The report also found that the total student loan debt is $112,500 for medical assistants. Any student loan waiver or repayment plan will help if student loan debt continues to be higher than incomes.
In this guide, we will discuss redemption and repayment plans for the physician loan assistant.
Federal Physician Assistant Loan Forgiveness Programs
If you have federal student loans, you can take advantage of various repayment options that offer student loan forgiveness.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) offers student loan forgiveness to non-profit providers, government agencies, and other public service organizations. To qualify, your student loans must first be consolidated into a direct consolidation loan.
You will then make 120 payments, and once these payments have been completed, you can apply for forgiveness at this point. Nevertheless, there has recently been some concern with PSLF where people find out that their approvals will be reversed after making approved payments worth years.
There will be more to come regarding PSLF in the future, but as for now, this is still a viable option that could work well for clinicians looking to have most of their loans forgiven.
Income-Driven Repayment Plan
You can find a revenue-based repayment plan if you have a federal student loan and you have trouble in being able to afford to make the payments. These include the Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan (PAYE), the Income-Contingent Repayment Plan (ICR), the Revised Pay As You Earn Plan (REPAYE) and the Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR).
You’re not going to get out of your student loan debt at a faster rate with all these plans; but, they’re going to work to reduce your monthly payments to a percentage of your income.
Once you have paid into your loan for 20 or 25 years depending on your plan, you can apply to have the remaining portion of your debt forgiven. It is important to remember with these plans that you will have to reapply annually. This means that if you have an increase in your income, then your payments are likely to increase somewhat as well.
National Health Service Corps (NHSC)
The National Health Service Corps has a loan repayment program that is available to physician assistants in exchange for two years of service in a designated Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA).
The program will pay up to $30,000 to $50,000 for full-time service, depending on where you serve and is available to those with the following specialties:
- Women’s Health
- Mental Health & Psychiatry
To qualify, physician assistants must work under a primary care physician and have a certification or a degree from an accredited program. Additionally, you must have a certificate from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and be licensed and registered in the state you are serving in.
If you’re interested in serving in the armed forces and use your physician assistant skillset there, you could get student loan repayment assistance.
Army physicians have several options for loan payment assistance, including:
- Financial Assistance Program: The Army provides certain physicians working to complete their residency with grants of more than $45,000 per year. In addition, they provide a $2,000 monthly stipend.
- Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program: As an army physician, you may receive up to $40,000 per year for your 3-year residency.
- Healthcare Professionals Loan Repayment Program: You may be eligible if you work in specific specialties in the Army Reserve, AMEDD Professional Management, or Individual Mobilization Program. If you qualify, you may receive up to $40,000 per year towards your medical school loans. You can receive up to a total of $250,000 for your lifetime.
Navy physicians are privy to similar benefits as Army physicians, including:
- Health Professionals Loan Repayment Program: Extending your active duty as medical personnel may make you eligible to receive up to $40,000 per year in loan repayment. The Navy pays your institution directly, helping to lower your loan balance and interest owed.
- Financial Assistance Program: You may be eligible to receive grants up to $45,000 per year towards your medical school debts plus a monthly stipend of $2,276 while you are in residency training.
The Air Force has a similar Financial Assistance Program. You can receive $45,000 for each year you are in residency. They also provide a stipend of $2,000 each month to help you pay your living expenses. Once you complete your residency, you have a one-year service obligation for every year you participated in FAP, plus one extra year.
Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program
The Indian Health Service has a loan repayment program that health professionals can receive if they commit to a two-year commitment to serve in American Indian or Alaska Native communities.
In this route, you can earn up to $40,000 in loan repayment for the two-year commitment. Additionally, the contract can be renewed until your debt is paid off completely!
State Loan Repayment Program
You may apply for local options in your state apart from the federal loan waiver and repayment options. Of example, if you’re looking for a New York or California medical assistant loan forgiveness, Iowa or Maine can search for programs available on individual state websites.
The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has State Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP) working with more than 30 states to support their loan forgiveness and repayment programs.
Doctor assistants are required to work in Health Professional Shortage Areas (HPSA) and serve for at least two years, possibly more depending on the contract.
In order to be eligible, physician assistants must have one of the following specialties:
- Psychiatry/mental health
- Women’s health
Qualifications and specialties can vary from state to state. To see if your state offers physician assistant loan forgiveness, check out your state’s local SLRP contact.
Many of the loan forgiveness or repayment programs of the physician assistant are associated with certain types of jobs or specific to specific areas. If you don’t apply for these services, by reducing your interest rate, you can get another form of student loan repayment assistance.
You apply for a new loan with a new interest rate and a new repayment period when you refinance your student loans. Ideally, you would knock off a couple of percentage points and save interest in thousands of dollars.
Refinancing will help you with your student loan repayment process if you have good credit, a good salary and a stable job.
One thing to note though is that once you refinance, your loans become private so any of the federal protections you once had are now gone. Be fairly certain you won’t pursue student loan forgiveness through PSLF or another program, before jumping on refinancing your federal student loans.
FAQs on Physician Assistant Loan Forgiveness
Who Gets the Most Financial Aid?
You might think that the families who receive the most financial aid would be the families with the most need. In fact, this is not necessarily true. The people who receive the most aid are the people who best understand the aid process.
Can I afford To Go To PA School?
Can I afford to go to PA school? The question you should be asking is: can I afford not to go to PA school? If your goal is to become a PA, then the answer to this question is easy.
The worst thing you can do is shy away from applying because you think you won’t be able to afford it, and then live the rest of your life wondering, What if?
There are plenty of opportunities for loans, grants, scholarships, etc. It does, however, take a little work on your part. But since you have set your goals and you’re focused, you are prepared for anything.
Where can I find financial aid or loan repayment programs for physician assistants?
There are available financial aid and loan repayment programs for physician assistants. Each financial aid program found in the database includes a brief overview, a program contact, eligibility information, and application instructions.
What funding sources are available to establish or operate financial aid and loan repayment programs?
Funds to establish and operate financial aid and loan repayment programs come from a variety of different sources, with federal and state government agencies offering the most support.
Many states allocate funding within the state budget to support loan repayment, forgiveness, or scholarship programs. In some states, public and private foundations create strong partnerships with state governments and assist with the cost.
Foundations also fund financial aid programs offered via nonprofit organizations, membership organizations, or educational institutions
What are some of the major loan repayment programs that can be used by physician assistants?
There are several loan repayment programs that could be useful to physician assistants, many of which are offered by state or federal agencies.
Besides the National Health Service Corps, other programs include: State Loan Repayment Programs (SLRP), NHSC Substance Use Disorder Workforce Loan Repayment Program, NURSE Corps Loan Repayment Program, Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program, Faculty Loan Repayment Program
Take action on your student loans and examine forgiveness and repayment options in your state for any physician assistant loan. Then weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the various options available for refinancing loans.
You can also check to see if any student loan assistance options are available from your employer or prospective employer.
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