Offer Relief from Medical School Debt
school graduates drowning in student loan debt could see a bigger
income tax return if legislation proposed in the House and Senate
The bills would repeal the five-year limit on the amount of time
that students can deduct the interest they pay on the loans, and
would increase the amount of money graduates are allowed to make
and still be able to take the tax deduction. The House version
of the bill also would eliminate the limit on how much interest
can be deducted annually.
The changes are for all student loans, not just those for medical
students. But the breaks are especially helpful for medical school
are people who don’t go to medical school because they’re afraid
of the debt burden,” said Dr. Liana Puscas, resident at the University
of Southern California. Even though their average debt is $95,000,
med school graduates often lose out on deducting their loan interest.
Lower-paid residents often defer loans during the five years in
which they would be able to deduct the interest under the current
system. Then, after residency, most doctors make too much money
to be eligible to write off the interest they’re paying.
The AMA, the American Dental Association, and various academic
institutions have voiced support for the bills. The legislation
is now in House and Senate committees.
the cost of higher education goes up, more and more students are
taking out loans…and many students are saddled with large amounts
of debt,” said Jennifer Hall, the press secretary for Representative
Phil English (R, Pa.), who co-sponsored the House bill with Representative
Kenny Hulshof (R, Mo.). “[The bill] enables medical students who
get a decent-paying job to deduct the interest.”
Senators Charles Grassley (R, Iowa) and Max Baucus (D, Mont.)
co-sponsored the Senate legislation.
with permission from American Medical News, March 19, 2001.
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