If you're a Georgia resident, then you probably know that Georgia has put a lot of money toward higher education by funding tuition programs like the HOPE Scholarship and the Zell Miller Scholarship for college students.
The good news for those who have already graduated is that the State also funds a number of loan repayment programs.
The Georgia Board for Physician Workforce administers five loan repayment programs that are geared toward incentivizing those in the medical profession to work in rural or underserved areas of the state that have limited access to health care providers.
The State of Georgia administers five separate loan repayment programs, each aimed at a particular profession in the health care field.
|Loan Program||Max Annual Award||Max Years|
|Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Program||$25,000||4|
|Dentists for Rural Areas Assistance Program||$25,000||4|
|Physician Assistant Loan Repayment Program||$10,000||4|
|Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Loan Repayment Program||$10,000||4|
|Georgia Physician Loan Repayment Program||$25,000||4|
The first four programs are all funded entirely by the State of Georgia and have similar guidelines.
The Georgia Physician Loan Repayment Program (GPLRP) provides a similar award to the Physicians for Rural Areas Assistance Program but has slightly different guidelines. It is funded by the state of Georgia along with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
The GPLRP is aimed specifically at those physicians practicing in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, geriatrics or psychiatry. As opposed to the rural work requirement of the other Georgia loan repayment programs, physicians participating in GPLRP must practice in a Health Professional Shortage Area, as determined by the HRSA.
Contracts are awarded on a 2-year basis and are able to renewed for one additional 2-year term.
All loans taken in association with completing the relevant degree (i.e., medical, dental, etc) are eligible. Loans taken out to complete other degrees are not eligible.
To apply to any of the Georgia loan repayment programs, you will need to have information about your current loans as well as a signed employment contract (or client contracts, if you own your own practice). Find additional information and all the contracts on the Georgia Board for Physician Workforce website.
If you're a Georgia resident but not in the medical field or not able to work in one of the designated areas, don't lose heart. There are several other options to reduce your monthly payments and make your debt load more manageable — no matter where you live or what your career is.
If Georgia doesn't provide a forgiveness program that meets your needs, the Federal Government might. Several industries benefit from career-specific programs. Check out our ultimate list of grants to pay off your student loans to find a program that could benefit you.
There are also programs that borrowers in any field can use. For instance, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program discharges student loans after 10 years for borrowers working for eligible non-profit organizations or government agencies — in careers ranging from elementary school teacher to civil rights attorney.
Anyone with federal loans is eligible to apply for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. IDR plans are exactly what they sound like — repayment plans that are governed by your income rather than your loan balance. Under an IDR plan, your payments are capped at an amount between 10% and 20% of your discretionary income.
For some borrowers, an IDR creates a drastic reduction in their monthly payments, but depending on your discretionary income and repayment terms, you could end up paying more than you are right now. Before you apply, research the available plans and use a calculator to determine what your payments would be.
Refinancing your student loans with a private lender is one of the only ways to reduce your monthly payment while simultaneously decreasing the amount you'll pay over the life of the loan. That's because when you refinance, you don't just change your repayment term or reallocate your payments — you lower your interest rate.
Even a reduction of a point could save you thousands of dollars. In fact, the average borrower who refinances saves an average of $258 per month and more than $16,000 over the life of their loan.
Find out how much you could save by refinancing your student loans.
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.
Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.