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intriguing

Average amount of student debt at the end of med school?

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Hi everyone,

I was doing a bit of calculation of my finances and the amount of debt I have is worrying me a little bit. Going at my current rate it would be realistic for me to end up with $150k+ debt by the end of medical school. This is a lot of money and I was wondering if this is typical for a medical student. I worked every summer in undergrad but for neither summer in med school. For current residents did you have similar amounts of debt. Did you find it manageable to pay off? 

Thanks a lot. 

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By the end of med school I had about $78k debt but I lived very frugally and at home for part of that. It's very hard to pay off all your debt in residency unless a lot of your program is based in a rural area where the program pays for your rent. After my two-year residency I just barely paid off my med school debt, but still had about $10k left in exam fees and vacation costs during residency. On the bright side, having a large debt load and paying it off means the banks are much more inclined to give you big loans like for a house or luxury car or something because of good credit rating. I was instantly approved for a loan for a Tesla Model S.

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1 hour ago, Mithril said:

By the end of med school I had about $78k debt but I lived very frugally and at home for part of that. It's very hard to pay off all your debt in residency unless a lot of your program is based in a rural area where the program pays for your rent. After my two-year residency I just barely paid off my med school debt, but still had about $10k left in exam fees and vacation costs during residency. On the bright side, having a large debt load and paying it off means the banks are much more inclined to give you big loans like for a house or luxury car or something because of good credit rating. I was instantly approved for a loan for a Tesla Model S.

INSANE MODE omg that's awesome

150K debt is normal, from what I've understood from the senior residents here and in the previous threads. 

From what I've learned from here and in residency 1) it is common 2) keep on top of interest payments 3) it will eventually be paid off really easily in staffhood. 

 

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270k at the end of med school. Had to maintain two houses and fly from one side of the country to the other every 3-4 weeks to maintain a long distance marriage. No help from provincial loans as I've never qualified for them.

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I was also well above 150k by the end of residency and fellowship. Two kids and moving halfway across the country didn't help. My spouse didn't work because she is a teacher and breaking into teaching where we were was insane. She did a master's instead (more $$$$) till the kids were born. Then she was home with the kids. 

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15 hours ago, Borborygmi said:

270k at the end of med school. Had to maintain two houses and fly from one side of the country to the other every 3-4 weeks to maintain a long distance marriage. No help from provincial loans as I've never qualified for them.

So you had to pay rent for your house and your spouse's house? Wow that's expensive

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150k is pretty typical for people without family support. I had about that, without any debt from undergrad going in, but with no family support for medical school. 

I am slowly paying it off. As a PGY3 I am able to pay about 1000 per month not counting interest payments. That will decrease once my tax credits run out. I expect to finish residency with about 110-120k in debt.

I have not withdrawn from my LOC since starting residency. Also I save my call stipends in a separate account to cover Royal College and other PGY5 expenses, so I am hopeful I won’t need to lean on my line of credit for that either. 

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1 hour ago, ellorie said:

150k is pretty typical for people without family support. I had about that, without any debt from undergrad going in, but with no family support for medical school. 

I am slowly paying it off. As a PGY3 I am able to pay about 1000 per month not counting interest payments. That will decrease once my tax credits run out. I expect to finish residency with about 110-120k in debt.

I have not withdrawn from my LOC since starting residency. Also I save my call stipends in a separate account to cover Royal College and other PGY5 expenses, so I am hopeful I won’t need to lean on my line of credit for that either. 

Not asking to be contrarian, but what is the reasoning behind keeping cash instead of throwing it into the LOC and then re-withdrawing later when needed? Since our LOCs are guaranteed to remain open until at least the end of residency, I would've thought the funds will be available for us when we need it. I am putting everything into LOC right now including my call stipends so that I can save (admittedly paltry amounts) on interest payments and am looking to draw on LOC again when RC/PGY5 hits. Should I be doing this differently?

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9 minutes ago, Hanmari said:

Not asking to be contrarian, but what is the reasoning behind keeping cash instead of throwing it into the LOC and then re-withdrawing later when needed? Since our LOCs are guaranteed to remain open until at least the end of residency, I would've thought the funds will be available for us when we need it. I am putting everything into LOC right now including my call stipends so that I can save (admittedly paltry amounts) on interest payments and am looking to draw on LOC again when RC/PGY5 hits. Should I be doing this differently?

I cannot speak for the OP - but usually it is just psychological. You can organize things optimally from a logically point of view in personal finance but ha the fact you get to see something growing there separately helps keep you on track :) 

The mathematically correct answer is to just put it all on the LOC.

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Ahh hahah that is interesting because I was under the impression that I was the one being psychologically motivated b/c of my debt aversion, and that there must be a financial advantage in holding cash that I was missing. I suppose either way in the end it's not all that much money. Thanks for the clarification!

