Jump to content
Premed 101 Forums

Recommended Posts

Is anyone else concerned about their debt load after med school? I'm one of the lucky ones (probably about 30K debt when I'm done) but even that bothers me. I wish I had a better source of income, or more money to live off of during med school - but I really don't want to dip into an LOC either.

Should I be worried? Am I being ridiculous? Should I just accept that if I get through med I'll be able to pay it off in residency? Do you think I could pay off a 30K debt on a 60K PGY1 salary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I mean, in my opinion, no debt should be taken on lightly and without some degree of thoughtful consideration, if not concern.

That being said, you will get rid of 30k very easily.  I live in downtown Toronto, and I have probably managed to pay off about 20k over the course of my first three years of residency.  Granted, I had a ton of tuition tax credits, but still.

How easily depends on where you do your residency and how you choose to manage your finances.  If you live somewhere expensive and don't have any tax credits, you might not get it all done in residency, but you should get it done fairly quickly as a staff in any specialty.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, okay.

No not trolling, just genuinely concerned. Trying to figure out how much I can spend during med school to do okay, that's all.

20K over three years? That's good! I hope to get 30K done in the first year but I might be overestimating how much I can pay off in residency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, canada747 said:

Hmm, okay.

No not trolling, just genuinely concerned. Trying to figure out how much I can spend during med school to do okay, that's all.

20K over three years? That's good! I hope to get 30K done in the first year but I might be overestimating how much I can pay off in residency.

30k in a year might be hard to to, even if you live very frugally (with flatmates for instance). I don't know how much tax credit you can get. To be honest, I think it's more realistic to aim for 2 years, In which case you would still have to live pretty frugally.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, canada747 said:

Hmm, okay.

No not trolling, just genuinely concerned. Trying to figure out how much I can spend during med school to do okay, that's all.

20K over three years? That's good! I hope to get 30K done in the first year but I might be overestimating how much I can pay off in residency.

of course it depends on where you do residency a bit as some cities are more expensive than others.

In the low interest rate environment we have add recently at a real focus at it you can make significant hit on things. 15-20K a year has been done by many people. You have balance you desire to get rid of debit vs some level of desired quality of life - the point is to do something I think that reduces stress - not increases it. I was probably more on the extreme side of things myself because I had particular goals related to it and not surprisingly I want to flexibility being liquid provides .

You certainly can pay all of this off when you are staff etc - the risk there is just making sure you have discipline of not putting things off endlessly - saving, paying off debit later is a common doctor trap ha. Plus you do get dramatic increases in salary even during residency - 50%+ increase from year 1 to 5 as an example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, that's true. I guess I just hate the idea of debt. I'm going to try to live relatively frugally through med as well, to keep this debt down.

I'm lucky I know - I get to rely on OSAP loans as opposed to LOC loans to begin with, but still. Don't want to accumulate unnecessary debt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Hmm, that's true. I guess I just hate the idea of debt. I'm going to try to live relatively frugally through med as well, to keep this debt down.

I'm lucky I know - I get to rely on OSAP loans as opposed to LOC loans to begin with, but still. Don't want to accumulate unnecessary debt.

Which is fine - I am not a fan of it either. Tolerance for debit is a personal choice to a degree. Use it when absolutely needed but move it as soon as possible.

The personal record I have seen was 96K of debit removed in residency living by themselves. I am sure there is someone out there that did more ha.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, ellorie said:

That's pretty sweet - I can't imagine managing that in Toronto.  If I'd stayed in London where I paid 700/month for my 1 bedroom, maybe.

Living in Toronto you can find some cheaper apartments (ie with roommates) for around 800-900. Might do that during my first year of residency, idc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Living in Toronto you can find some cheaper apartments (ie with roommates) for around 800-900. Might do that during my first year of residency, idc

You can, but I'm honestly over having roommates.  Residency kind of sucks in some ways, and I at least need to know I have my own space to come home to at the end of the day/when I'm post call/etc, and that I live somewhere where I can walk to work and don't have to deal with a massive commute every day when I'm already exhausted.

