Refinance rates with Laurel Road start at 1.89%.
Checking your rates won’t affect your score.
Note that the government is allowing an interest-free pause for repayment on most federal student loans through the end of September 2020 to help ease the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Many other lenders and servicers are also offering relief options during this time. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for more.
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Becoming a psychiatrist is an expensive process. With the high cost of medical school, many students turn to psychiatry loans to pay for their education.
Many medical school graduates leave school with more than $250,000, on average, in debt. If you’re a new psychiatrist with student debt, it’s important to know all your repayment and loan forgiveness options.
As a psychiatrist, your earning potential is high. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national mean annual wage for psychiatrists is $208,000. But student loan debt can eat up a significant part of your income.
If you’re struggling to keep up with your student loans, here are three ways to make them more affordable:
If you have federal student loans and can’t afford your payments under your current repayment schedule, consider applying for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
Under an IDR plan, the government extends your repayment term to 20 to 25 years and caps your payments at a percentage of your discretionary income. Plus, if you still have a loan balance after the end of your IDR plan’s term, the government will forgive the remaining balance.
There are four IDR plans available:
- Pay As You Earn (PAYE): Under PAYE, your repayment term is 20 years, and your payments are 10% of your discretionary income.
- Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE): Your payments are 10% of your discretionary income. Undergraduate student loans have a repayment term of 20 years, while graduate or professional degree loans have a term of 25 years.
- Income-Based Repayment (IBR): For new borrowers who took out loans after July 1, 2014, your repayment term is 20 years, and your payment is 10% of your discretionary income.
- Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR): With an ICR plan, you pay the lesser of 20% of your discretionary income or what you’d pay under a 12-year repayment plan with a fixed payment adjusted for your income.
Depending on your salary and loan balance, an IDR plan can dramatically reduce your payments. For example, if you had $183,000 in student loans at 4.5% interest, your monthly payment under a 10-year repayment plan would be $1,897.
If your income was $182,700 and you qualified for PAYE, your monthly payment would be just $1,372. Applying for an IDR plan would give you an extra $525 per month in your budget.
You should know that there are some downsides to IDR plans. Despite getting a lower payment, you could end up paying much more in interest over the length of your repayment term than you would with a 10-year plan. If you qualify for forgiveness at the end of your IDR plan, the IRS taxes the forgiven balance as income, which can lead to a hefty tax bill.
With refinancing, you work with a private lender to take out a new loan equal to the amount of some or all of your private or federal student loans. The new loan has completely different repayment terms. You could qualify for a lower interest rate, lower monthly payment, or shorter repayment term.
Refinancing can help you save a significant amount of money. For example, if you had $100,000 in student loans at 7% interest, you’d have a monthly payment of $1,161 under a 10-year repayment plan and would pay $39,330 in interest fees.
If you qualified for a refinanced loan with a 4% interest rate, your monthly payment would drop to $1,012, and you’d now pay $21,494 in interest. Taking a few minutes to apply for student loan refinancing could save you more than $17,000 over the length of your loan repayment. You can use our student loan refinancing calculator to find out how much you’d save by refinancing your student loans.
There are some drawbacks to refinancing to consider, however. If you refinance federal student loans, you’ll lose out on benefits such as access to IDR plans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF). Plus, qualifying for a refinanced loan as a new graduate can be difficult on your own. You might need a cosigner — someone with good credit and a stable income — to apply for the loan with you.
One of the best ways to manage your student loan payments is to boost your income so the loans are more affordable. As a psychiatrist, you might be able to negotiate a signing bonus when considering job offers.
According to The Medicus Firm, a national health care recruiting firm, the average signing bonus for a physician is $30,000. If you applied that amount to your student loans, you could save money over the long run.
If you had $100,000 in student loans at 7% interest, you’d repay a total of $139,332 if you paid only the minimum payments for the length of your loan. By applying your $30,000 signing bonus as a lump-sum payment, you’d pay off your loans nearly four years earlier and repay just $116,518. Using your signing bonus strategically would help you save more than $22,000.
To estimate out how making an extra payment would affect your loan, use our lump sum extra payment calculator.
If you have large amounts of education debt, student loan forgiveness can provide you with much-needed relief. Here are four forgiveness programs you might qualify for as a psychiatrist:
1. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
2. National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Program
3. National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program
4. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Program for the Repayment of Educational Loans
If you have federal Direct Loans, you might be eligible for PSLF. Under the PSLF program, the government forgives the balance of your loans after you make 120 qualifying monthly payments while working for an eligible nonprofit organization or government agency.
Payments you make under an IDR plan count as a qualifying payment for PSLF, so you can make reduced payments and still be eligible for loan forgiveness. Unlike IDR plan forgiveness, the amount of your debt that the government forgives is not taxable as income.
As a psychiatrist, you’re not eligible for PSLF if you work in private practice or a for-profit setting.
To find out if you qualify, use our PSLF checklist.
If you’re a psychiatrist interested in a research career, you might be eligible for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Program. Under this program, the NIH will repay up to $50,000 of a researcher’s student loan debt per year if they commit to one of NIH’s mission-relevant initiatives.
To qualify, you must agree to spend at least two years performing research funded by a nonprofit organization within the U.S. Your loan balance must be equal to or greater than 20% of your institutional base salary at the time of the award.
For more information and to apply, visit the NIH website.
The National Health Services Corps (NHSC) offers loan repayment assistance to qualified health care providers. Under this program, mental or behavioral health clinicians can receive up to $120,000 in repayment assistance. In return, you must make a three-year commitment to work for an NHSC-approved location.
