There is both good news and not-so-good news regarding borrowing for dental school, but just remember two important principles when
you start thinking about student loans for dental school:
1. Never borrow more than you really need.
2. Plan to pay back what you borrow.
- Approximately one out of five dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 reported either no student loan debt or debt less than $100,000.
- Average educational debt for all indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 was $285,184.
- Average educational debt for all indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 for public and private dental schools was $251,869 and $326,133, respectively.
- 40% of indebted dental school graduates in the Class of 2018 reported student loan debt of $300,000 or more.
- Dental school graduates have a great reputation for timely repayment.
- You can currently fund your entire
COA (Cost of Attendance) with federal loans with a combination of federal
direct unsubsidized and federal direct PLUS (formerly known as Grad
PLUS), negating the need for private loans.
school graduates typically enter the income stream after graduation faster
than other health professions colleagues, which may allow for aggressive
- It is easier than ever to track your federal student loans in the
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
may graduate with multiple federal loans, but they are likely going to be
serviced by just one loan servicer, which negates for many the need to
consolidate after graduation.
at a lower rate with a private lender after graduation is now an option
for many dental school graduates.
Not so good news
- Your entire
student loan portfolio may be unsubsidized, with interest accruing from time of
disbursement—interest that will eventually be capitalized (added back to the
rates on new direct unsubsidized and new direct PLUS loans are fixed and
change each year, and the maximum rates are high. Interest rates on new loans went up on July 1, 2018.
- Changes may eventually be made to the income-driven repayment
plans as well as the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which is all the more
reason to never borrow more than you really need.