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Is this a lot in student loans?

Devin2019Devin2019 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
Hello,

I am going into my third year of undergrad. I am a Biology major with intentions of becoming a Physician Assistant. So far I owe $15,840 in loans. I do not plan on applying to PA school right after I finish undergrad. I plan on working as probably a Licensed Practical Nurse or a Phlebotomist for a few years then applying. I plan on paying off these loans monthly. Would this take a long time to pay back?
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Replies to: Is this a lot in student loans?

  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,921 Senior Member
    Well...if you have two more years...you will have about $32,000 in loans...right? Pay beck would be about $350-400 a month for 10 years....but it all depends on the terms of your loan.

    Do you already have phlebotomist or LPN training and license? If not, when will you do that...and how much will that cost?
  • Devin2019Devin2019 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    @thumper1 Actually $15,840 is how much I would owe after this year. I plan on taking out a loan for $4,500 this upcoming year which would leave me owing $15,840 after this upcoming year. I do not currently have phlebotomist or LPN training. What I planned on doing was maybe working as a Medical Scribe for at least two years, and while I'm doing that take the necessary courses to obtain an LPN or Phlebotomist license. I'm not sure how much that would cost.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,921 Senior Member
    What will your TOTAL loans be for undergrad?

    Is there a community college where you can do LPN or phlebotomist training? Maybe you should look into,the requirements..and costs of these programs to help you make a more informed decision.
  • Devin2019Devin2019 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    @thumper1 I estimate my total loans for undergrad would probably be about $25,000. And I haven't thought about doing the training at a community college. That will definitely save some money. I will definitely look into that.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,476 Senior Member
    Why aren't you applying to be a PA immediately?
    Normally I would say keep debt free but a PA has potential of a great salary which would pay off debt easily.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,921 Senior Member
    @gpuf has a good point...plus while you are IN PA school....your loans would be in deferral.
  • Devin2019Devin2019 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    @gouf78 @thumper1 The reason why I'm not applying immediately is because with PA school, you have to have a certain amount of Healthcare hours to be a competitve applicant. The more hours you have, the better. That is why I stated I would like to work either as an LPN or a Phlebotomist for a few years before applying so I can have the hours and that experience. Also, when you're in grad school, your loan payments are postponed until you're finished? I didn't know that.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 61,921 Senior Member
    If you continue in grad school...your loans will be deferred.

    If you do something else after undergrad...your loans will come due 6 months after graduation....and you will begin repayment.
  • Jamrock411Jamrock411 Registered User Posts: 438 Member
    edited June 16
    Not all PA Programs require Direct Patient Care (DPC) hours. Also, I know a number of current PA students who were CNAs during undergrad and got the DPC hours (~2K hours) as a CNA. It is fairly easy to become a CNA and a lot less expensive than pursuing a LPN/Phlebotomist certification.

    A number of vocational high schools also offers LPN programs. OP, what state do you live in?
  • SybyllaSybylla Registered User Posts: 954 Member
    CMA would be quicker than LPN and probably nicer work. Not CNA IMO. Not if you can choose.
  • Devin2019Devin2019 Registered User Posts: 29 New Member
    I live in Michigan. @Jamrock411
  • KKmamaKKmama Registered User Posts: 2,678 Senior Member
    Regular home care jobs that do not require a CNA certification also count as contact hours. Get a summer job or weekend during school job now and the hours will add up. My kid got her hours that way.
  • mommdcmommdc Registered User Posts: 8,201 Senior Member
    Or EMT training if it is low cost.
  • ordinarylivesordinarylives Registered User Posts: 2,855 Senior Member
    An LPN program is a one year, full time program. It is not a very cost effective way to get direct patient care hours. CNA certification could be earned over a few weeks in the summer. Look around. We have a few facilities that will provide the training/certification if you agree to work there.
  • NJRoadieNJRoadie Registered User Posts: 395 Member
    I earned my phlebotomist certification 2 nights a week for 16 weeks, with a full week of hospital work time to get my practice draws (on real patients) in. This was 10 or so years ago in NJ thru a VoTech type program. You have to take and pass a certification test on top of this, pass a urine test for drugs etc. Phlebotomy doesn't pay well at all and is a job that is a chicken and egg scenario (have to have experience to get hired, how to get that experience without being hired?) . Ultimately I learned a lot and went into another field.

    http://www.ssreg.com/hcpolytech/classes/classes.asp?catID=5396

    Is where the class was. It was $1,000. Full time pay is about $30,000 a year IF you can get a job with no experience. The jobs I saw were all part time and hourly.

    My college roommate is a Phys, Assistant, she went straight from working a basic lab technician (i.e. chemical analysis of samples) job to PA school in Pennsylvania.

    I don't think your debt sounds bad, but I think your post Bach degree plans need some fine tuning :) best of luck to you!
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