So rent is one of my big ticket items in my budget (I pay about 2.5x what I paid in London) and I can deal with that.  I basically never travel, so there are other items in my budget that are less than other people.

The vast majority of residents I know live either alone or with romantic partners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, ellorie said:

You can, but I'm honestly over having roommates.  Residency kind of sucks in some ways, and I at least need to know I have my own space to come home to at the end of the day/when I'm post call/etc, and that I live somewhere where I can walk to work and don't have to deal with a massive commute every day when I'm already exhausted.

So rent is one of my big ticket items in my budget (I pay about 2.5x what I paid in London) and I can deal with that.  I basically never travel, so there are other items in my budget that are less than other people.

The vast majority of residents I know live either alone or with romantic partners.

Hahahahaha fair. That's the other thing I'm starting to get concerned about - can I last through 2-5 years of a residency (if I even match?) It'll be stressful for sure it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Hahahahaha fair. That's the other thing I'm starting to get concerned about - can I last through 2-5 years of a residency (if I even match?) It'll be stressful for sure it seems.

It's not terrible most of the time, at least in my specialty.  It's just more of a marathon than a sprint.  Honestly I HATE having debt (I was lucky enough not to come into medical school with debt, but I was on my own for med and started residency with about 150k total) but I know that to survive and not be miserable to coworkers/patients/myself/etc. I need a certain quality of life at home.  I'm also quite introverted so after a day of non-stop people, I just need to be alone in a silent house with no other humans near me.

See how medical school goes.  It will get less stressful as there is less unknown.  And get disability insurance.  That gives me a lot of peace of mind financially.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

$30k is nothing in grand scheme of things and doesn’t even incur much monthly interest. It’s nothing to worry about with a residency salary (neither is a $200k+ debt for that matter). As staff you could easily pay that off in the first year of practice. 

Be frugal and such. I probably went out to eat and travelled a lot more than I should have in med school. But some classmates were far more extravagant. The bottom line is that med school is expensive and tuition tax credits don’t last forever. Residency is expensive too. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To put it in perspective quite honestly, I'm very frugal and save a lot of money. 30K I would be done paying on top of living expenses by PGY-2. 

So yes, you should be fine. Start looking into investment opportunities if you're serious about having that low debt - you should be in a good position to leverage against the market long term. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, canada747 said:

Is anyone else concerned about their debt load after med school? I'm one of the lucky ones (probably about 30K debt when I'm done) but even that bothers me. I wish I had a better source of income, or more money to live off of during med school - but I really don't want to dip into an LOC either.

Should I be worried?

No.

Am I being ridiculous?

Yes.

Should I just accept that if I get through med I'll be able to pay it off in residency?

Why do you care if you pay it off before or after residency?

Do you think I could pay off a 30K debt on a 60K PGY1 salary?

Probably not since there is taxes on that 60k.  You might be able to pay SOME of it off, and maybe pay off the whole thing in a 5 year residency (or faster if you do residency somewhere cheap)

I think other posters thought you were trolling because Im sure you are aware that 30k is way less then average, and so while its probably unintentional this may come off as sort of a humblebrag where it seems you are trying to get others to comment on how good you're doing financially.  I have friends who have 30k in credit card debt, I am guessing you know its silly to be concerned about 30k debt after med school or residency.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, goleafsgochris said:

I think other posters thought you were trolling because Im sure you are aware that 30k is way less then average, and so while its probably unintentional this may come off as sort of a humblebrag where it seems you are trying to get others to comment on how good you're doing financially.  I have friends who have 30k in credit card debt, I am guessing you know its silly to be concerned about 30k debt after med school or residency.

Hey man, I'm sorry - that wasn't the intention. Really not a humblebrag - that's not like me. I'm just kind of becoming more risk averse. I'm also wondering if I should let myself travel etc. during med school. Really just trying to figure everything out, not trying to bother or offend anyone.

