Top 5 Dental Student Loan Mistakes

Dental school is a hard, lengthy process, but worth it. You want to make sure that you set yourself up for success right out of the gate.

5 Dental Student Loan Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the top 5 mistakes that Dental Students make regardding their loans:

  1. Borrowing more than you need
  2. The under-repayment plan
  3. The over-repayment plan
  4. Refinancing without doing your homework
  5. Adding revolver debt

1. Borrowing more than you need

There’s a vintage adage that says…just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Yes, you’ll have expenses in dental school you need to spend on. Yes, you might even want a little cushion. You’re working hard…it’s not a horrible concept to play hard too.

• That said, I would NOT recommend adding on any more debt than you need.
• Leveling up your day to day living is not a great spend.
• Building in vacation dollars…even if it revolves around mission trips…is NOT a good idea.

In the simplest of terms, every dollar you borrow will cost you at least double to pay back. So every time you THINK I’m already a few hundred thousand dollars in debt, what’s another… think about your ability to live lean now…and the reward that’s waiting for you as you leap frog all the short-term friends of yours as you live large later.

2. The under-repayment plan

Sooner than you think, repay day is coming your way. Choosing the re-payment plan with the lowest monthly payment instead of the highest payment you can afford feels pretty nice in the moment. I bet it feels even better when you drink the loan forgiveness myth Koolaide that’s been floating around for the last decade. Seriously though, you’re really smart…or you wouldn’t need to read this….

• Is the lowest monthly payment worth you paying 3 times what you borrowed back?
• Have you actually met anyone who had their loans forgiven?

3. The over-repayment plan

A very wise man once said, there are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle. Where the under-repayment plan costs you far more in interest, the over-repayment plan costs you more in opportunity.

• YOU are your greatest asset.
• Practice ownership is your greatest opportunity to achieve financial freedom.

Too illusive? Here goes…

Remember the game Monopoly? Who won? The player who had a stack of cash in front of them? Or the player who used that cash to buy houses and hotels? Under-repaying keeps the cash in front of you. Over repaying puts your cash in someone else’s hands so they win. Finding your ideal repayment lane give you the leverage to invest in assets that drive revenue to you today, tomorrow and decades beyond.

4. Refinancing without doing your homework

Don’t get me wrong. For MOST dentists, there comes a time where refinancing makes sense. Do not, however ignore the rest of the story. Your current and future situation is not the same as your friends or anyone you see refinancing on social media. You have your own set of circumstances. Translation…get with an unbiased…objective mentor and expert to determine if you should refinance now…or at some point down the road.

• Refinancing might actually increase your average interest rate. Is that really a win?
• You might have multiple student loans with varying interest rates. Is it better to simply target your highest-rate loans for quicker repayment?

5. Adding revolver debt

If you’re anything like me, you’re looking at your beat up today and thinking…I deserve better. You’re looking at your apartment and wanting more. You’re looking in your closet to upgrade your clothes…looking at vacations missed that you really want to take….you name it…you have and you are working really hard.

Revolver debt is when you and I give in when we have to borrow more to do it. It’s when we add non-essential debt…credit card debt…because we feel we’ve put our time in and what the heck…making real money is right around the corner…until whether it is, or isn’t…it doesn’t matter because we now owe another $10k, $20k or more at some insane interest rate.

Add that high interest debt to our existing student loan debt…and we’re stretched pretty thin aren’t we?

Summing up

Dental school is long. It’s hard. And it’s costly. It’s also an investment in your best asset…you. You’ve worked incredibly hard to get here. CLICK HERE to get access to…

• Your one-on-one, 30 minute mentor call.
• The cost is your time and desire to want better for your future.
• The win is not making an extremely costly mistake!

Till then, Together We Rise!


David Rice

David Rice DDS
Founder & Chief igniter igniteDDS

Up Next:

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

David Rice

David Rice

Founder of the nation’s largest student and new-dentist community, igniteDDS, David R. Rice, DDS, travels the world speaking, writing, and connecting today’s top young dentists with tomorrow’s most successful dental practices. He is the editorial director of DentistryIQ and leads a team-centered restorative and implant practice in East Amherst, New York. With 27 years of practice in the books, Dr. Rice is trained at the Pankey Institute, the Dawson Academy, Spear Education, and most prolifically at the school of hard knocks.