While choosing a career path, well-paid positions might not always be the best choice. For example, although a periodontist career is highly rewarding, it leaves thousands of professionals with considerable student debt. Therefore, in return for a good periodontist salary and reputation, you might sacrifice years of peaceful mind to debt challenges. You can only avoid such a burden by analyzing the costs and benefits of a periodontist career in terms of its financial impact.
This guide helps you identify if taking a student loan for a periodontist education is worth your efforts. In more detail, it explains when it is a good or bad idea to accumulate student debt. Prior to making any decision regarding getting a student loan, read this guide carefully. You can find answers to this question in our guide:
- When are Student Loans Good/Bad?
- How Much Debt is Good Debt?
- How High is Periodontist Salary?
- What are the Qualifications for Professional Periodontists?
- What is the Average Periodontist Student Debt?
- Is it worth getting a Student Loan for a Periodontist Career?
- What Type of Student Loans are Available for Periodontist Education?
- What are the Repayment Methods for Periodontists?
Before We Start…
Choosing your education area is a significant decision impacting years of your life. Your educational achievements will determine how you will spend the rest of your life after graduation. Sure, periodontist salary is promising- with high salary opportunity. However, keep in mind that student debt can accumulate quickly, and you can find yourself in bigger trouble lasting tens of years.
Therefore, we would advise you to get expert help before you make any critical decisions. Debt experts, like those in Student Loans Resolved, can help you design your financials so that you would not struggle with debt challenges in the future. In addition, debt specialists have years of experience in repayment procedures and eligibility for forgiveness programs. Hence, they can also guide you throughout the repayment period and help you get rid of the debt quickly.
When are Student Loans Good/Bad?
When talking about student debt, or debt, in general, many people immediately create negative associations. However, student debt is neither a challenge nor a barrier to a financially stable future.
Even opposite, student debt allows many people in need of financial resources to get their dream education. Specifically, federal student loans come with low-interest rates and long repayment periods, which helps borrowers to pay out debt effortlessly.
Student debt is good if you understand your obligations fully and prepare for them. However, it becomes a bad choice when you blindly accumulate student debt with a low probability of finding a decent job in the future.
Besides, getting loans in excessive amounts (more than what you really need for educational costs), not repaying the debt on time, ignoring the loan servicer’s communications, not understanding the loan terms, etc., will contribute to your long-lasting debt struggles.
How Much Debt is Good Debt?
When talking about debt volume, it is not possible to establish an exact threshold. In other words, we cannot generalize that student debt more than ‘X’ amount is bad, and less than this amount is okay. Optimal student debt level depends on many factors, including the probability of finding a job, the future expected income, educational costs, etc.
Accordingly, you need to consider the periodontist salary and debt needed to get an education that will make you fully qualified.
The Student Debt-to-Income ratio can help you find optimal debt levels and evaluate if you can afford the loans. It is a simple financial tool helping students compare the debt costs with benefits.
To calculate this ratio, you will need to know your yearly education cost, including transport, accommodation, tuition fee, expenses, books, and supplies. Besides, you need to find your expected future income, but in pessimistic terms. In other words, the lowest possible salary is helpful because it will reduce your risks.
How High is Periodontist Salary?
Periodontists deal with gums and bone diseases in the mouth. They can perform both surgical and non-surgical treatment for the patients. Besides, their main duties include replacement of dental implants, creating a treatment plan, understanding the patient’s concerns, etc. The average periodontist salary in the U.S equals $175,000 according to Payscale and $208,000 according to Indeed.
For an entry-level position, it is possible to earn around $150,000 per year. Some of the highest paying cities in the U.S are Greenville, Worcester, and Scranton. Meanwhile, the lowest-paying areas are Ventura, Portland, and Chicago.
What are the Qualifications for Professional Periodontists?
The numbers for Periodontist salary are promising. At first glance, you might think there is a high probability for you to find a well-paid position once you graduate. However, such an approach does not consider what you have to do to become a qualifying professional periodontist.
