What happens when your student loans go to collections?

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When a borrower stops making payments on student loans for a period of time, they could end up in default. And in some cases, lenders may send loans that are in default on to collections. In general, it’s ideal to avoid defaulting on student loans and having them sent to collections in the first place. But if your student loans have already gone to collections, fear not — there are steps you can take.

Before we dive in, it’s important for you to know that this is an incredibly complex topic. We’re going to try to break it down the best we can, but full disclosure: this info is general in nature and does not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs; it should not be considered advice. SoFi’s just trying to be real with you and recommend that you speak to a professional about your unique situation.

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Related: What’s the difference between student loan consolidation and refinancing?

How Student Loans End up in Collections

Student loans don’t go away until you’ve paid them off. If you haven’t been paying off your student loans, your debt can go into default, because you are failing to fulfill your contractual obligation to repay your loan. Americans owe more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt as of the second quarter of 2021. When you consider that the average student loan debt for the class of 2020 was over $29,900, it’s no surprise that some have trouble keeping up with it. In fact, an average of 15% of student loans are in default at any given time.

Delinquent Federal Student Loans

The first day after missing a payment on a federal student loan, the loan becomes delinquent. The loan will remain delinquent until the overdue balance is paid, or the borrower makes alternate arrangements such as applying for deferment or forbearance, or switching their payment plan.

After 90 days of missing payments for federal student loans, the loan servicer will report the late payments to credit bureaus, which could negatively impact the borrower’s credit score.

Recommended: Defaulting on student loans: What you should know

Federal Student Loans in Default

For federal loans, you typically go into default after you haven’t paid your loan bill for nine months, or 270 days.

When in default, the entire balance of the loan comes due. But just because a loan is in default, doesn’t mean it automatically goes to a collections agency.

At this point, you may have the opportunity to make arrangements with your loan servicer. For example, your lender may help you tailor solutions that lower your monthly bill to make payments more manageable for you. However, if you don’t come to an agreement, your lender can send your debt to a collections agency that will collect it for them.

Private Student Loans in Default

The timeframe may vary for private loans depending on the terms and conditions of the loan. Generally speaking, private student loans may go into default after 90 days ​of missed payments.

What Does It Mean to Have a Loan Sent to Collection?

Once your debt is sent to a collections agency, that agency will do everything they can to get you to pay. Unfortunately, on top of collecting the debt, collections agencies typically charge fees, for which you’ll also be responsible. Once your debt is in collections, the collections agency might try to work out a repayment plan with you as a first step. If you continue to not pay, the agency can then take actions to recoup the money, such as trying to garnish your wages.

Garnishment means the agency can take a certain amount from each paycheck and apply it toward your debt. For federal student loans, lenders are not required to take the borrower to court before garnishing wages. Once this happens, you no longer have control over that money. Whereas, if you’d come to an agreement earlier, you may have been able to make smaller payments each month.

Private student loans function differently. They are not subject to the same special regulation as federal student loans. Private lenders interested in garnishing wages must follow garnishment rules laid out for private debt. In this case, the lender is required to take the borrower to court and obtain a judgment in their favor before any wages can be garnished.

Recommended: What happens if you just stop paying your student loans

What Happens When Your Loans Go into Default and Collections?

Some other not-so-great things can happen when your loans go into default and collections.

First, if you have defaulted on federal student loans, you may lose access to various federal loan repayment plans and forbearance or deferment on federal loans. These programs are important tools designed to make it easier for you to pay off your loans. Loan forgiveness is offered to those who follow career paths in certain government, healthcare and nonprofit sectors. Forbearance allows you to temporarily stop making student loan payments or reduce the amount you pay each month.

Your credit score may take a hit as well. For both private and federal student loans in default, the lender or the collections agency will report the late payments to the three major credit bureaus, who might then lower your credit score.

A low credit score might cost you down the line, making it difficult to secure future loans at reasonable interest rates, should you want to buy a house or car, for example. It may even mean you won’t qualify for a loan at all. Avoiding default might help you maintain these important financial tools.

Recommended: Student loan deferment vs forbearance: What’s the difference?

How to Get Your Loans Out of Default

Of course, the best thing you can do to avoid default and collections is to pay your bills on time. But if you’ve defaulted, there may still be options for you to recover.

