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Association of American Medical Colleges

Aspiring Docs Diaries

Harvard Medical School student Elorm F. Avakame with his parents

A blog about what it's like to be a med student today

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I'm still in college, but want to prepare now for paying for medical school. Are there any basic tips about managing my money that will help me?

What basic tips can you give me about managing my money?

Julie Fresne
If at all possible, start medical school with a clean slate, financially speaking.

Pay off your credit cards and minimize the number of cards you carry. It's particularly important to keep credit card debt under control as an undergraduate since credit card payments are not included in a financial aid budget.

Create a spending plan if you haven't already and get in the habit of living within your means.

Another important part of a clean start is to make sure that all of your existing student loans are in good standing—that is, not delinquent and not in default. You can find the necessary information about your federal student loans at the National Student Loan Data System External Link.

Joetta Bradica

Living within your means is a fundamental money management strategy. Creating a budget and planning your expenses in advance is the best place to start. Before you apply for medical school, pay down credit card balances to make your student budget easier to manage.

Be sure to get all of your existing loan paperwork in order and make sure that all previous student loans are accounted for and in good standing. Read the FIRST fact sheets for tips on managing a student budget.

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Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools (FIRST)

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FIRST helps medical school borrowers expand their financial literacy, make smart decisions about student loans, and manage their student debt wisely.