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Debt Management


A sensible, responsible budget can help minimize debt. In the below videos, Feinberg’s Cynthia Gonzalez explains how you can plan your budget based on financial aid disbursement dates and common expenses by class. The AAMC has also compiled budgeting ideas and tips for medical students, including downloadable budget worksheets.

Financial Aid, Billing and Budgets – What to expect as an M1

Financial Aid, Billing and Budgets – What to expect as an M2

Financial Aid, Billing and Budgets – What to expect as an M3

Financial Aid, Billing and Budgets – What to expect as an M4

Tracking Debt

Many students have used the AAMC’s MedLoans Organizer and Calculator to organize and track their loans over time. Users can upload their federal loan information, run personalized repayment scenarios, and save loan repayment options for later reference. In the below video, Feinberg’s Cynthia Gonzalez takes you through the tool step by step.

Repayment Options

Once your federal student loans go into repayment status, you will choose among many repayment options. The below video outlines these choices so you can select the best plan to help you meet your debt management goals. The AAMC has also summarized repayment plans for federal students loans.

Loan Forgiveness Programs

In the below video, you will learn about various loan forgiveness, scholarships and loan repayment assistance programs, including the National Health Service Corps, Indian Health Service, Public Service Loan Forgiveness, the military and other state and federal programs. More detailed information on these loan forgiveness programs is available through the AAMC.

More AAMC Resources

AAMC's FIRST (Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools) provides free resources to help medical students make wise financial decisions from pre-matriculation through loan repayment. Visit their website for more details.

Feinberg’s Debt Management Seminars

Being pro-active about finances can help minimize stressors related to finances. Our debt management counseling program, Life $upport, was created to encourage students to establish good financial habits such as budgeting and checking credit regularly. Most sessions include an active learning component to help students acquire the basic skills needed to develop these habits. Explore the list below of required and optional sessions offered.

BYOB: Building Your Own Budget (M1-Prior to Matriculation)

This one-on-one session is required for all entering students receiving financial aid. Students are asked to be prepared with their aid notification and a completed AAMC interactive budgeting worksheet. Resources and expenses are reviewed to determine if loan funds can be returned. 

Credit 101-Part 1 (M1 Winter)

This session will teach students the basics about credit. The goal of the session is to help students learn to make educated decisions about credit. During this session students pull their credit report for review.

Credit 101-Part 2 (M2 Fall)

The basics from Credit 101 will be reviewed. Ways to safeguard credit will also be covered. The session will end with students pulling their credit report for review. The goal is to encourage students to make this into a financial habit.

Preparing for the Cost of Residency (M3 Winter)

This session helps students budget and plan for the upcoming costs of what they can expect during the M4 year as they prepare of the residency application process.

Personal Finance Tips (M4 Spring)

This session is presented during the M4 Capstone which is required for all M4 students. During the session, students will be use interactive tools to help with budgeting, W-4 tax forms and credit.   

M4 Required Student Loan Exit Meetings (Three-Step Process)

Repaying loans can be stressful for someone who is not familiar with loan repayment options. To combat this issue, all students who borrowed federal student loans are required to complete a three-step student loan exit process through the Life $upport program.

  • Step 1:  Watch AAMC Student Loans and Repayment Strategies Video
    Students will learn the terminology and become familiar with the basics regarding loan repayment. This foundation is critical to prepare students for the required one on one student loan meeting. Students can take an active role by logging into  and uploading loan history to the  AAMC Organizer/Calculator. Having a copy of the AAMC Debt Manager Book is also useful. 
  • Step 2: One-on-One Loan Repayment Meeting
    Students are required to meet one on one with Cynthia Gonzalez in AWOME to discuss their loan portfolio. Cynthia will provide sample repayment schedules based on actual debt. The goal of the session is for the student to fully understand their repayment options. This will allow students to build a strategy and set goals. Appointment options will be posted soon.
  • Step 3: Online Counseling
    In mid April, students will receive an email from the Northwestern University Office of Student Finance with an invitation and instructions regarding online counseling. This requirement should be complete by a specified date, typically in early May. During the online counseling, students will be required to choose a repayment plan. The plan selected can be changed. The goal is that students will be prepared to make this choice after completing the first two steps. Any questions or concerns about this should be discussed at the one-on-one meeting.

Don’t want to wait to hear what’s covered in the one-on-one loan repayment meeting? Cynthia Gonzalez provides a general overview of the information in this video.

Home Financing for Graduating Medical Students and Residents (M4-Winter)

The AAMC has provided a recorded an informational video regarding buying a home. Highlights include: determining a good time to buy and how much you can afford, renting versus buying and budgeting for a home. 

Financial Planning 101 (M4-Winter)

A guest speaker from MEDIQUS Asset Advisors Inc. will share details about basic financial planning skills. Highlights include: building a financial plan, money management and retirement planning.