Options for Federal Student Loans

If you have federal student loans, you could try to rehabilitate your student loan in collections. Here’s how the program works: After you have made three consecutive on-time, voluntary, full payments on a defaulted loan, you can consolidate your federal loans.

The new direct loan pays off the old loans in full and consolidates them. Once you have made nine out of 10 consecutive, voluntary, on-time payments to this new loan, the loan may be rehabilitated and the default may be removed from your record. With a Direct Consolidation Loan, your eligible federal loans will be combined into one loan with a fixed interest rate — and the new rate will be the weighted average of the rates on the loans being consolidated (rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of 1%).

Options for Private Student Loans

When it comes to private student loans, private lenders may or may not offer borrowers the opportunity to rehabilitate their loans. And when it comes to private student loan rehabilitation, there is not much federal legislation. Borrowers who have rehabilitated a private student loan may ask to have the default removed from their credit report, but there is no guarantee that it will be removed.

In some circumstances, the statute of limitations on debt may be a consideration for private student loan debt. This is a legal time frame in which a creditor is allowed to collect on the debt and it is determined by state law. In the case that the statute of limitations on private student loan debt has been met, entering into a rehabilitation plan may restart the limitations period.

Additionally, it’s important to note that some lenders may charge off private student loans that are delinquent for 120 days, or a set period of time, which may vary from lender to lender. If a debt is charged off, the lender may not be willing to work with the borrower.

What to Do If Your Student Loan Goes to Collections

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having debt in collections, there might be steps you can take.

First, you could talk to your collections agency. It might seem scary, and it may be tempting to ignore their calls and letters, but doing so isn’t going to make them stop. Remember: collections agencies want you to pay. It’s in their best interest for you to ultimately pay back your loan. In many ways, this is a situation in which the ball is in your court.

When you talk to them, the collections agency might offer options tailored to your individual circumstances, such as whether you have a job and what your income is. They might offer solutions such as allowing you to pay a discounted lump sum, or they might set up a low monthly payment plan if you don’t have a lot of income.

Having your loans in default or collections might have serious effects on your credit and your financial stability. If you’re afraid of defaulting on your loans, or if you already have, consider taking action as fast as you can. Taking control of the situation could help keep it from getting worse.

The Takeaway

In an ideal world, the best way to avoid going into student loan default in the first place is to make payments on time and in full — or, better yet, not to take out student loans in the first place. However, that’s not the world we live in. The cost of education is so high that many students who pursue a college degree will need some financial help along the way. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get in over your head with student loans.

If you’re reading this article about loans going into default or collections, you’re probably struggling to make your monthly payments. And that’s pretty scary. There are ways to make your monthly payments lower, such that you’re more confidently able to make them. If you have federal loans, looking into federal income-driven repayment plans may be a good idea.

If you have private and federal loans, you could also potentially consider refinancing your loans with a longer term. When you refinance your loans with a longer loan term, it will potentially cost you more in interest over the life of the loan. However, the (hopefully) lower monthly payments could help make ends easier to meet in the short term and keep you from worrying about imminent default.

Note that refinancing federal student loans eliminates them from federal borrower protections such as income-driven repayment plans or student loan deferment.

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Average student loan debt by profession

Average student loan debt by profession

What do a doctor, a lawyer, and a dentist have in common? It sounds like the setup to a joke, but the punchline is anything but funny. All of these professions may come with a staggering amount of student loan debt.

That’s because college costs have risen much faster than wages, and the average cost of a four-year degree has far outpaced the rate of inflation in the past 15 or so years. Meanwhile, in some cases wages have remained stagnant or have even dipped when adjusted for inflation, as certain industries have radically shifted over the past decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic created further volatility, especially for recent graduates, who may have entered an employment landscape with fewer job opportunities.

The pandemic and the 2020 election also brought student loan debt into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for reducing the debt held by 45 million Americans. Professional organizations have also lobbied for measures to curb ballooning student debt and provide smoother pathways for repayment.

Related: A guide to student loan forgiveness for nurses

DepositPhotos.com

What do a doctor, a lawyer, and a dentist have in common? It sounds like the setup to a joke, but the punchline is anything but funny. All of these professions may come with a staggering amount of student loan debt.