Throughout your education years, you have to ensure that your qualifications match employment opportunities. In this way, you can find a better job and repay your debt effectively. Otherwise, debt repayment will be a challenge regardless of its amount.
In general, professional periodontists are expected to go to dental school and then specialize as periodontists. In other words, you should be either a Doctor of Dental Surgery or a Doctor of Medical Practice.
Besides degree, residency is required, which can be up to five years. Another qualification is getting a license to perform this job. Otherwise, it is hard to practice medicine. Additionally, if you can register with the American Board of Periodontology, your qualifications will increase, and you will be eligible for well-paid positions.
In terms of soft skills, interpersonal communication, problem-solving, and detail orientation are necessary. In addition, you will be a better professional if you stay up-to-date with new technologies and methods to perform your job.
All these requirements will help you qualify for a higher periodontist salary. In this way, you will not bother yourself with student loan repayments for periodontist education.
What is the Average Periodontist Student Debt?
Another element of the student debt-to-Periodontist salary ratio is the expected cost of education. Educational costs can include various items, such as tuition fees, boarding, transport, funds for books, equipment, supplies, etc. In general, during 2020, the average student debt was around $300,000. This number was lower- $270,000- for public schools and higher- $350,000- for public schools.
If you plan to get a Periodontist education, there is a high likelihood that you will need to apply for educational loans. Lately, only 17% of dental school graduates did not have any student debt. Therefore, we will also explain to you your student loan options for Periodontist education in subsequent sections.
Is it Worth Getting a Student Loan for a Periodontist Career?
Now the question remains whether it is worth getting a Periodontist education with student loans. First, let’s calculate the student debt-to-income ratio for an average Periodontist. Then, we will share some tips to effectively repay your loans.
Let’s assume an average Periodontist has $300,000 student debt for a dental school (which is $75,000) yearly and later earns $170,000 per year. In this case, the debt-to-income ratio will equal $75,000 over $170,000. This calculation will result in a 44% ratio.
Generally speaking, debt experts advise the ratio to be 8-12%. However, compared to this threshold, the calculated ratio can seem pretty high, so challenging for the borrowers.
However, keep in mind that the ratio is not the final indicator. If you believe that your qualifications are worthy and you will find a better-paying job opportunity, you can take student loans. If you are still unsure, here are some tips to lower the ratio:
- Increase expected income – in some places, periodontist salary is higher than in other salaries. Consider if you can move and work in a better-paid position. Alternatively, improve your qualifications to get a well-paid job than $170,000. You can also find additional ways of making money.
- Decrease educational costs – consider finding student loans with lower interest rates. Additionally, eliminate any unnecessary costs that increase your student debt volume. Search for scholarships or grants that can replace funding through loans.
What Type of Student Loans are Available for Periodontist Education?
You can effectively plan repayment for student debt if you choose the right student loan in the first place. Try to find the loan type that matches your qualifications and provides the best rates.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are known for their favorable terms. Compared to private loans, this type of debt requires almost the lowest interest rates. Besides, federal loan borrowers can access multiple repayment plans with different repayment amounts and payback periods. Even better, several student loan forgiveness programs and discharge possibilities exist for federal borrowers. Here are the types of federal loans you can access.
2. Direct Subsidized Loans
If you are looking for cheap undergraduate loans, Direct Subsidized loans are for you. As the name suggests, you need to prove a financial need to qualify for this student debt type. During the study period or even six months after graduation, you will not be required to repay the debt. When it is time for repayment, your interest rate will be 3.73% fixed. However, keep in mind that this rate is subject to change.
3. Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Direct Unsubsidized loans do not require having a financial need, so its interest rate is higher- 5.28% with the possibility of changing next year. It is possible for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Similar repayment and forgiveness opportunities exist.
