PA Debt Series, Episode # 3 – Megan Mabe, PA-C
Megan is a full-time PA working in Family Practice in Missouri. She is a US Armed Forces Veteran and her spouse is in military active duty. THANK YOU BOTH FOR YOUR SERVICE!!! Her Family Practice clinic is a FQHC (Federally Qualified Health Clinic). Megan services low socioeconomic patients needing a wide variety of healthcare services. She also provides suboxone therapy and MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) for her patients.
Megan is a 2018 graduate from Methodist University in North Carolina. She was able to use the GI Bill for all her undergraduate education and a portion of PA School. She also utilized the Yellow Ribbon Program offered to veterans for higher graduate school tuition cost.
At the time of graduation in 2018, student loan debt: $53,000
Motivation to Pay Off Student Loans
Megan’s biggest motivation to pay off her loans was INTEREST! The amount of interest accruing on her student loans was huge and she didn’t want to have to pay any extra. Through the first few episodes of the PA Debt Series, a common theme motivating these PAs to pay off their loans is interest! Don’t be victim to paying 10s of thousands of dollars of interest over time on already massive amounts of student loan debt!
Megan “technically” still has student loans. Nearly two years ago, she applied for the NHSC (National Health Service Corp) scholarship and was accepted into the program. This is based on the specific type of clinic she works and the patient population being serviced. When she was awarded this scholarship, the NHSC took over her loans and payments. She is now under contract for only a few more months and will soon be STUDENT LOAN FREE!
Paying Off Student Loans
Starting hours/week: 40 hours/week
Starting Salary: $86,000
Prior to receiving the NHSC scholarship, she was putting around $2,000 per month towards her student loan debt. This cut down the overall loan amount significantly until she received the NHSC scholarship. As a PA, she worked hard to establish herself in this position and achieve the skills needed to succeed. She was then able to renegotiate her salary for a significant raise! Megan has a tremendous heart and desire to do what is best for her patients and coworkers. Her gratitude and humility most certainly showed her management how deserving she was for a pay increase!
The NHSC scholarship is now in place, and she is abiding by the rules set forth by NHSC. She has basically paid off her student loans and is not making any additional payments! She is looking forward to investing more into her 401(k) and retirement options. Paying off their home and beginning to renovate is on the horizon and will be much deserved!
Advice for Students and Practicing PAs
· Look at your options. Do the necessary research. Speak with university administrators to look at options to lower your overall amount of student loans. Many employers also have knowledge regarding repayment programs and contracts in regards to working in underserved areas. Ask questions because you never know what opportunities are out there.
· Live frugally! Continue to live like a student after graduation. Megan focused on lowering her spending and not working excessive amounts of hours. After a 40 hour week, working an extra shift in an Urgent Care was not an option for her. I think we can all relate to how taxing a 40 hour work week can be…Get intentional! Save, lower your expenses and get that debt paid off!
· Apply for scholarships. Scholarships are available and are extremely underutilized. Take advantage of any amount scholarship money, because it all adds up. Even if the scholarship amount only covers books for the semester or rent for a few months, it will ease the stress of having additional payments and lower the amount of debt accrued while in PA school. Lastly, there is no reason you can't get more than one scholarship at a time!
We hope you all enjoyed this episode! Feel free to contact Megan Mabe at Mlmabe2009@gmail.com
Look for the PA Debt Series, Episode #4 coming soon. This episode will be from a PA who is well known for her rapid student loan repayment and ability to help PAs make smart financial decisions!
Check out the PA 4 Finance website for more information about becoming financially literate, growing wealth and making the most out of your hard-earned money! Email Andrew@PA4Finance.com for any additional questions or to inquire about PA 4 Finance’s services.