That’s because college costs have risen much faster than wages, and the average cost of a four-year degree has far outpaced the rate of inflation in the past 15 or so years. Meanwhile, in some cases wages have remained stagnant or have even dipped when adjusted for inflation, as certain industries have radically shifted over the past decade.

The COVID-19 pandemic created further volatility, especially for recent graduates, who may have entered an employment landscape with fewer job opportunities.

The pandemic and the 2020 election also brought student loan debt into the spotlight, with lawmakers calling for reducing the debt held by 45 million Americans. Professional organizations have also lobbied for measures to curb ballooning student debt and provide smoother pathways for repayment.

Related: A guide to student loan forgiveness for nurses

DepositPhotos.com

Student loan debt cuts across demographics and economic achievement, yet there are nuances.

Upper-income households are responsible for a disproportionate share of student loan debt. The highest-income 40% of households (those making over $74,000 a year) hold 60% of all student loan debt, accounting for three-quarters of all student loan payments, according to the Brookings Institution, citing recent data from the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

And while graduate programs enroll only 15% of all higher education students, the programs account for 40% of all federal student loans issued each year, according to the Center for American Progress. In other words: The more education you have, the more debt you may have as well, and a high salary only tells one part of someone’s financial story.

While it’s true that jobs for people with higher degrees can pay in the six figures, student loan debt can make a significant cut into earnings. Considering student loan debt, along with salary, can give a more complete picture of what kind of financial future many graduates face.

Here are professions whose graduates, on average, owe the most. This list is not exhaustive, and rankings can change based on different data sets.

Ta Nu/ istockphoto

Student loan debt cuts across demographics and economic achievement, yet there are nuances.

Upper-income households are responsible for a disproportionate share of student loan debt. The highest-income 40% of households (those making over $74,000 a year) hold 60% of all student loan debt, accounting for three-quarters of all student loan payments, according to the Brookings Institution, citing recent data from the Fed’s Survey of Consumer Finances.

And while graduate programs enroll only 15% of all higher education students, the programs account for 40% of all federal student loans issued each year, according to the Center for American Progress. In other words: The more education you have, the more debt you may have as well, and a high salary only tells one part of someone’s financial story.

While it’s true that jobs for people with higher degrees can pay in the six figures, student loan debt can make a significant cut into earnings. Considering student loan debt, along with salary, can give a more complete picture of what kind of financial future many graduates face.

Here are professions whose graduates, on average, owe the most. This list is not exhaustive, and rankings can change based on different data sets.

Ta Nu/ istockphoto

Graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars owed can be daunting. Even with a relatively high salary, oral surgeons with a large student loan burden find that the debt has a significant effect on their professional and personal decisions for decades to come, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The organization has lobbied for student loan reform, including halting interest accrual on student loans during an internship or residency, making sure fair income-based repayment structures are in place, and allowing qualified participants in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to have remaining loan balances forgiven earlier than the standard 10 years.

  • Average student loan debt: can top $400,000
  • Median salary: $291,100

DepositPhotos.com

Graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars owed can be daunting. Even with a relatively high salary, oral surgeons with a large student loan burden find that the debt has a significant effect on their professional and personal decisions for decades to come, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

The organization has lobbied for student loan reform, including halting interest accrual on student loans during an internship or residency, making sure fair income-based repayment structures are in place, and allowing qualified participants in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program to have remaining loan balances forgiven earlier than the standard 10 years.

  • Average student loan debt: can top $400,000
  • Median salary: $291,100

DepositPhotos.com

Like other dental school graduates, orthodontists may face substantial student loan debt. After dental school, orthodontists train for orthodonture during a residency that can last several years. A while back, an orthodontist named Mike Meru garnered worldwide headlines for racking up over $1 million in student loan debt.

The American Association of Orthodontists has supported legislation aimed at student loan reform: “Reducing interest rates and fees and allowing refinancing for today’s graduates are critical steps to helping them repay these loans sooner and more efficiently so they can begin to invest in their futures and careers,” Dr. Nahid Maleki, a former association president, has said.

