The Debt Card

So I've noticed a couple debt postings over the past week, so I'm hopping on the bandwagon too. I just received my bill for the spring semester of year 2: I now owed something on the order of $117,000. I've never even seen $1000 in cash, I can picture $100, but I cannot fathom owing that much money without having seen more than 10% of it hit my bank account at one time.

To bring that down to my level, I've come up with some nice equivalents to help myself out. Please stick with me until you find an equivalence that hits home:
  • A Mercedes Benz SL550 with every option possible- $120,000
  • A house somewhere in the mid west
  • A Fender Stratocaster owned and played by Jimi Hendrix himself
  • A 36' YACHT
  • 75 Karats of Diamonds attached to a platinum necklace
  • Over 9 pounds of solid gold at the current price of $795.20/oz.
  • 80 years eating 4 items off the dollar menu at Wendy's every day
Now, lets keep in mind that I've wracked up this debt over the course of the past two years, so about $57,500/year. It would probably seem that I could live a cushy lifestyle on that. However, subtracting out tuition, books, car, health insurance, rent and everything else, I'm left with about $10,000 for the incidentals of daily living. It would be amazing if that just included food, gas, girlfriend, and fun, but I'm also stuck paying for professional clothing, books, mandatory medical equipment, mandatory exam fees, professional association fees, ...all on just over $27 dollars a day.

I am currently projected to have something on the order of $260,000 in debt after medical school. Sure it's "good debt" but really, I'm going to have to enter a fairly lucrative and short residency to actually be able to pay it off in a reasonable amount of time. My repayment plan calculator says that I'll be paying $3,000 a month at 6.8% for the next 10 years and that I will actually end up paying on the order of $360,000 when all is said and done. 6 digits of interest...great. At that rate, I'll be 26 when I get my MD, 29 by the time that I enter repayment after deferring for residency and 39 by the time that I finish repayment. Something to think about when you're filling out your AMCAS while watching Scrubs/Gray's Anatomy and thinking how awesome your life is going to be.

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