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Make sense to pursue PSLF?

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  • Make sense to pursue PSLF?

    Hello, first time poster here. I am wondering if my situation makes sense for me to continue to pursue PSLF.

    I am currently a PGY2 in Internal Medicine applying into Hematology Oncology next July. I don't have an interest academic medicine and my goal is to join a private group practice right out of heme/onc fellowship. However, because I am in PSLF on the REPAYE program, I would be locked in to at least 4 additional years in academics as a heme/onc attending. From a purely financial perspective, does it make sense for me to stay in academics for at least 4 years post-fellowship just so I can qualify for PSLF? Here is my situation.

    Loans: $175,000 (total all federal, including interest thus far, at 5.6% interest)
    PSLF qualifying payments: 14/120 so far
    Monthly PSLF payment: $53 this year, $0 during PGY1
    Starting academic heme/onc attending salary at current institution: $180,000
    Starting private practice salary in surrounding areas: $300,000+

    By the time I finish fellowship (planning to stay at current institution where I am doing residency), I will still need to do at least 4 years of work in an academic institution in order to qualify for PSLF.

  • #2
    It does not make any sense unless being in academics is something you really want to do. Stay in REPAYE until you are sure of your path then refinance.


    • #3
      I am not an expert in PSLF by any means, but when I see 175k in student loans I never think about PSLF. I would get the job you want and pay them off quickly. The difference between an academic job (180K for a fellowship trained physician?!?) and a PP job in terms of salary just seems like the forgiveness wouldn't make a big difference.


      • #4
        When your anticipated salary is almost double your loan burden, it’s hard to even entertain the idea of PSLF.
        Ultra-amateur blogger at, chronicling my journey back to broke (and beyond) | @DrPayItBack


        • #5
          Another vote for working where you want to afterwards with your loan burden.

          REPAYE through residency and fellowship. Make sure your credit score is as good as possible if you need to refinance at the end.

          If you want to work academics, run the numbers to make sure PSLF works out (probably will). Otherwise if you want to work private practice, refinance and pay off loans.