How to Get a Loan for Residency Relocation

Medical student moving for residency

You’ve matched with a residency program (congrats!) and may soon be moving to a new city. 

With this major life change just a few months away, you may be wondering about your financing options for relocation. 

The costs you’re going to incur over the next few months will likely be a bit of a shock to your wallet. For example:

  • Moving – The average cost to move is $4,890 for a long-distance move. 
  • Travel – Checking out your new city prior to moving can be a fun vacation, but you will have to consider the costs of either air or road travel, housing, and food in a new place.
  • A place to live – If you’re planning on renting, you can expect to pay at least the first and last month’s rent to secure it. If you’re buying, there may be White Coat Loans in your area but these may still require a small down payment or closing fees.
  • Licensure – If you’re responsible for paying for your own license, or moving to a state that uses the Federal Credentialing Verification Service (FCVS), this could cost upwards of a thousand dollars.
  • Transportation – Depending on where you went to school, you may now need to buy a car, especially if public transit doesn’t run during your shifts. If you had a car but it’s getting unreliable, you may need to consider a new, used, or leased alternative.

There are a lot of new expenses about to hit your plate, all in a very short timeframe. 

First, you will finally be earning an income as a resident! But without some planning that still might not be enough to cover these expenses, let alone to pay down any extra debt you took on in med school. 

Here’s where—and how—to find financing to assist with your residency relocation. 

Ask your financial advisor

Check with the financial aid office at your medical school. They may have a list of places to suggest. In particular, ask for recommendations of places that specialize in dealing with medical students and residents.

Look online for loan options

Do a Google search using terms like “loan options for medical residents” and “PRN Loans.” Make sure to do your due diligence and research the organizations that pop up; all loan programs vary widely in terms of eligibility requirements, term lengths and interest rates.

Consult your bank

If you already have a banking relationship, consult with a personal banker about your options. Particularly if you have been with them for several years, find out if this gives you any leverage in terms of securing a lower interest rate. 

Unfortunately though, this probably won’t be the case. Banks regularly make it difficult for physicians-in-training to access fair financing. Despite your future high earning potential, traditional banks generally look only at your past and present circumstances—taking into consideration your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio, neither of which are likely ideal at this point in your medical training.

And even if you do get approved for a loan, banks normally require a cosigner—and you still end up getting charged the highest possible interest rates. 

Talk to Panacea Financial

Panacea was created by doctors to tear down those old, unhelpful banking barriers, while providing the fair financing, support, services, and solutions doctors and doctors-in-training deserve. And you don’t have to wait for Match Day to apply for your loan

Put simply, we trust our clients and believe in treating you like a grownup. So you’re never going to need a cosigner to get a loan with us. Plus, as a resident, you can borrow up to $30,000 over 3-, 5- and 7-year terms, at interest rates as low as 6.75% (less than half the rate of the average credit card). 

Need to secure financing quickly? We’re on it: you can apply digitally and get the loan amount in as little as 24 hours.

And if you’re a medical student participating in this year’s Match Day, you are eligible to enter our $500 Match Day Giveaway. Click here to check it out!

Relocation made easy (or easier)

This next step in your medical training is a challenging one. The last thing you need is to stress over how you’ll be able to pay to relocate for residency. No one should borrow more than they need but the good news is that there are solutions out there— loans specifically designed with your career in mind. 

Here’s to better financial solutions for physicians!

Ned Palmer, MD MPH is the Chief Operations Officer and Co-Founder of Panacea Financial, and a practicing physician in Boston. He is also working as a hospitalist at Boston Children’s Hospital and is on faculty at Harvard Medical School.

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