Student loan debt impacts all sorts of Americans, but for recent veterinary graduates, the debt can be crushing. So much so that last month the VIN Foundation launched a new resource center for student loan borrowers that was dubbed the Student Debt Center.
The Student Debt Center is aiming to be a resource for everything related to college debt with an eye towards veterinary students. According to the VIN Foundation, which is a non-profit focused on the veterinary industry, the debt-to-income ratio among veterinary graduates stands at 2:1 on average which reasonably explains the goals of the VIN Student Debt Center.
“Veterinary student debt-related stress is taking a toll on individuals and the profession—a toll measured in physical, emotional, and financial stress,” according to the foundation press release. The VIN Foundation noted that veterinarians typically leave school with debt that is often two times their salary and surpassing what would be deemed a healthy debt-to-income ratio for other industries. That student loan debt not only creates undue stress for graduates starting out as veterinarians, but it also prevents them from purchasing homes, buying cars, and even getting married.
With many advocates and lawmakers arguing that knowledge is the key to fighting the student loan debt crisis, the VIN Foundation decided to roll out the online resource center. It couldn’t come at a better time. Currently, the country collectively owes $1.4 trillion in student loan debt with the average graduate borrower owing $28,000. The online Student Debt Center will have a host of information for borrowers including a Cost of Education Map which shows how much veterinary schools cost around the country, taking into account in-state and out-of-state tuition as well as the overall cost of attendance of a college.
The VIN Foundation is also rolling out the Student Loan Repayment Simulator which gives website visitors detailed costs of repaying their loans based on anticipated income, family finances, loan amount, interest rates, and repayment plans. There’s also a forgiveness planning section for student loan borrowers who have signed up for an income driven repayment plan. WikiDebt is another resource included in the Student Debt Center; it is a resource library focused on education debt specifically for veterinary students and practicing vets. “Helping veterinarians understand their borrowing and loan repayment options is key to surviving this crisis. It starts before veterinary school and continues for the duration of loan repayment,” said Dr. Tony Bartels, VIN Foundation’s student debt expert in the release.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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