  • Average student loan debt: $365,000
  • Median salary: $208,000

wutwhanfoto/istockphoto

Like other dental school graduates, orthodontists may face substantial student loan debt. After dental school, orthodontists train for orthodonture during a residency that can last several years. A while back, an orthodontist named Mike Meru garnered worldwide headlines for racking up over $1 million in student loan debt.

The American Association of Orthodontists has supported legislation aimed at student loan reform: “Reducing interest rates and fees and allowing refinancing for today’s graduates are critical steps to helping them repay these loans sooner and more efficiently so they can begin to invest in their futures and careers,” Dr. Nahid Maleki, a former association president, has said.

  • Average student loan debt: $365,000
  • Median salary: $208,000

wutwhanfoto/istockphoto

Less than 3% of all dentists are endodontists, according to the American Association of Endodontists, a specialty that requires two to three years of education and training beyond dentistry. This means that endodontists may shoulder a greater debt burden than their dental school counterparts.

“The high cost of a dental or medical education is a crippling problem and threatens the future of our specialty,” Dr. Keith V. Krell, then president of the American Association of Endodontists, said. The organization has supported legislation to “funnel more money into dental schools so that unreasonable tuition costs can be offset.”

  • Average student loan debt: $533,000
  • Median salary: $228,443

istockphoto/Harbucks

Less than 3% of all dentists are endodontists, according to the American Association of Endodontists, a specialty that requires two to three years of education and training beyond dentistry. This means that endodontists may shoulder a greater debt burden than their dental school counterparts.

“The high cost of a dental or medical education is a crippling problem and threatens the future of our specialty,” Dr. Keith V. Krell, then president of the American Association of Endodontists, said. The organization has supported legislation to “funnel more money into dental schools so that unreasonable tuition costs can be offset.”

  • Average student loan debt: $533,000
  • Median salary: $228,443

istockphoto/Harbucks

Many dental students bite off a lot of debt. While the dental industry can be thought of as relatively recession-proof (your aching tooth doesn’t care about market fluctuations), dental spending may become flat during and after lean times while the supply of dentists rises.

Navigating insurance as a dental practice can also be tricky for practice owners, and the field can be competitive and crowded for new dentists.

  • Average student loan debt: $292,169
  • Median dentist salary: $155,600

AntonioGuillem / istockphoto

Many dental students bite off a lot of debt. While the dental industry can be thought of as relatively recession-proof (your aching tooth doesn’t care about market fluctuations), dental spending may become flat during and after lean times while the supply of dentists rises.

Navigating insurance as a dental practice can also be tricky for practice owners, and the field can be competitive and crowded for new dentists.

  • Average student loan debt: $292,169
  • Median dentist salary: $155,600

AntonioGuillem / istockphoto

While radiologists can be high earners in the medical field, they also may hold a staggering amount of debt that accumulates during medical school and residency. The American College of Radiologists has supported legislation to halt interest accrual during residency.

Currently, residents can request deferment or forbearance on loans, depending on their circumstances, but even if granted, interest accrues. This can add thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to the balance of a radiologist’s student loan debt.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $509,000

peakSTOCK/istockphoto

While radiologists can be high earners in the medical field, they also may hold a staggering amount of debt that accumulates during medical school and residency. The American College of Radiologists has supported legislation to halt interest accrual during residency.

Currently, residents can request deferment or forbearance on loans, depending on their circumstances, but even if granted, interest accrues. This can add thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to the balance of a radiologist’s student loan debt.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $509,000

peakSTOCK/istockphoto

For many medical students, residency is when student loan debt balloons. Unlike their high-earning counterparts who may immediately begin earning six-figure salaries after grad school, med students earn an average of $61,200 during residency.

During this time, interest may accrue on loans. Increasing patient loads, malpractice vulnerabilities, and more have led to burnout in this profession. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a shortage in the speciality may be on the horizon.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $303,000

Inside Creative House/istockphoto

For many medical students, residency is when student loan debt balloons. Unlike their high-earning counterparts who may immediately begin earning six-figure salaries after grad school, med students earn an average of $61,200 during residency.

During this time, interest may accrue on loans. Increasing patient loads, malpractice vulnerabilities, and more have led to burnout in this profession. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a shortage in the speciality may be on the horizon.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $303,000

Inside Creative House/istockphoto

Residency requirements can cause interest accrual to add to the debt load of these medical professionals. The American Society of Anesthesiologists supports legislation that would allow borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on loans while in residency.

