Direct Loans offers USPHS deferments!

on September 4th, 2005 | Filed under Optoblog

*Edit* Whoops. Someone brought to my attention that to get this deferment, you had to have had a loan before 1993. So disregard most of my lamenting below. Still, why would an established optometrist need a deferment? I would think they’d give it to us younger, income-deficient USPHS officers.

Holy Cow! All this time I’ve been paying back my student loans when I could have deferred them if they had come out with this sooner!
They have had Armed Forces and Peace Corps deferment for a long time, but the USPHS and NOAA deferment must be recent because the last time I checked the website 3 months ago, they didn’t have this.
I think I’m going to cry. I’ve been paying back my loans for the last 2 years because the IHS Loan Repayment program lately hasn’t had enough money to give more than one new award each year. The awards are based mostly on how remote you are, and while I’m in Montana, 2 hours from the closest Big Box Store, there are others more remote in places up in Alaska.
Getting paid half as much as an established practitioner, and 3/4 as much as classmates who went commercial hasn’t been easy. I like to think that the benefits make up for it, and they do; however, I would have liked to save the money towards starting my own practice. Oh well.
Now that I’m leaving, the Dept. of Education finally recognizes the USPHS.

*edit* The deferment may be used a maximum of 36 months.

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