Federal guidelines no longer permit training program s to certify student loan deferments on the basis of "full-time graduate student" status. Depending upon the lending institution and type of student loan, residents may be eligible for consideration of deferment on the basis on their internship and residency. Federal guidelines over the past few years have been changing and, depending on the date the original loans were made and the type of loan, deferment for residency status is typically not granted beyond the first or second year of post graduate training (after medical school). Once any applicable deferment and grace periods have been exhausted, residents are usually eligible to request an economic hardship or forbearance status, at which time interest begins accruing.
Note that students now having Federal Perkins Loans are ineligible for internship deferment status.
Residents having student loans and needing to request deferments and/or forbearance should contact their lending agency(ies) to ask for blank deferment or forbearance forms. Once a blank form is received, the resident should complete the "borrower" information, sign the form, and then send it to the Graduate Medical Education Office to be completed and signed by the Director of Graduate Medical Education (Pamela Scott). The office staff will then mail the form to the appropriate lending institution. Copies of these completed forms are maintained in each resident's file in the Graduate Medical Education Office in case questions arise.
Recently, our office has learned that certain "emergency" or short-term loans you may have obtained during your college or medical school education may not be eligible for either internship deferment or forbearance. Please check with your school and lending institution about these loans.
Residents who are to begin training can forward deferment and forbearance forms to the Graduate Medical Education Office; however, Ms. Scott cannot verify your residency status until your training actually begins (e.g., July 1).
The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) have some very good information on its website to provide debt management and loan repayment information for residents. Click on the links on the right-hand menu to access these from the AAMC website. In particular, there is an abundance of information via the link to FIRST (Financial Information , Resources, Services, and Tools for Medical Education).
You may also wish to speak with a financial counselor/advisor. The University does not have an individual who can assist with financial advice; however, it does offer various deferred income plans in which you can elect to participate. One of the companies that UT deals with is Valic. The Chattanooga representative is Ken Span. He may be contacted at (423) 238-7618. Another financial advisor is located at Erlanger, Chris Eslinger of Met Life, another company approved for investment via UT. Chris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.