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54 minutes ago, Hanmari said:

Ahh hahah that is interesting because I was under the impression that I was the one being psychologically motivated b/c of my debt aversion, and that there must be a financial advantage in holding cash that I was missing. I suppose either way in the end it's not all that much money. Thanks for the clarification!

In the end ha, it is what works that matters :) The loss of interest on say at most 5K in the end is less important than the fact you figured out how to not spend 5K on unneeded stuff. 

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2 hours ago, Aconitase said:

Debt is a variable thing. I owed about 30k since I lived at ho e and my parents helped me. Most people I know owed nothing since parents helped them. Others owed 150k

I know maybe one person who lived with their parents in med school. Maybe 2. The rest of my class lived on their own. 

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I was over 150K after debt consolidation at the end of med school. I paid my own way with minimal assistance. 

Depending on where you live and circumstances you can hold your debt at about a constant level or chip away at it as a resident. Now as a staff it is MUCH easier to pay off. What I paid off in a year as a resident I could pay back in weeks as a staff. I think under regular circumstances most people can pay off med school debt in 1-2 years without much trouble if you live like a normal resident. Really has not been a burden. So unless you have debt well above the norm, interest rates go way up (they will - so be mindful over the decade) or have some special circumstance, don't stress too much about sub-200K med school debt.

Edited by rogerroger

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Percentage of students with no debt increases, but median medical school debt rises

The percentage of medical students graduating with no debt increased slightly from 13.7% in 2016 to 15.0% in 2017; however, for those students with debt, the median amount of debt increased from $80,000 in 2016 to $94,000 in 2017. Furthermore, the percentage of students graduating with debt exceeding $200,000 slightly increased from 9.9% in 2016 to 11.6% in 2017.

918586761_ScreenShot2018-05-21at10_39_57AM.thumb.png.e9838467598fc67c37df22254a0276cf.png

 

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On 5/21/2018 at 10:40 AM, lmck said:

Percentage of students with no debt increases, but median medical school debt rises

The percentage of medical students graduating with no debt increased slightly from 13.7% in 2016 to 15.0% in 2017; however, for those students with debt, the median amount of debt increased from $80,000 in 2016 to $94,000 in 2017. Furthermore, the percentage of students graduating with debt exceeding $200,000 slightly increased from 9.9% in 2016 to 11.6% in 2017.

918586761_ScreenShot2018-05-21at10_39_57AM.thumb.png.e9838467598fc67c37df22254a0276cf.png

 

Always hard to take a snapshot and make sense of it - I am not surprised the debit load increased, it would interesting to see how that played out over say 5 years. 

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On 5/21/2018 at 10:40 AM, lmck said:

Percentage of students with no debt increases, but median medical school debt rises

The percentage of medical students graduating with no debt increased slightly from 13.7% in 2016 to 15.0% in 2017; however, for those students with debt, the median amount of debt increased from $80,000 in 2016 to $94,000 in 2017. Furthermore, the percentage of students graduating with debt exceeding $200,000 slightly increased from 9.9% in 2016 to 11.6% in 2017.

918586761_ScreenShot2018-05-21at10_39_57AM.thumb.png.e9838467598fc67c37df22254a0276cf.png

 

Just out of curiosity where is this data from? I'd be curious to know how accurate it is.

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19 minutes ago, GTA Scotiabank Med Advisor said:

Just out of curiosity where is this data from? I'd be curious to know how accurate it is.

The Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC) publishes the Graduation Questionnaire Report each year. They survey graduating Canadian medical students on their debt levels coming out of med school: 

https://afmc.ca/publications/graduation-questionnaire-national-report

I pulled the data from the 2017 report.

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On 5/22/2018 at 12:01 PM, rmorelan said:

Always hard to take a snapshot and make sense of it - I am not surprised the debit load increased, it would interesting to see how that played out over say 5 years. 

The AFMC 2018 Graduating Questionnaire just got released: 

Median medical school debt continues to increase

  • Once again, the reported median medical school debt increased from $94,000 in 2017 to $100,000 in 2018 as 40% of students are reporting a debt of $120,000 or greater. In comparison, 33.9% and 36.0% reported a debt of $120,000 or greater in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

1640686759_ScreenShot2018-09-13at8_31_54PM.thumb.png.e26c7d1ff28ddbc5e8896963bcb7dac3.png

https://afmc.ca/sites/default/files/2018 AFMC GQ_English.pdf

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hey thanks - going over it. 

19 minutes ago, la marzocco said:

The AFMC 2018 Graduating Questionnaire just got released: 

Median medical school debt continues to increase

  • Once again, the reported median medical school debt increased from $94,000 in 2017 to $100,000 in 2018 as 40% of students are reporting a debt of $120,000 or greater. In comparison, 33.9% and 36.0% reported a debt of $120,000 or greater in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

1640686759_ScreenShot2018-09-13at8_31_54PM.thumb.png.e26c7d1ff28ddbc5e8896963bcb7dac3.png

https://afmc.ca/sites/default/files/2018 AFMC GQ_English.pdf

 

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