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Where Can I Get Money for International Medical School?

By on July 3, 2015

Question:

Dear Steve,

This is my second time asking you a question. It has been a while now, but I want to say thanks!!!! I really admire your desire to give FREE advice Steve. We need more people like you in this world!!!You are a wonderfully great person. My question is I am in a medical school out of the US, and I need to borrow about $30,000, because we don’t get loans now apparently. I have a credit score of 700-710 approximately and no income or co-signers, is this possible at all? Or will I just need to give up on that dream?

Thanks again and keep being your awesome self!!!
:)

Answer:

Obviously you are a very smart person. :-)

The best source of information about how others have accomplished access to funds would be through the financial aid office at the school. Their job is to find money to sell students into seats. They may also be able to direct you to private student loan companies they work with to supply student crack (tuition money).

I would be concerned that the school you are considering no longer facilitates loans, if that is what you were inferring. It could mean the school has lost its Title IV status and is no longer recognized by the Department of Education as a conforming school.

The bigger issue I’ve seen over the past few years has been with foreign medical school graduates who are loaded in debt who can’t find U.S. based residencies to complete their training.

In the most recent infographic available from The National Resident Matching Program you can see that international medical graduates (IMGs) were less likely to find U.S. based residency training programs.

2015MainResidencyMatch-Infographic-May-2015-FINAL

What you might want to consider doing to looking at unsecured lenders like Lending Club. These loans will have a much higher rate than a loan for a private student loan and your requirement would fit in their lending criteria. But while the loan rate is higher, it is also easily dischargeable if you ran into future financial problems. For more information, check out my guide, The Ultimate Debt Consolidation Loan Guide: Getting Approved, Acting Smart, and Being Wise.

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While you may not have to give up on your dream, you might want to practice some of your future medical skills and triage the likelihood of success based on the data available.

Keep in mind, you may not be able to secure additional funding for medical school in the future if you are having to rely private paying your way through and unless you graduate, you only have the debt, not the degree. The dropout rate among Caribbean medical schools is higher than U.S. based schools. Unless you graduate high in your class or settle for a less desirable residency, you may not get a U.S. based residency program and not be able to practice medicine back here in the U.S.

If you look at all those factors the prognosis is the patient (your dream) probably has less than a 20 percent chance of surviving. But maybe you’ll manage to wind up in that 20 percent. If so, congratulations!

So while a foreign medical school has a lower tuition cost, it also has a lower probability of accomplishing the goal.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median amount of debt for the class of 2014: $180,000 and the median 4-year cost of attendance for the class of 2015 is $226,447 (public school) and $298,538 (private school).

And to complicate the matter further, I remember there were only a few caribbean medical schools whose students were eligible for U.S. student loans and whose graduate were eligible to be licensed in all 50 states. And those top foreign medical schools are very expensive as well.

Here is what one person had to say about the pros and cons of U.S. and foreign medical schools.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.

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