Primary Care Loan
The Primary Care Loan is a federal loan that was
created to encourage medical students to choose
careers in the primary care field.
The Primary Care Loan is available to medical students who demonstrate financial need and who plan to enter a residency training program in the following areas:
- Family medicine
- Internal medicine
- Combined medicine/pediatrics
- Preventive medicine
- Osteopathic general practice
The residency program must be completed within four years of graduation and you must practice primary care for either 10 years (including the years spent in residency training) or through the date on which the loan is repaid in full, whichever occurs first. If you are not firmly committed to the practice of primary healthcare, you should not accept a Primary Care Loan.
Consideration is given to third- and fourth-year students
who are willing to commit to practicing in the primary
care field until the loan is paid in full.
To qualify, you must be able to demonstrate financial need and include your parents' financial
information on your FAFSA or Renewal FAFSA. The
only exceptions are if both parents are deceased or you are an independent student who is at least 24 years old and can provide documentation showing that you have been independent for at least three years. Be aware
that if you take this loan but do not enter and complete a
primary care residency program before the loan is paid
in full, the terms of the loan will change.
Note: Recipients of loans made prior to March 23, 2010 are required to practice in primary healthcare until the loan is paid in full.
Annual Loan Limits
- Loan limits vary from year to year depending on funding levels but
will be equal to at least the amount of tuition plus fees.
- When the grace period ends, interest begins to accrue at a
rate of five percent, unless you are eligible to defer payment.
- The loan does not accrue interest while you are in school or
during your residency.
Repayment of the Primary Care Loan may be deferred for:
- Up to four years in an eligible primary healthcare residency program.
- Up to three years as a volunteer under the Peace Corps Act practicing in an eligible primary healthcare activity.
- Up to three years as a member of a uniformed service. To be eligible for deferment, you must be on sustained full-time active duty practicing in an eligible primary healthcare activity in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Corps, or the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.
- After you cease to be a full-time student, you are granted a 12-month
grace period before repayment begins. You have up to 25 years to repay the loan.
- If you accept the loan but do not fulfill your service obligation, the outstanding loan balance will be computed annually at an interest rate of two percent greater than the rate you would pay if compliant. For recipients of loans made prior to March 23, 2010 who fail to fulfill the service obligation, the outstanding loan balance will be computed annually at an interest rate of 18 percent from the date of noncompliance.
- If you borrow a Primary Care Loan but fail to complete your medical school
education, the primary health service obligation may be waived. Your obligation is resumed if you return to medical school to complete your education.
- The Primary Care Loan is not eligible for consolidation because of the service obligation.