The legislation has been introduced to Congress but has not gained traction. The work of an anesthesiologist can be grueling: Some reports have shown that anesthesiologists have a higher risk of burnout than other physicians.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $395,000

Andrey Shevchuk

Residency requirements can cause interest accrual to add to the debt load of these medical professionals. The American Society of Anesthesiologists supports legislation that would allow borrowers to qualify for interest-free deferment on loans while in residency.

The legislation has been introduced to Congress but has not gained traction. The work of an anesthesiologist can be grueling: Some reports have shown that anesthesiologists have a higher risk of burnout than other physicians.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $395,000

Andrey Shevchuk

Also called a doctor, primary care physician, or family practitioner, a physician is an essential element of primary care of all ages, and can be a point of contact who works with other doctors to diagnose and treat patients. Not a medical specialty, this umbrella term can also refer to pediatricians and internal medicine doctors.

While the career path may not be as lucrative as some specialized medical careers, it offers intangible benefits, such as control over your hours worked and the ability to get to know your patients, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

But the salary compared with student loan debt can make the debt burdensome. The AAFP has advocated for federal loans and scholarship programs that target primary and family care as well as interest deferment during residency.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $206,500

DepositPhotos.com

Also called a doctor, primary care physician, or family practitioner, a physician is an essential element of primary care of all ages, and can be a point of contact who works with other doctors to diagnose and treat patients. Not a medical specialty, this umbrella term can also refer to pediatricians and internal medicine doctors.

While the career path may not be as lucrative as some specialized medical careers, it offers intangible benefits, such as control over your hours worked and the ability to get to know your patients, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP).

But the salary compared with student loan debt can make the debt burdensome. The AAFP has advocated for federal loans and scholarship programs that target primary and family care as well as interest deferment during residency.

  • Average student loan debt: $241,600
  • Median salary: $206,500

DepositPhotos.com

Members of one of the fastest-growing segments of health care, according to the American Osteopathic Association, osteopaths take a whole-person approach to medicine. Osteopaths may practice all medical specialties, but attend an osteopathic medical school where they receive specialized training in the musculoskeletal system.

The osteopathic association found that 86% of osteopathic medicine graduates have student loan debt. Like their medical school counterparts, osteopath students can be susceptible to burnout.

  • Average student loan debt: $240,331
  • Median salary: $208,000

ronstik/istockphoto

Members of one of the fastest-growing segments of health care, according to the American Osteopathic Association, osteopaths take a whole-person approach to medicine. Osteopaths may practice all medical specialties, but attend an osteopathic medical school where they receive specialized training in the musculoskeletal system.

The osteopathic association found that 86% of osteopathic medicine graduates have student loan debt. Like their medical school counterparts, osteopath students can be susceptible to burnout.

  • Average student loan debt: $240,331
  • Median salary: $208,000

ronstik/istockphoto

Pharmacists require undergraduate and graduate school degrees, and the career path can be varied upon graduation. Some pharmacists enter research and development, while others choose to work with patients in hospitals, clinics, or commercial settings.

This can allow for career flexibility for pharmacists, as they can balance family and personal obligations with a career. But student loan debt can become a burden for pharmacists that can affect their financial decisions for decades. 

As with other professions, the challenge becomes balancing debt with future financial goals such as saving adequately for retirement.

  • Average student loan debt:$179,514
  • Median salary: $125,000

DepositPhotos.com

Pharmacists require undergraduate and graduate school degrees, and the career path can be varied upon graduation. Some pharmacists enter research and development, while others choose to work with patients in hospitals, clinics, or commercial settings.

This can allow for career flexibility for pharmacists, as they can balance family and personal obligations with a career. But student loan debt can become a burden for pharmacists that can affect their financial decisions for decades. 

As with other professions, the challenge becomes balancing debt with future financial goals such as saving adequately for retirement.

  • Average student loan debt:$179,514
  • Median salary: $125,000

DepositPhotos.com

Educated at the master’s degree level, a physician assistant can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients and can often be a patient’s main health contact. A physician assistant does not have to go through the years of medical school and residency training of doctors but still must have hours of clinical experience.