For more information and to submit your application, check out the NHSC’s application and program guide.
Psychiatrists who agree to a period of service with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) might qualify for up to $30,000 in repayment assistance per year.
To qualify, you must be enrolled in your final year of a postgraduate physician residency program leading to a specialty qualification in psychiatric medicine or a subspecialty qualification of psychiatry. The program you attend must be accredited by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or the American Osteopathic Association.
For more information, visit the VA website.
Depending on where you live, you might qualify for a state repayment assistance program. Some areas offer medical professionals, including psychiatrists, student loan repayment awards to encourage them to live and work in areas with a shortage of qualified health care providers. With most programs, you must commit to working a fixed service term.
For example, behavioral health providers in Arizona can receive up to $50,000 for their initial two years of service under the state loan repayment program.
To find out if your state has a similar initiative, check out our student loan repayment assistance program tool, a searchable database of more than 120 awards.
Christina Majaski contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 6.15%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.80% – 9.36%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.53%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.15% – 4.42%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.39% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|2.00% – 5.63%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of May 1, 2021.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of October 26, 2020, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 10/26/2020. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at [email protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.89%-4.78% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.15%-4.42% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
7 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.
Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.
Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.
Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.
Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.
KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.
This information is current as of April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
8 Important Disclosures for Nelnet.
Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Interest rate reduction of .25% for automatically withdrawn payments from any designated bank account (“auto debit discount”). Auto debit discount applies when full payments (including both principal and interest) are automatically drafted from a bank account. The auto debit discount will continue to apply during periods of approved forbearance or deferment if the auto debit discount was in effect at the time of receiving the forbearance or deferment. Auto debit discount will remain on the account unless (1) the automatic deduction of payments is canceled or (2) there are three consecutive automatic deductions returned for insufficient funds at any time during the term of the loan.
Request for the cosigner to be released can be made by the borrower after 24 consecutive, on-time payments (not later than 15 days after the due date) of principal and interest have been made. Borrowers in deferment or forbearance must make 24 consecutive, on-time payments after re-entering repayment to qualify for the release. The borrower must be current on their payments at the time of the cosigner release request and show the ability to assume full responsibility of the loan(s) by meeting certain credit criteria on their own at the time of the request, including, but not limited to, being a U.S. citizen or having permanent residency in the United States, being the age of majority in their permanent state of residency, providing sufficient proof of income, and having no student loans in default.
Hardship forbearance allows you to temporarily suspend payments on your loan(s) while you are experiencing financial hardship. It is offered in increments of two or three months, with a maximum of 12 months available, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. If your loan(s) are in good standing at the time of your request, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of two monthly payments. If, at the time of your initial request, your loan(s) are considered past-due, you will be eligible for forbearance in increments of three monthly payments. Future increments of forbearance, up to a life-time maximum of 12 months, may be requested upon the completion of making a certain number of principal and interest payments. During the two- or three-month forbearance period, you will not be required to make payments; however, any unpaid interest will continue to accrue and will be capitalized (added) onto your principal balance at the end of the forbearance period. You may continue making payments in any amount without penalty during the forbearance period. Your loan repayment term will be extended by the number of months in the forbearance period.
Refinance Loan Eligibility: You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number, and be the legal age to enter into binding contracts in your permanent state/territory of residency, or be at least 17 years of age and apply with a cosigner who is at least the age of majority in their state/territory. Non-residents can apply with an eligible cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security number. The student loans you refinance must be in their grace or repayment period, and you can no longer be enrolled in school on a half-time or more basis. You must have at least $5,000 in student loans to refinance. You, or your eligible cosigner, must have an annual income of at least $36,000. Approval subject to credit review. Other credit criteria may apply.
Refinance Loan Limits:
Loan Refinancing Risks: Federal student loans include benefits that may not be offered with private student loans. Carefully review any potential benefits that may be lost by refinancing federal and private education loans, such as the loss of any remaining grace periods. To learn more about what to take into consideration when refinancing federal student loans with private education loans, click here
Selecting ‘Get Started’ results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score.
Fixed interest rates range from 2.99% APR (with auto debit discount) to 6.25% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. The fixed interest rate will remain the same for the life of the loan.
Variable interest rates range from 2.00% APR (with auto debit discount) to 5.63% APR (without auto debit discount). Your interest rate will depend on your (and if applicable, your cosigner’s) credit qualifications. Variable rates may increase after consummation. The variable interest rate is equal to the One-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (“One-Month LIBOR”) plus a margin. The One-Month LIBOR in effect for each monthly period (from the first day of the month through and including the last day of the same month) will be the highest One-Month LIBOR published in The Wall Street Journal “Money Rates” table on the twenty-fifth (25th) day (or if such day is not a business day, the next business day thereafter) of the month immediately preceding such calendar month. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for a variable interest rate loan will change monthly on the first day of each month if the One-Month LIBOR index changes. This may result in higher monthly payments. The current One-Month LIBOR index is 0.15% as of 5/4/2021.
The lowest interest rate for each loan type requires automatically withdrawn (“auto debit”) payments, a five-year repayment term, and the borrower making immediate principal and interest payments. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rate. The interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) may be higher depending upon (1) the credit history of the borrower and, if applicable, the cosigner, (2) the repayment option and loan term selected, (3) the loan type selected, and (4) the highest level of education attained. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate qualified for within the stated range.
*Checking your rate results in a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. If you continue with your application, Nelnet Bank will request your permission to obtain your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies. This is a hard credit pull and may affect your credit score. **Your actual savings may vary based on interest rates, outstanding balances, remaining repayment terms, and other factors.