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How to Get a Student Loan for Health Professions

A health professions student loan is a government aid for students at participating schools who demonstrate financial necessity. 

There are 4 different types of loans available for health professionals:

  • Student Loans for Health Professions (HPSL).
  • Student Loans for Underprivileged Students (LDS).
  • Loans for Nursing School (NSL).
  • Loans for Primary Care (PCL).

You must show financial need and enroll in a participating university to qualify for a health professions student loan.

Be careful to exhaust free help such as grants and scholarships before taking on any debts

Because of their low interest rates, extensive grace periods, and large interest subsidies, health professions loans should be taken out before other student loans for medical school.

Who’s Eligible For a Health Professions Student Loan?

To be eligible for health professions student loan, you must be a United States citizen or permanent resident. You must also show financial need, which will be determined by your school based on the cost of attendance and your financial means.

Each loan has its own set of criteria, such as which academic programs are eligible.

1. Health Professions Student Loans

HPSL are available to full-time students getting a doctorate in one of the following:

  • Dentistry.
  • Optometry.
  • Podiatric medicine.
  • Veterinary medicine.
  • Bachelor’s degree in pharmacy is also acceptable.

2. Loans for Disadvantaged Students

Full-time students pursuing a PhD in one of the following disciplines are eligible for LDS:

  • Pharmacy bachelor’s degree.
  • Osteopathic medicine.
  • Dentistry.
  • Allopathic medicine.
  • Podiatric medicine.
  • Optometry.
  • Veterinary medicine.

To be eligible for an LDS, you must also be from a low-income family.

This usually refers to students whose families meet federal poverty requirements, however eligibility is ultimately determined by the school’s financial assistance office.

3. Nursing School Loans

NSL are offered to part-time and full-time nursing students in diploma, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, and graduate degree programs.

4. Primary Care Loans

Students applying for Primary Care Loans (PCL) must commit to completing a primary care residency program and working as a primary care physician after graduation.

They should also be working full-time on a PhD degree in one of the following fields:

  • Osteopathic medicine.
  • Allopathic medicine.

You must agree to the following terms if you take out a PCL:

  • You must begin and finish your residency within 4 years of graduation.
  • Primary care for ten years or until the debt is paid off, whichever comes first.

The Pros and Cons of Health Professions Student Loans

Borrowers can get a health professions student loan with no interest and no payments during school and for the first 12 months after graduation, which is 6 months longer than most other student loans.

There are no origination costs on these student loans, and they have a fixed interest rate of 5%, compared to 5.28% for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and 6.28% for Direct PLUS Loans.

This program’s loans normally have a 10-year payback schedule, but they can be merged with federal Direct Loans if you want to prolong your repayment time or enroll in repayment programs such as income-driven repayment plans.

However, because these loans are need-based, not everyone will qualify, and in many cases, you will be required to commit to a specific career path in a high-need service area throughout repayment. To be eligible for these loans, you must also be a US citizen or permanent resident.

More: Should You Consolidate Student Loans for Forgiveness?

What Makes Health Professions Student Loans Different?

The Health Resources and Services Administration, not the Department of Education, is responsible for funding health professions student loans.

As a result, health professions loans differ from other federal medical loan programs.

The following are its characteristics:

  • Interest is subsidized: Health-care loans are subsidized, which means you won’t have to pay interest until the grace period is through. You are always liable for the interest on unsubsidized and PLUS loans.
  • Low interest rates: Student loans for health professions have a fixed interest rate of 5%. Graduate unsubsidized loans have an interest rate of 5.28%, whereas PLUS loans have a rate of 6.28%.
  • There are no loan limits: Your school will determine how much you receive, and loan funding may be limited. You may usually only borrow up to the cost of attendance at your school.
  • Extended grace periods: The loans include a 12-month grace period after graduation, which is twice as long as other federal student loan alternatives.
  • Not all schools take part: The loans are managed by schools. To obtain financing, schools must apply to the federal government and satisfy particular conditions, such as having a default rate on current loans that does not exceed 5%.

How Can you Apply for a Health Professions Student Loans?

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, is commonly used to apply for a loan.

However, a school may utilize its own application for these loans, check with the financial aid office to learn more about the procedure.

You must disclose your parents’ financial information to acquire a health professions student loan, even if you are considered an independent student. This requirement cannot be waived by schools.

If your school provides these loans and you qualify, the loan will appear on your financial aid award letter with any other financial help you’ve received. 

Accept all available free help before applying for student loans.

Health Professions Private Student Loans

Students seeking degrees in health professions may require private student loans to finance the costs of their education.

For prospective health professional students, private lenders may offer excellent loan rates and flexible repayment options.

Most people will need to take out loans to pay for medical school, but there are a few things that prospective and present students may do to assist in reducing their debt and returning it more efficiently.

Best Private Student Loans for Medical School

Fixed APR: 3.97-11.89%. Variable APR: 1.47% To 9.05%. Min. Credit Score: 540


Financeive Rate
Interest Rates
Loan Amounts
Customer Experience
Approval Rate

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