Loan Programs

As a medical student, certain special loan programs are available, the primary sources being the Stafford Loan Programs. Borrowing limits as follows:

  • Federal Stafford Loans:
    Unsubsidized: $40,500
  • Federal Graduate PLUS Loan for students: Cost of Education less any other estimated financial assistance
  • Private Medical Loan: (depends on lender)

A student may not be eligible for the full amount based on his/her federal needs analysis and the WCUCOM standardized budget. The amount a student can borrow is based on the cost of his/her education and potential personal contributions, not on the student’s desire for capital.

The Subsidized Stafford Loan is a low-interest program, and the government pays the interest while the student borrower is in school. It is the loan of first choice. The Unsubsidized Stafford accrues interest from disbursement date. Borrowers must consider the repayment implications and avoid excessive borrowing. WCUCOM has a federally mandated obligation to keep a student’s indebtedness to a minimum. A student will frequently receive counseling through the Office of Financial Aid many times while in school about the nature of his or her debt and the projected payment schedule.

Borrowing money from these programs is a privilege, not a right; regulations controlling these programs change periodically. Students must remember that a loan is not a gift or grant; it must be repaid. Student loans are only to be used for related educational expenses and personal living expenses.

Default is the failure of a borrower to make an installment payment when due or to meet other terms of the promissory note. If this happens, it is reasonable to conclude that the borrower no longer intends to honor the obligation to repay. Defaulted loans are reported to national credit agencies, thus affecting credit ratings and future ability to borrow money. Over-borrowing can cause defaulting on a student loan. This is why educational debt management is essential. WCUCOM encourages students to learn some basic budgeting techniques, to learn to cut costs, and possibly to learn to live with less.

If a student’s loan goes into default, the University, the organization that holds the loan, the state, and the federal government can all take action to recover the money. The federal government and the loan agencies can deny a school’s participation in the student loan programs or charge a school or its students a higher origination fee if the school’s default rate is too high. The University will withhold the transcript of any individual if that individual is in arrears or in default under any loan or loan program, where such arrears or default adversely affects the University in any way.