Primary Care Loan Program
The Primary Care Loan is a federal loan that was created to encourage medical students to choose careers in the primary care field. This 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 health care, 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 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or renewal FAFSA. The only exceptions are if both of your 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.
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.
Note: Recipients of loans made prior to March 23, 2010 are required to practice in primary health care until the loan is paid in full.