Managing Your Student Loans, Part 3

Managing Your Student Loans, Part 3

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Episode transcript


Bridget Peters, D.O., Ph.D.,
Second-Year Family Medicine Resident


Brian Stone
Policy Analyst, Students and Young Consumers, CFPB

[Beginning of recorded session.]

Brian Stone: Welcome to the Financial Intuition Podcast the place you will discover your monetary instinct one cash matter at a time. The aim of the podcast is to teach, inform, and have interaction our viewers with instruments and sources created to assist them make extra knowledgeable monetary choices. These instruments and sources may be discovered on our web site at You may click on the hyperlinks within the present notes for extra info. This is the following episode of our Managing Your Student Loan sequence which focuses on managing student loans and cash whereas in faculty, postgraduate diploma reimbursement choices, and extra.

Before we get began, I’ll learn our Consumer Financial Protection Bureau commonplace disclaimer. This podcast is being produced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is meant to generate dialogue about postgraduate diploma reimbursement choices. The questions requested and subjects mentioned have been developed in coordination with our presenter and should not mirror the Bureau’s coverage on any explicit matter. Any opinions or views said by the presenter are the presenter’s personal and should not symbolize the Bureau’s views. Nothing mentioned on this podcast by a Bureau consultant constitutes authorized interpretation, steerage, or recommendation of the Bureau.

Hello, everybody. I’m Brian Stone, a coverage analyst within the part for Students and Young Consumers. Our part creates instruments and sources for these working to assist students, younger adults, and their households to handle cash, construct credit, save or pay for school, and repay student debt.

We’re thrilling to realize insights from Dr. Peters on postgraduate diploma reimbursement choices. So, with out additional ado, let’s leap proper in. Welcome, Dr. Peters.

Dr. Bridget Peters: Hey, how are you all doing?

Brian Stone: Can you inform our viewers slightly bit about your background and your present work?

Dr. Bridget Peters: Yes. I’m at present a second-year household drugs resident in South Carolina, and I’ve each a Ph.D. and a D.O diploma, and I obtained my Ph.D. in kinesiology from Auburn University, and I accomplished my D.O. diploma at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Brian Stone: Great, nice. And how did you resolve in your present training path?

Dr. Bridget Peters: That’s the age-old query, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” and so I’ve all the time recognized I needed to in some way train. But I began to—as I used to be going by way of college, I simply had a ardour for science which then spawned into analysis. Then I requested myself how may I make this tangible. So that is how I began to pursue the trail of turning into a doctor as a result of I really feel like it’s tangible educating of 1’s well being and well-being.

Brian Stone: Were there any folks experiences that influenced your determination alongside the best way?

Dr. Bridget Peters: Yes. I had great mentors and an exceptional, simply backing in village, rising up, simply ranging from my elementary mentors who would simply push me into the route of science and getting me concerned in numerous applications all through the summer time. I’m nonetheless related with my undergraduate mentors who’re all within the well being profession division at Spelman faculty, who simply have paved the best way and given me sources so far as analysis alternatives, extracurricular actions that simply spawned my pursuits to assist me get so far in life.

Brian Stone: Amazing. I do know once we speak about training and particularly when you go from undergrad to grad college after which going to medical college, there’s a position that student debt could or could not play in that. Have you had any expertise with student debt, and in that case, what position did it play in your training?

Dr. Bridget Peters: Yes. I feel student debt mainly traveled with me all through undergraduate college and medical college. Basically, my student debt acquired degreed with me. Going by way of it, I’m a first-generation faculty student. My mother and father didn’t go. My sister who’s older than me went to varsity; nevertheless, that was our solely expertise in my household with getting the next training diploma.

Along with that, my mother and father have been very, very supportive. They have been, in fact, part of my village, I talked about, and their thought was go for what you need to do. It would not matter how a lot it prices as a result of at the moment, I had no concept that I’d go to grad college first earlier than going to med college.

Halfway by way of undergrad, really in all probability my second semester of freshman yr, I began to grasp what that basically meant, and I used to be at a roadblock of if I do not get a job, how am I going to pay for school? I feel that is when it first hit me that I wanted to be extra conscious of how a lot loans I used to be taking out. Although I needed to pursue a sure profession, it nonetheless had a monetary element.

It didn’t deter me, and it didn’t cease me. However, it was very current in my determination so far as what applications I did throughout the summer time. I all the time selected applications that had a monetary element incentive to them as a result of I simply figured I wanted to work, and I couldn’t be with out considerably of a job. It did play a giant position in me selecting the trajectory that I really ended up taking.

Brian Stone: It feels like, such as you mentioned, alongside the strains of not simply getting an training, however you have been intentional about this system that you just did with a view to, in fact, improve your résumé, but additionally generate revenue whilst you have been in class and kind of happening a path.

