Student Loan Refinancing Tips for Traveling Occupational Therapists

By Joseph Reinke, CFA CEO of FitBUX

I spoke at TravCon last month, an annual conference for healthcare travelers and met a great, enthusiastic community of people who really love what they do. We see a great number of new grad PTs going into travel but not so much with new grad OTs.  For those of you that are soon to be graduating, I highly recommend you look into it..

Anyhow, one of the topics I brought up at the conference was how hard it can be for travelers to get loans, specifically when trying to refinance their student loans. Below is one story that we often encounter with Travelers who are trying to refinance.

"Traveling Dan"

An individual, let’s call him Dan, heard our podcast with Dylan Callier and became a FitBUX Member by building his profile. After completing his profile, he promptly scheduled a free call with his FitBUX Coach to develop his student loan plan.

On the call, Dan developed a repayment strategy which would save him close to $13,000 overall, almost $10,000 of which was going to come from refinancing his student loans using one of FitBUX’s student loan refinance partners.

However, student loan refinancing for healthcare travelers can be a major ordeal. Here is what happened to Dan:

Dan had tried to refinance before but got denied every time. The problem is that student loan refinance lenders do not consider stipend money as income and only include “regular” salary when making a refinancing decision. In other words, they may only consider $40k in actual salary when in fact total earnings, including stipend, may have been $90k.

At best, this could lead to refinance offers with rates much higher than they should be just straight denials from lenders as Dan experienced.

How we helped

This is where we came in. Over time, we’ve been able to convince 2 out of the 7 lenders we partner with to accept the stipend as income, which helps travelers save thousands of dollars on their student loans.

Ironically, these two lenders had previously denied Dan because he had not come through FitBUX first and they did not know that he was a traveler.

So naturally Dan was skeptical that we could convince the lender to accept the stipend as income and refinance his loans but he decided to trust us anyhow since he really had nothing to lose.

Dan applied and everything was a go until…Dan randomly got a denial notice stating insufficient income. This was the same denial letter he had received before.

Dan emailed his FitBUX Coach the bad news and jokingly told him, “I told you so.” However, his FitBUX Coach called FitBUX’s contact at the refinance company and sure enough, the refinance company had made a mistake and calculated the income correctly, ignoring his stipend yet again.

Once we sorted this out with them, Dan had the refinance documents ready to sign in two days. His new loan dropped his student loan interest rates by 1.5%, saving him close to $10,000.

Moral of the story

If you are traveling you most likely can refinance your loans and save money, all else being equal. You just might have to take an extra step or two to get it done but usually well worth it.

If you need help, just do what Dan did. Build your profile at https://www.fitbux.com and schedule a free call with your FitBUX Coach to customize your strategy. We will be happy to help. This is a free service.

 

About FitOT

FitOT is the FitBUX Community dedicated to everything Occupational Therapy.  It is designed to be a resource for FitBUX Members and Members of the Occupational Therapy Community.  If you would like to write an article for FitOT you can do so by clicking here.

 

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