Top 3 strategies YOU can implement to pay off your student loan debt FAST!


1. Change your mindset.

A lot of us have limiting beliefs about money.

-I can’t pay off my debt in 5 years

-I have to work hard for my money

-I don’t have enough money to invest

-I’ll be working until I’m 80

-I will always be in debt

Do any of those statements resonate with you?

Those limiting beliefs will sabotage your debt repayment journey.

By changing your mindset, and having a healthy relationship with money, you can be out of debt in 5 years or less. When I graduated from dental school, I had $ 250,000 in student loans and was very bitter towards money and life in general. I felt that I was sold a lie. I was told that I would be able to make $ 150,000-$250,000 per year easily and not to worry about my student loan debt. For months after graduation, I couldn’t find a decent job. With time running out and grace period ending soon, I took a job paying $ 95,000. In Massachusetts!! I was so bitter, frustrated, angry at myself and the system. What I quickly realized is that that negative mindset was matching a negative bank account. By changing my mindset, I have been able to pay off $ 250,000 in student loans in 4 years. Once you make that mental shift, everything changes. It’s like an Aha-moment. Dr. U (one of my client pediatrician and mother of 3) is on her way to paying off $ 537,365 in 4 years!!! It was her goal to pay off her loans by the time she turns 40. I started working with her during the pandemic, and with a change of mindset, she has been able to start attacking her debt by using several debt repayment strategies that I taught her.


2. Utilize loan repayment programs

There are several loan repayment programs available that can pay a portion of your debt while you work in a specific area for 2-4 years.


A. State loan repayment program

The following links apply to dentists, pharmacists, physicians and veterinarians where there are several loan repayment options to drastically reduce the student loan debt.

MA for example has a program where they pay $ 50,000 towards student loans for eligible health professionals. Find out from your state if you are eligible. Google {your state} loan repayment program! I actually used the MA loan repayment program. You can check out more info featuring my story by reading this article.


B. National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program.

They offer up to $50,000 in tax-free student loan repayment eligible health professionals who work at least two years in a Health Professional Shortage Area. Definitely look into this if you work at an FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Center) or a clinic in a rural area. A few pediatric dentists and pediatricians have been able to have their offices located in a rural area become a federally qualified clinic where they are eligible for loan repayment funds.


C. Faculty loan repayment program.

They offer up to $ 25,000 towards student loans for eligible docs who teach in schools.


D. National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs.

They offer up to $50,000 in student loan repayment per year for doctors conducting research for an average of at least 20 hours/week.


E. Indian Health Service Loan Repayment Program.

They offer up to $40,000 in student loan repayment for docs who work for at least two years in communities that serve American Indian or Alaska Native populations.


PLEASE NOTE: It’s important to “match” the loan repayment program, meaning, if they are paying $ 25,000 towards your student loans in a year, you do the same, pay $25,000 or more towards your student loans.


3. Refinance!!

Refinancing entails having a private lender pay off your student loans and replacing them with a new interest rate and repayment schedule. The reason why debt slows wealth creation is because you are paying interests when you should be earning them instead by investing…and they are high interest rates for that matter. Some of those interest rates are up to 10%!

One of the best things that I did was refinance my student loan debt. I was able to go from 7.9% to 1.975%.

There are several refinancing companies: Splash Financial, CommonBond, Education loan finance, Sofi, Laurel Road are just a few of them.

Student loan debt, unfortunately, always have high interest rates associated with them. Refinancing can help docs reduce how much they are paying towards interests drastically. Before applying for refinancing, just make sure that your debt to income ratio is at less than 40%.


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Disclaimer: The post is for informational and educational purposes only.  Please consult your financial adviser for appropriate financial advice. 

Caroline Clerisme, DMD