I assume to transition slightly bit, when you consider managing your student loan now with different grownup obligations because you’re out of faculty, how can you maintain all the things collectively?

Dr. Bridget Peters: I’m, I’ll say, old-fashion within the sense that I write all the things down. I do know some folks have fancy apps. I even tried at one level to do an Excel spreadsheet, however I acquired to the purpose the place I’ve to bodily see the place my cash goes in order that I may be very intentional and deliberate about having, quote/unquote, “fun,” being an grownup, having the ability to journey, but additionally say, okay, I nonetheless have that debt. And the debt continues to be current. It’s not going to simply vanish.

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To take it head on, I’ve simply actually written down each expense. I do a price range month-to-month. Also, in the identical pocket book, to say, okay, that is what I plan to do, and that is the cash that I can work with to have enjoyable. I feel it is nearly being intentional in my old-fashion means of writing all the things down.

Brian Stone: That’s good. There’s a saying of placing issues on paper on function, in order that’s good. I assume with budgeting or another cash administration side, we all the time speak about discovering what works for you as a result of there are a thousand issues on the market. I assume if you happen to attempt 999 of them and so they do not work and so they weren’t any good in your explicit state of affairs, so yeah, like discovering that one, be it paper, an app, a few of our instruments on our web site.

On our web site, we’ve numerous great instruments and sources, and so you’ll be able to print these out. You can print out like a spending tracker. You can use these issues to determine, if you happen to do not have already got a price range, to determine what sources of revenue they’ve coming in, what their bills are, after which they’ll kind of take that and compile it right into a price range.

Just take a step again. I do know that managing student loans, grownup obligations, and cash basically may be advanced, however like doing that whereas desirous about graduate college and an expert diploma may be notably tedious. But it feels like in your expertise, you have been capable of efficiently do each. If there was a youngster on the market, somebody in undergrad who is considering following an analogous path, what recommendation would you give them?

Dr. Bridget Peters: One, I feel I discussed don’t let funds be a deterrent. If you will have a dream to get one thing completed and also you need to be one thing, I feel it ought to positively be one thing you consider, however I feel too typically folks neglect their goals. That’s my one factor. Follow what you need to do as a result of it’ll receives a commission off in the long run.

However, additionally, I feel one factor I didn’t do as a result of, as I mentioned, it took me a short time in undergrad as a result of I did not have that background, my mother and father, they have been doing the perfect they may by simply supporting me and dealing onerous to get me by way of faculty. However, search for—you realize, Brian, you talked about all these instruments which can be on the market. Along with instruments, there’s scholarships. There’s grants. There’s so many issues accessible for what you are serious about, and even I feel there are hobbies that may flip right into a supply of revenue, a stream of revenue that will not even take your consideration away out of your education, however it might really in some way go along with that.

One of the issues I did in grad college, as a result of I used to be learning to take the MCAT and I nonetheless wanted revenue in grad college, I tutored, and I tutored courses like physiology and anatomy, and what that did was it pressured me to review. But it additionally gave me one thing that I used to be capable of, I assume, use as a supply of revenue.

Brian Stone: Right. Yeah, that is smart, simply discovering these alternatives to, as you mentioned, generate revenue from a facet enterprise, employment, what have you ever, to get in the direction of that finish aim. So, sure, that makes numerous sense.

We’ll transition slightly bit. I do know we talked about budgeting. I assume to return to budgeting, there are a couple of fast issues, as a result of I do know that is a kind of phrases that individuals hear, and it feels like I’m being frugal or I could not have cash. But it is a kind of issues that is essential to any monetary plan, particularly a plan such as you have been speaking about the place, my private expertise, the margins may be like slim while you’re devoted to high school full time and also you’re additionally attempting to suit work in there after which once more different household obligations, household, and people sorts of issues. But such as you mentioned, Dr. Peters, budgeting, yeah.

Some essential issues to recollect alongside these strains, particularly for our listeners who may be beginning off desirous about budgeting and need to know learn how to price range, and so first, you can begin off by doing a fast tally of the place your whole revenue sources are coming from. So that could possibly be employment, enterprise alternatives, or small facet gigs that may generate irregular revenue right here and there, after which determining the place is my cash really going, so what are my month-to-month bills and the way am I really spending that cash that is coming in. And then a 3rd essential level is knowing the invoice due dates. Normally, they’re staggered all through the month, and so it’s possible you’ll receives a commission as soon as a month, twice a month, and even on a semester foundation, however determining learn how to join these precise bills to when that cash is available in. That would assist with the cash-flow planning, after which final however not lease, begin compiling all of these issues and really making a working price range.