Realistically, I don't come from a lot of money, so I'm unsure of what a staff lifestyle will be like. I can't even comprehend the amount of money that's discussed. To me, 30K is a lot. To me in the future, it might not be. I appreciate you all reminding me that I've got it good - I'm really not trying to brag or anything of the sort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Hey man, I'm sorry - that wasn't the intention. Really not a humblebrag - that's not like me. I'm just kind of becoming more risk averse. I'm also wondering if I should let myself travel etc. during med school. Really just trying to figure everything out, not trying to bother or offend anyone.

Realistically, I don't come from a lot of money, so I'm unsure of what a staff lifestyle will be like. I can't even comprehend the amount of money that's discussed. To me, 30K is a lot. To me in the future, it might not be. I appreciate you all reminding me that I've got it good - I'm really not trying to brag or anything of the sort.

For perspective, as a staff physician you will bill 30K from just 2-4 weeks of work depending on your specialty. I know you’re risk averse, but realistically you could travel, buy clothes, go out to dinners, buy a nice car or house etc without worrying about debt too much because you will pay it off so fast down the road. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, canada747 said:

Hey man, I'm sorry - that wasn't the intention. Really not a humblebrag - that's not like me. I'm just kind of becoming more risk averse. I'm also wondering if I should let myself travel etc. during med school. Really just trying to figure everything out, not trying to bother or offend anyone.

Realistically, I don't come from a lot of money, so I'm unsure of what a staff lifestyle will be like. I can't even comprehend the amount of money that's discussed. To me, 30K is a lot. To me in the future, it might not be. I appreciate you all reminding me that I've got it good - I'm really not trying to brag or anything of the sort.

It's ok dude. Just do some research - the average medical student debt, from previous reports (might be out dated) is around 120 K. Quebec schools and manitoba are cheaper. 

Most people are not too worried about 120K. You're already doing great if you're less than 100 K, and if you're below 60K I think you're in the 5% minority. 

So yes, you can splurge a bit or you can focus on repayment as quickly as possible during residency. Other costs that are hidden include electives and applying to CaRMS, which usually adds around 6-10K. 

Do a forum search with "debt" as the key search term and you'll find more information. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As long as you have the credit limit to pay for your various licensing exams and flights/hotels to get to exams you'll be fine. The important thing is to become an attending to be able to pay of the debt :)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, ellorie said:

You can, but I'm honestly over having roommates.  Residency kind of sucks in some ways, and I at least need to know I have my own space to come home to at the end of the day/when I'm post call/etc, and that I live somewhere where I can walk to work and don't have to deal with a massive commute every day when I'm already exhausted.

So rent is one of my big ticket items in my budget (I pay about 2.5x what I paid in London) and I can deal with that.  I basically never travel, so there are other items in my budget that are less than other people.

The vast majority of residents I know live either alone or with romantic partners.

yeah - remember you will be coming home post call quite often - for me that meant sleeping undisturbed for 6-8 hours in the middle of the day on any day of the week including weekends. Adds a wrinkle with roommates on a different schedule. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, rmorelan said:

You certainly can pay all of this off when you are staff etc - the risk there is just making sure you have discipline of not putting things off endlessly - saving, paying off debit later is a common doctor trap ha. Plus you do get dramatic increases in salary even during residency - 50%+ increase from year 1 to 5 as an example.

For the residency salary increase from PGY1- PGY5, as your tuition credit runs out, you will end up paying more taxes. Also, in PGY5, you have to take into consideration the cost of CFPC + Royal College Exam which is quite expensive. 

To OP, I wouldn't worry about 30 K debt, I am not sure if you are able to pay off 30 K that quickly. It really depends where you do your residency, if you end up doing residency in Vancouver or Toronto, the cost of living is so high that I am only able to save 400$ monthly ( I live very frugally- but when your rent is half of your pay, what can you do?!) You also have to take into consideration the quality of living, as residency is busy with 1 in 4 calls in the majority of rotations, sometimes, you just want to head home to sleep and order takeouts :) I would also encourage people to travel during residency, because once you become staff billing fee-for-service or with on-call duties, it is more difficult to book vacation than when you are a resident with protected time off. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×