When many people think about long-term schooling, their mind drifts to medical school and law school. Medical school is just another step in becoming a fully-licensed medical professional. There’s residency, licensure and other steps to becoming a doctor.
While professionals who open medical transcriptionist businesses and law firms do profit, there are numerous opportunities in the dental industry as well. What many people don’t realize is that becoming a dentist is just as grueling a process, with an even tougher road to climb back from. Despite consistently being ranked as a top job in the United States, dentists have a huge mountain of dental school debt to overcome before they can fully become debt free. Many dental school students like yourself graduate with debt ranging between $300-$400,000. This alarming number is not exactly something that can be paid back immediately. Below are some tips to help you navigate your financial issues and get back into the green.
Look At The Big Picture
Before making any big life decisions, it’s best to look at your situation broadly. Of course, your dental school debt is the main obstacle in your life right now, but there are surely other financial obligations in your life at the moment, such as:
- Buying or renting property
- Family expenses
- More schooling
- A wedding
- Travel plans
It would be great to start debt free living. To do so, you need to pay off your debt as fast as possible. Unfortunately, most dentists need up to a decade to be able to pay off those loans in full. Try and set a plan of what else you would like to accomplish during that time or what your goals are. Before diving deep into your plan, it’s best to prepare an outline first.
Try and talk to others who have been in the same place as you and see what their plans were. Get an idea of how to go about managing your dental school debt, finances, and future. While they may not be able to offer the world’s most perfect plan, they can give you a rough blueprint of what to expect or some tips.
Talk To An Expert
Finishing dental school pretty much makes you an expert in all things dentist-related, but you may not be an expert on finances just yet. Once you have your outline figured out, it’s best to talk to an expert who can help you lay out a payment plan over the next few years. They might suggest you change your financial habits after graduating. It’s best to listen to their advice.
They’ll be able to help you break down the numbers and set realistic goals going ahead. They’ll help you find the best way to go about things without paying through the roof interest rates or even find ways where you can qualify for loan forgiveness. Even if you have a good grasp on repayment, it will help to sit down and talk to an expert.
If you’re going into your own practice, you will need even more help as your debt could balloon with the number of payments you’ll have to be making. Consider implementing the top cost containment strategies to reduce your business debt.
Even though dentistry may seem like a job where you’re seated more than standing and there doesn’t seem to be any huge health risks, dentists often experience chronic back pain and heart problems more than other medical professions.
An injury or disability could put you out of work for a while and then you’re just digging yourself into a deeper and deeper hole. In this case, it’s best to protect yourself in any kind of unforeseen circumstance. Adding another level of stress would be an unnecessary burden in any case. Even if you believe you are young, healthy and invincible, it’s best to go ahead and make sure you’re ready for whatever the dentistry world throws at you.
Control The Controllable
In the end, it’s going to be a long road to pay off your debt. But what you can do is put yourself in control of what you can control, there’s no worth fretting over what cannot be completed. Give yourself credit for being on top of your financial activity and stick to whatever schedule that you, or the expert that’s helping you, set.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint, but with controlled practice and a dedicated plan, you can control your debt and move onto financial freedom once and for all.