Again, as you talked about, there isn’t any one-size-fits-all. Your price range may both be an app. It could possibly be writing it down on paper, such as you mentioned, simply need to be old fashioned. I do not assume that is too old fashioned as a result of I nonetheless write my price range down now. Even I exploit an Excel sheet, like a biweekly Excel sheet, however I’ve be aware playing cards in my pocket as we communicate the place I jotted some issues down. But simply essential in determining what works and what may also help you stability and preserve an orderly monetary world, in order that’s all essential.

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Dr. Bridget Peters: Brian, could I say for the listeners, your price range additionally isn’t stagnant. Your price range adjustments. I feel you simply introduced up level. You do one each 2 weeks. I discussed earlier that I begin my price range at first of the month, however all through the month, it adjustments as a result of inside that price range, you will have emergency funds. There’s all these different little small nuances that go into it. I feel it is essential for everybody to say you’ll be able to keep on with it, and you will have to stay to it. I’m sorry. It can actually change, however you’ll be able to have a present fund are available, and so you will have extra cash for the month. There’s simply various things. I feel that is simply a great way if you happen to use the instrument, no matter or not it’s, on-line, apps, on paper, however I feel you made level that it is repeatedly altering, and it’s important to sit there and work with it.

Brian Stone: Right, proper. I do know one factor we regularly speak about, as you alluded to, life occurs. We make a plan for a price range after which issues pop up, bills, birthdays that we could have forgotten about, or simply emergencies. My automobile tire goes out, and I must get a brand new automobile tire or a medical bills or baby care, which brings up one other essential level, having an emergency fund. Money, money that you’ve got put apart, and it may begin off as a small quantity, and also you develop it over a time frame, however simply one thing you’ll be able to put your arms on within the occasion of an emergency that is extraordinarily liquid and accessible.

Dr. Bridget Peters: Yes

Brian Stone: Okay. Along the strains of budgeting and your price range, how do you consider student loans, once more, with different grownup obligations in life and people different bills which can be part of your price range?

Dr. Bridget Peters: I simply have added it to one of many line objects of my payments. With each paycheck, I’ve sure issues that simply come out. I simply know that they’re there. Once once more, utilizing this good phrase of “budgeting,” it is simply one thing that’s on the price range objects. So, for me, my tithes come out the start of each month, and so I take that out, after which I consider, okay, properly, that is simply the fee for my loan. And that’s simply—it is cash that I simply know that I’m not going to see, and I feel I do this to myself as a result of it retains me on a—that is not cash that I’ve to spend. And so, I simply issue it out of what my paycheck goes to be however, nevertheless, ensuring I have the funds for to pay my utilities and different issues are far as even including to my emergency fund and sustaining. I feel it simply has turn out to be now a line merchandise reasonably than one thing that I’m dreading to do.

Brian Stone: Again, such as you mentioned, it is a strategy to make it match and it is one thing that must be paid. But I feel for our listeners who could have began paying to possibly attending to that first student loan fee, there are alternatives and sources on the market. First, I’ll point out, in fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s web site, our Student Section has numerous great info on managing college loans and understanding non-public loans versus federal loans and possibly a few of your reimbursement choices. Also, there’s the Department of Education web site. They have a web page, Understanding Your Student Loan Repayment. You can be taught extra about issues like making your first loan fee, prices, ask your servicer, so when you have any questions on your loan or reimbursement choices or when you have any hassle and it is advisable to assist resolve some issues, the servicer is all the time the primary line of contact, selecting a reimbursement plan, estimating your funds, and likewise info to use for income-driven reimbursement plan, so having loan funds which can be in relation to your revenue and so you can see a variety of choices. You can decide the perfect plan for you.

For your present loan—how did you decide your present reimbursement plan?

Dr. Bridget Peters: So, as soon as once more, this was type of all new to me. That, I did it final yr after I graduated med college, and I simply went by way of, went by way of based mostly on my revenue at the moment, which was mainly zilch, and I selected one choice. After this primary yr, you might be given the choice to redo it and have a look at it once more, and so based mostly on my funds, I’m researching to see if I wish to change my plan.

At the time of me selecting it, it was extra so based mostly on what I felt that I may contribute and what I may pay on my present wage.

Brian Stone: That’s good. Have you needed to make any revisions to your plan?

Dr. Bridget Peters: My first revision comes actually—they ship an e-mail, which may be very, essential, to younger—to listeners. The emails are essential. It helps you out. Don’t miss these essential emails.

Brian Stone: Emails, proper.

Dr. Bridget Peters: I simply really obtained an e-mail to revise my plan if I needed to, and so I’m, as soon as once more, going again to the drafting board and ensuring, as I transfer alongside in residency and as everybody will transfer alongside of their careers, issues change. And like we mentioned, life is not stagnant, and so I’m going to have a look at what my price range is now and what my revenue is now and see if I wish to change my plan. I’m really within the strategy of doing that proper now.

