Many loan options are available to medical students. The goal is to get through medical school with the best loans you can get from the fewest sources.
You don’t want to borrow from a large number of lenders because each loan program has a minimum payment. Also, it is easier to keep track of your loans if you only have a few of them. It’s also easier to request deferments if you are eligible during residency.
Another important consideration should be whether the loans can be consolidated after you graduate or if they qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan
With this loan, students do not have to demonstrate need. Students may borrow the difference between their cost of education and their other financial aid up to $42,722. It is a variable-rate interest loan, and the interest accrues while you’re in school. To apply for this loan, submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loan
Before borrowing through this loan, you should first borrow your full eligibility of any unsubsidized loans. The amount you borrow is equal to the full cost of attendance minus other financial aid. It is a variable-rate interest loan, and the interest accrues while you’re in school. You must pass a credit check to receive this loan, so it is considered a credit-based loan. An additional application is required. Apply today. If you are approved for the loan, you will need to complete entrance counseling and a Master Promissory Note before receiving funds.
Private commercial lenders also provide credit-based loans for the purpose of financing college costs. Qualifications and eligibility criteria vary by lender. Most lenders require a credit-worthy U.S. borrower and sometimes a co-borrower. The interest rates and fees are determined by your credit history, your debt-to-income ratio and that of your co-signer.
The University of Missouri invites private lenders to provide information about their products through a Request for Information (RFI) process. The University reviews the information provided by every lender, and, based on the information submitted, prepares a preferred lender list.
To view a list of lenders we selected for comparison, click this link.
You are not required to borrow from any lender here or in other University materials. You may choose to borrow from any lender without penalty. We urge you to compare credit-based loan information and terms carefully to determine the best fit for your circumstances.
If you apply for a private loan, the lender is required to obtain a signed self-certification form from you. This is a federal requirement through the Truth In Lending Act (TILA) and the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). The lender may provide the applicant the self-certification form; however, you can also obtain the form by clicking on this link, Private Education Loan Applicant Self-Certification form. If you need assistance filling this form out, you may contact MU Financial Aid at 573-882-7506.
Federal Primary Care Loan
This is a need-based, 5 percent federal loan that doesn’t accrue interest during medical education or residency. Parents’ income and assets may be considered in the determination of need. This loan goes to students pursuing primary care specialties, such as family medicine, general internal medicine, general pediatrics, combined medicine and pediatrics, or preventive medicine. If a recipient does not go into primary care, the recipient will owe an additional 2 percent interest over the compliant rate from the date of non-compliance. Given limited funding, priority is given to fourth-year students. If you are interested in this loan, contact Cheri Marks, the student services coordinator, at 573-882-5604 or email@example.com. You also must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Loans for Disadvantaged Students
This is a need-based, 5 percent federal loan that doesn’t accrue interest during medical education. Repayment begins 12 months after graduation or separation from school. Eligibility is based on parental income submitted on the FAFSA. You will be contacted by the coordinator of Financial Aid if you are eligible to receive this loan.
State Loan Program
The Missouri PRIMO loan is a forgivable loan offered by the state of Missouri. Recipients must be Missouri residents going into primary care. Selected students receive $20,000 per academic year. Applications from previous PRIMO recipients, individuals from rural or underserved areas, and individuals from underrepresented minority groups are given priority. After residency, recipients must serve in a defined need area of the state, which is an area experiencing a shortage of comprehensive primary care providers. All funds received by PRIMO scholars accrue interest at the rate of 9.5 percent annually beginning from the date the check is issued. If a recipient does not fulfill his or her obligation, the loan must be repaid within 60 months. The deadline for application is June 30.
Institutional Loan Program
The Medical School Foundation/University Long-Term Loan is an institutional, need-based loan. There is no interest accruing while the student is enrolled at MU. Repayment starts six months after graduation. The current interest rate is 5 percent, and the loan must be repaid in seven years. Students may receive this loan to purchase a computer. The usual award is $3,000 per year. Funding for this program is made possible by donations from alumni and friends of the university. To apply, contact Cheri Marks, the student services coordinator, at 573-882-5604 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loan Entrance Counseling
Federal regulations require that all first-time borrowers have loan counseling before the first disbursement of various federal loans. The financial aid office will notify you either via email or letter if you are required to complete entrance counseling in order to receive your loans. The Direct Loan online loan counseling is available once loans have been certified and accepted by the federal government. Entrance counseling is serviced by ECSI if you are receiving a Health Professions or University Loan. During the first day of orientation week, the financial aid coordinator will review the different loans with the entering class and advise members of their rights and responsibilities.
Loan Exit Counseling
You have made a significant financial investment in your future. Because of this, the U.S. Department of Education requires that upon separation from school, you are given guidance on the repayment of that debt in the form of an exit interview. Since it is a federal requirement to complete exit counseling, a hold is placed on your diploma and transcript until the counseling is completed. An email will be sent to you with instructions on completing the counseling online.