The career is in demand, with three-quarters of graduates receiving multiple job offers after graduation, according to the American Association of Physician Assistants. But the student debt burden can be intense.

  • Average student loan debt: $112,500
  • Median salary $112,260

DepositPhotos.com

Educated at the master’s degree level, a physician assistant can diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication to patients and can often be a patient’s main health contact. A physician assistant does not have to go through the years of medical school and residency training of doctors but still must have hours of clinical experience.

The career is in demand, with three-quarters of graduates receiving multiple job offers after graduation, according to the American Association of Physician Assistants. But the student debt burden can be intense.

  • Average student loan debt: $112,500
  • Median salary $112,260

DepositPhotos.com

“Lawyer” has come to mean “high earner,” but the truth is much more nuanced. Lawyers have a large income discrepancy based on the type of law they pursue and the state they practice in. Nearly 75% of law school graduates have some form of student loan debt, and the average debt has risen in the past several decades.

For example, in 2000, law school graduates came out of the gate with an average of $59,000 (nearly $88,000, adjusted for inflation) in student loans, while today, new graduates have an average of $160,000 in cumulative debt. The American Bar Association has lobbied the government to provide student loan debt relief for lawyers.

  • Average student loan debt: $160,000
  • Median salary: $122,960

DepositPhotos.com

“Lawyer” has come to mean “high earner,” but the truth is much more nuanced. Lawyers have a large income discrepancy based on the type of law they pursue and the state they practice in. Nearly 75% of law school graduates have some form of student loan debt, and the average debt has risen in the past several decades.

For example, in 2000, law school graduates came out of the gate with an average of $59,000 (nearly $88,000, adjusted for inflation) in student loans, while today, new graduates have an average of $160,000 in cumulative debt. The American Bar Association has lobbied the government to provide student loan debt relief for lawyers.

  • Average student loan debt: $160,000
  • Median salary: $122,960

DepositPhotos.com

Physical therapists must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree, a three-year course after a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, physical therapists may do a residency or fellowship, or may begin practicing right away. Salaries can depend on the type of work a physical therapist pursues. Student debt can affect those decisions.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, 70% of respondents to a survey said debt caused anxiety. 

The association has been advocating for physical therapists on Capitol Hill, lobbying for more scholarship opportunities for therapists from underrepresented backgrounds and inclusion of physical therapists in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, a loan repayment program for health professionals.

  • Average student loan debt: $142,500
  • Median salary: $89,440

DepositPhotos.com

Physical therapists must earn a doctor of physical therapy degree, a three-year course after a bachelor’s degree. After graduation, physical therapists may do a residency or fellowship, or may begin practicing right away. Salaries can depend on the type of work a physical therapist pursues. Student debt can affect those decisions.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, 70% of respondents to a survey said debt caused anxiety. 

The association has been advocating for physical therapists on Capitol Hill, lobbying for more scholarship opportunities for therapists from underrepresented backgrounds and inclusion of physical therapists in the National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program, a loan repayment program for health professionals.

  • Average student loan debt: $142,500
  • Median salary: $89,440

DepositPhotos.com

Many people think a master of business administration degree translates into a high-salary career, and while it’s true that graduates of top programs often receive high pay offers, top programs are expensive, and there’s no guarantee that a job will result. 

So is an MBA worth it? That depends on your career goals.

Some people find that employers will pay for an MBA, and MBA studies, while rigorous, can sometimes be done alongside working, which means that MBA students may not necessarily lose out on a salary while getting their graduate degree.

  • Average student loan debt: $100,000
  • Average salary: $115,000

DepositPhotos.com

Many people think a master of business administration degree translates into a high-salary career, and while it’s true that graduates of top programs often receive high pay offers, top programs are expensive, and there’s no guarantee that a job will result. 

So is an MBA worth it? That depends on your career goals.

Some people find that employers will pay for an MBA, and MBA studies, while rigorous, can sometimes be done alongside working, which means that MBA students may not necessarily lose out on a salary while getting their graduate degree.

  • Average student loan debt: $100,000
  • Average salary: $115,000

DepositPhotos.com

Occupational therapists (OTs) need to obtain a master’s degree and satisfy licensing requirements, as well as supervised fieldwork. 

