EMERYVILLE, Calif., Aug. 3, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Graduating doctors in the first class at a new medical college at the University of Houston will not be forced to go steeply into student loan debt like their peers. An anonymous donor donated $3 million so that all 30 students who will make up the first class in 2020 will graduate debt-free. Of the millions of Americans who graduate with student loan debt, doctors have the highest average debt of around $183,000. Because of their high earning potential,doctors have relatively low default rates, compared with the rest of Americans who struggle with student loan debt at much higher rates. American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), a document preparation company that helps its clients apply for federal income-driven repayment plans (IDRs), encourages those who are not beneficiaries of anonymous donors writing checks for their college expenses to look into IDRs to potentially ease stress during repayment.
"We celebrate any students that are able to leave college without student loan debt," said Sara Molina, manager at AFBC. "But, as our clients know, all of our efforts are in service of assisting them to possibly lower their monthly payments by helping them apply for and maintain enrollment in programs such as IDRs."
The average cost of attending a four-year medical program at a public university is nearly $250,000, and it's even higher at private universities. The University of Houston will offer its program to the subsequent classes at substantially lower-than-average rates: about $25,000 per year, or about $100,000 to graduate.
Though future doctors accumulate the highest levels of student loan debt, as has been documented, borrowers with lower debt have the highest default rates at well over 30 percent for those who owe only $1,000-$5,000. And, with current data showing that default rates are rising, a Brookings study has estimated that borrower default rates could approach 40 percent by 2023 for those most at risk. These figures do not portray a level playing field, with blacks with a bachelor's degree defaulting at nearly five times the rate of whites with a bachelor's degree. Though the first wave of University of Houston medical students will graduate debt-free, millions of Americans continue to suffer under the burden of student loan debt and, for them, IDRs may be their best option for moving forward with their lives.
"It is indeed wonderful that someone was willing to step up and give $3 million dollars to support 30 doctors so that they would be able to go to college tuition-free," said Molina. "Though we can't erase our clients' debt, we can help them find the right repayment program for them, possibly reducing that monthly payment and allowing them to move forward in their lives."
About American Financial Benefits Center
American Financial Benefits Center is a document preparation company that helps clients apply for federal student loan repayment plans that fit their personal financial and student loan situation. Through its strict customer service guidelines, the company strives for the highest levels of honesty and integrity.
Each AFBC telephone representative has received the Certified Student Loan Professional certification through the International Association of Professional Debt Arbitrators (IAPDA).
To learn more about American Financial Benefits Center, please contact:
American Financial Benefits Center
1900 Powell Street #600
Emeryville, CA 94608
SOURCE American Financial Benefits Center