- PLUS Loans
PLUS loans cover the amount that other financial aid programs do not. It is available to parents of undergraduate students and graduate/professional students. In the first case, this student loan is called Parent PLUS, and Grad or Graduate PLUS in the next case. The interest rate for the loan is fixed at 6.28% for loans disbursed from 2021 July to 2022 July.
Besides federal loans, you can also qualify for private loans. Private loans do not bring the same benefits- forgiveness programs or reduced interest rates- as federal loans do. However, they can be a source of funding you need when you do not qualify for federal debt.
In terms of eligibility, private lenders usually require a credit check. If your credit score is not high, you can ask your friends or family members who have good credit performance to be your co-signer.
Additionally, when you look for private lenders, try to choose the most reliable ones. Those with the lowest interest rates and not high reputations should be approached with caution. Read the loan terms carefully, and ask the right questions regarding your repayment beforehand.
What are the Repayment Methods for Periodontists?
If you have federal loans, there exist many ways to get rid of your debt quickly, even without repaying the debt with your Periodontist salary. Below we introduce you to several programs designed for dental professionals. We give you only a brief introduction, so make sure you go through the details of programs you think might benefit you.
1. NHSC Loan Repayment
NHSC Loan repayment program is available to Doctors of Dental Surgery or Medicine in Dentistry with specialties in general or pediatric dentistry. Besides, Dental Hygienists can also qualify for this program which grants $50,000 repayment for two-year full-time service in underserved areas. If you plan to work half-time, the loan forgiveness amount is $25,000.
You will need to have a license, qualified education, and work in an NHSC-approved facility for eligibility.
2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a federal debt cancellation program. It grans full forgiveness once the borrower makes 120 qualifying payments. It is available to direct loan borrowers. You need to work in a federal, state, tribal, local or non-profit organization during the payment period.
Currently, the Biden administration is unsatisfied with the effectiveness of this program. Hence, they plan to simplify the program. However, it will take some time as they are still discussing with experts and collecting comments from borrowers on making the program more accessible.
3. State Forgiveness Programs
Luckily, if you get an education in dental care, you can access some state programs. Almost every state provides repayment or scholarship opportunities for dental professionals. For example, it is possible to earn around $35,000 per year of service with Alaska’s SHARP program. You can find the comprehensive list of programs based on the state on the official website of the American Dental Education Association.
4. Income-Driven Repayment Plans
Income-Driven repayment plans help federal a borrower to make the repayment according to his/her periodontist salary. This repayment plan is affordable as you will pay less if you earn less. Even better, it is possible to get forgiveness with Income-Driven plans. Once the payback period ends, the remaining debt balance is forgiven. It usually takes 20-25 years for the payback period, and the exact length depends on which Income-Driven repayment plan you choose. There exist different types of this plan, such as Income-Based/ Contingent, Revised PAYE, or PAYE.
5. Private Loan Forgiveness
It is not possible to access several forgiveness programs when you have private loans. It is almost impossible to get your loans canceled through private programs. Only a few private lenders allow discharge of student debt in case of death or total and permanent disability.
One of the best options for private loan borrowers is Student Loan Refinancing. It is a strategy that helps to achieve several goals- decreasing interest rates, saving money in the long term, changing annoying lenders, improving credit scores, etc.
Refinancing happens when borrowers get a new student loan and uses the funds to cover the existing loan. For example, the existing loan can be with a high interest rate. Then you find out that market interest rates decreased, and you can get a new loan with much lower interest.
In this case, you get a new loan in the amount to cover the whole balance of a more expensive loan. As a result, you save money from repayment, you change the lender, and your credit performance increases because you paid out debt.
Summary of the Guide
This guide discussed if getting a student loan is worth periodontist education and how to evaluate your options. The answer to whether the education is worth the debt depends on many factors, such as periodontist salary levels, average debt required, your qualifications, student loan type you choose, future forgiveness opportunities, etc. In general, if you calculate the student debt-to-income ratio and get a low result, it is affordable to get the loan.