We are pleased to welcome guest blogger Megan Koenig, Chair of ACOEP’s New Physicians in Practice Committee, as she demystifies the student loan refinancing process.
In the spirit of Spring, it is always a good time to do some “spring cleaning” of your finances. For many of us, our student loan burden is in the greatest need of cleaning. If you are still paying over 6% in interest then you need to refinance ASAP! Most physicians these days can get down into the 2- 4% range, literally saving yourself $60-100k over the life of the loan.
Do not be intimidated by the refinancing process, it is actually very easy and totally worth your time! You pick a company or two to apply to, fill out their online application, and upload required documents. The company will then present you with several options including varying terms and interest rates (variable vs fixed), you pick your favorite option and voila, you are ready to roll. If you are diligent, the entire process shouldn’t take more than a week or two.
The hardest part is picking the right company for you. I recommend doing your research on the top companies in the market. Pick the top two in your mind and apply to both, then compare their offers and pick the best option. The two most popular currently are SOFI and DRB; you can use the following links to earn yourself some free sign-on bonus cash:
SOFI This link will get you a $100 sign on bonus.
DRB. Mention ACOEP and you will get a membership bonus.
If you are a resident, your options are different; only two companies currently exist that I know of that refinance student loans while still in residency, DRB and Link Capital. These companies will make your monthly payments extremely affordable during residency (ie. $0-100/month) but still allow you to lock into the interest rates available today.
Another option is the REPAYE plan. In general, if you are considering the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program then REPAYE is probably the way to go as a resident. Keep in mind REPAYE is not refinancing, it will not change your interest rate, so if the long term goal of refinancing is still your priority then focus on looking into DRB and Link Capital as a resident.
No single approach fits each resident, so reads more at Whitecoatinvestor.com to get a better understanding of which approach is best for you.
If you have any additional questions or ways I can help, please do not hesitate to email me (email@example.com).
Megan Koenig, DO, MBA, MS
NPIP Committee Chair