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Brian Stone: That’s good, and that is one thing essential to recollect as a result of I feel, particularly when budgets—generally they’ll look like so inflexible, and possibly we get knocked off monitor, and it is like, “Oh, all is lost.” But it is not as a result of, as you mentioned, life isn’t stagnant. Budgets should not stagnant, nor are they meant to be. It’s a plan, an estimate, however you’ll be able to all the time return and revise it and tailor it each so on to your life circumstances, in order that’s nice, and it makes numerous sense.

How has managing your student loan and your total postgraduate price range influenced different choices in your life?

Dr. Bridget Peters: I’ve been attempting—as a result of I’m nonetheless within the strategy of that as a result of I’m in residency, and I’m on the center level the place do you need to do fellowship. The query is, mainly, as soon as once more, what do you need to do while you develop up? Because that query by no means ends.

So, with that being mentioned, there are profession paths for my explicit profession. Do I need to do hospital work, outpatient, tutorial work? I’m as soon as once more, as a result of I’ve by no means settled based mostly on simply my debt—I feel it is there, however I’m not—I’m attempting to not let that make me select or lead me to decide on a job for the pay, as a result of I strongly imagine that you could make life occur if you happen to stay inside your means. And I strongly even have already set a aim to pay my loans off within the subsequent 10 years earlier than they’re really because of be paid off, and so it performs a job, however I’m letting it play a really, very small position in what I need to do, as a result of my aim—and I feel this to be anybody’s aim while you’re attempting to stay out your dream profession—is to barter what is going on to make you cheerful. That is probably not the wage you supposed otherwise you imagined, however I intend to go to work day-after-day completely satisfied, as a result of if I am going to work completely satisfied, I’ll do my job properly. And then my loans will nonetheless receives a commission off as a result of I’m employed. It has, however I’m simply not letting it play a giant consider that.

Brian Stone: That’s nice. That’s good. Like you mentioned, it is one thing that you just really love doing, love displaying up for, having a plan, a very powerful factor. So, having a plan. You have the time-frame in thoughts, so particulars in there. We all the time have them deliberate out, have them mapped out, however they’ll change inside that. But we nonetheless know their ending level, so essential, and that is nice.

Dr. Bridget Peters: Yeah.

Brian Stone: As we transition to the following query, I do know you answered this earlier than, but when there was anything, I assume, all through our dialog that kind of popped up?

Dr. Bridget Peters: I feel I touched on numerous this earlier than, however I stand by saying discover out—you realize, search out mentors. Right now, I’ve some which can be each career-driven but additionally private, and that is serving to me in each points of why. And getting that recommendation from them—and in case you are listening to this podcast proper now, I really feel such as you’re already on path to attempting to be educated and determining what’s your best choice, as a result of there are numerous sources on the market that I feel that you could faucet into, which might be useful.

I discussed in my introduction that I do have a doctorate, and I went to medical college. If that is your ardour, there are—I did it individually, which can have inspired extra debt, however there’s different methods to get to the identical outcome. So, with that being mentioned, I simply assume if you happen to analysis and determine what you really need to do and pray about it and go to your objectives, I feel that you’ll attain it. So that’s my recommendation. Just actually sit down—I’m simply massive on planning, and so if you consider it, really analysis it, I feel that something is feasible.

Brian Stone: That’s nice. I assume the connection between all of this, the cash, academic future, profession objectives, it is all about planning being intentional and placing your finest foot ahead.

If I may recap all the things for our viewers, so three essential takeaways, we talked about numerous good issues. First, I’ll say is have a plan to repay your student debt and handle your family funds. Revisit the plan frequently as a result of, like Dr. Peters mentioned, life isn’t stagnant. It adjustments consistently. Don’t be afraid to return and alter your price range week to week, each 2 weeks, or no matter it’s important to do with a view to compensate for the issues which can be taking place as life goes on. Take benefit of Department of Education’s and CFPB’s instruments to higher perceive your reimbursement choices and likewise create a price range if you do not have one already. Make positive your student loan fee is inexpensive and matches inside your monetary objectives, and keep in mind that it is also okay, once more, to vary your plan, in case your wants change, your circumstances change, and likewise attain out for assist if wanted.

Thank you, Dr. Peters, for sharing your cash expertise with our viewers. We respect your listeners for tuning in. To keep related, please go to our podcast web page on, and so you do not miss future episodes, join and be notified of latest releases.

As all the time, keep in mind to proceed to develop your monetary instinct and be taught cash administration classes you need to use now to construct a future you may need tomorrow. Thank you.

[End of recorded session.]