That can mean a tax free benefit of anywhere between $100,000-$500,000 depending on your debt load. How does someone take advantage of this program? You need to certify your employment with the government to create a paper trail and make sure it counts. Anybody who thinks they might qualify should submit the PSLF employment certification form.
How would this work in practice? Say you're employed full time at a university for an intern and residency period of five years total. During that time, you'd submit that PSLF form every year and hopefully finish the program with five years of PSLF credit. You would then only need to work for five additional years in a not for profit setting such as a full time faculty position at a university to get the remaining balance forgiven tax free. After that point, you'd have no student debt and board certification with the ABVP.
Another example would be for individuals working at a not for profit animal shelter. If you're able to certify that you're a full time employee of such an organization, you'd also obtain eligibility for PSLF. This program could theoretically change because it's exceptionally generous. However, PSLF is written into your loan promissory note, so most experts expect any changes would affect future borrowers that are still in veterinary school. You definitely need to make sure if you qualify for this incredible program if your employer is in that university, not for profit, or government category.
Please note, VETgirl, LLC. does not endorse the financial advice given or company listed in this podcast. When in doubt, please consult with your financial planner for information.