Like physical therapists, the salary progression for OTs depends on the type of work they pursue, and the type of work they pursue also affects the type of potential loan forgiveness that may work for their circumstances.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes that many students graduate with student loan debt that can be tough to pay back on a median OT salary. The association actively lobbied for occupational therapists during the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure their interests were covered under the CARES Act.

  • Average student loan debt: Varies
  • Median salary: $90,200

DepositPhotos.com

Occupational therapists (OTs) need to obtain a master’s degree and satisfy licensing requirements, as well as supervised fieldwork. 

Like physical therapists, the salary progression for OTs depends on the type of work they pursue, and the type of work they pursue also affects the type of potential loan forgiveness that may work for their circumstances.

The American Occupational Therapy Association recognizes that many students graduate with student loan debt that can be tough to pay back on a median OT salary. The association actively lobbied for occupational therapists during the COVID-19 pandemic to make sure their interests were covered under the CARES Act.

  • Average student loan debt: Varies
  • Median salary: $90,200

DepositPhotos.com

Nursing salaries—and the student loan debt that nurses carry—depend on education level. Nurses who have a master of science in nursing have the most student loan debt, while those who have a bachelor’s degree or associate degree have lower debt, but may have lower salaries as well. 

Scholarship opportunities for nurses can limit the necessity of student loans, and some nurses may qualify for forgiveness opportunities, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Nurse Corps Repayment Program, a federal program for nurses who work in high-need areas.

  • Average student loan debt (with master’s degree): $47,230
  • Median RN salary: $64,830

istockphoto/digitalskillet

Nursing salaries—and the student loan debt that nurses carry—depend on education level. Nurses who have a master of science in nursing have the most student loan debt, while those who have a bachelor’s degree or associate degree have lower debt, but may have lower salaries as well. 

Scholarship opportunities for nurses can limit the necessity of student loans, and some nurses may qualify for forgiveness opportunities, including the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program and the Nurse Corps Repayment Program, a federal program for nurses who work in high-need areas.

  • Average student loan debt (with master’s degree): $47,230
  • Median RN salary: $64,830

istockphoto/digitalskillet

The salary of a professional just starting out may seem fabulous but perhaps loses a bit of luster vis-a-vis a pile of student loan debt. With six-figure education debts common, professional organizations are lobbying for student loan relief and the ability for anyone of any financial circumstance to be able to pursue their professional dreams.

If you have student loans and think you could benefit from a lower interest rate, see what refinancing student debt could mean for you.

Learn More:

This article
originally appeared on 
SoFi.comand was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE  FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

DepositPhotos.com

The salary of a professional just starting out may seem fabulous but perhaps loses a bit of luster vis-a-vis a pile of student loan debt. With six-figure education debts common, professional organizations are lobbying for student loan relief and the ability for anyone of any financial circumstance to be able to pursue their professional dreams.

If you have student loans and think you could benefit from a lower interest rate, see what refinancing student debt could mean for you.

Learn More:

This article
originally appeared on 
SoFi.comand was
syndicated by
MediaFeed.org.


SoFi Student Loan Refinance

IF YOU ARE LOOKING TO REFINANCE FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT LEGISLATIVE CHANGES THAT HAVE SUSPENDED ALL FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PAYMENTS AND WAIVED INTEREST CHARGES ON FEDERALLY HELD LOANS UNTIL THE END OF SEPTEMBER DUE TO COVID-19. PLEASE CAREFULLY CONSIDER THESE CHANGES BEFORE REFINANCING FEDERALLY HELD LOANS WITH SOFI, SINCE IN DOING SO YOU WILL NO LONGER QUALIFY FOR THE FEDERAL LOAN PAYMENT SUSPENSION, INTEREST WAIVER, OR ANY OTHER CURRENT OR FUTURE BENEFITS APPLICABLE TO FEDERAL LOANS. CLICK HERE  FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Notice: SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income-Driven Repayment plans, including Income-Contingent Repayment or PAYE. SoFi always recommends that you consult a qualified financial advisor to discuss what is best for your unique situation.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Third Party Brand Mentions: No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.

DepositPhotos.com

Featured Image Credit: depositphotos.com.

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