Our Mission
Join the waitlist
September 28, 2022

Reflections From the Other Side of my PSLF Journey

Written by
David Flynn, MD, MBA

When I graduated medical school in 2012, I was burdened with nearly $400,000 in student debt with interest rates ranging from 6.8 to 8.5%. I was overwhelmed by this debt and received virtually no help from my medical school’s financial aid office. 

At the time, nobody was talking about PSLF, which was a new program promising federal loan forgiveness to those working for a government or non-profit employer for 10 years. In fact, nobody had their loans forgiven through the program until 2017, so it was even an untested program then as well. 

To learn more about PSLF, I spoke to several financial advisors before I graduated from medical school. They either had not heard of PSLF or told me it was a pipe dream and advised me to refinance my loans with a private lender. Following this advice would have been very costly. 

These advisors thought they were giving me good advice, but did not have the specialized knowledge required to pro

In retrospect, this is but one example of traditional financial advisors not necessarily holding a physician’s best interests in mind. Instead of blindly listening to these advisors, I spent countless hours studying the PSLF program myself. Through my own research, I was certain that I could qualify and was determined to make the most of the program.

It is now 10 years (and 120 payments) later. My loans are nearing forgiveness. This is a tremendous relief, but has come at a high personal cost in terms of time spent seeking information, talking to my loan processor, or worrying that I had made mistakes that would make me ineligible for PSLF.

Looking back, I’m really glad I decided to pursue PSLF, but I really wish my journey through it wasn’t so hard. I wish I had had access to trustable information and advisors from the outset. I wish I didn’t have to practically become a self-certified CFA to determine my eligibility and weigh the financial pros and cons of the program. I wish I didn’t have to worry whether the Department of Education or my servicer was improperly counting my payments, rendering void years of diligent payments. 

One reason I decided to join Attend is to make sure nobody has to endure the endless research, worry, and bad advice that plagued my 10-year journey through PSLF. With Attend, the next generation of doctors will be able to feel confident in their choices and certainty in their outcomes.

You Might Like