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Coalition supports bill deferring interest for dental, medical residents

June 30, 2021

By Jennifer Garvin

Washington — The ADA, Organized Dentistry Coalition and several other health care organizations are supporting the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act, or REDI Act, which would allow dental and medical students to defer interest accrual on their federal loans while they are in their residency programs.

In a June 29 letter to Reps. Brian Babin, R-Texas, and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., the groups — led by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons — thanked the lawmakers for re-introducing HR 4122 and noted that passing the legislation is an important part of student loan repayment reform. The ADA also sent a letter supporting the bill.

“As you are aware, the cost of graduate-level medical and dental education is substantial for the vast majority of students,” the groups wrote. “Further, those who undertake several years of residency with very low pay are often unable to begin repaying student debt immediately. As a result, they qualify to have their payments halted during residency through deferment or forbearance processes, but they continue to accrue interest that is added to their balance.”

Passing this legislation “is an important part of student loan repayment reform,” the letter concluded. “This bill would prevent medical and dental residents from being punished during residency and save them thousands of dollars in interest. Providing interest accrual relief during residency also would make the concepts of opening practices in underserved areas or entering faculty or research more attractive and affordable to residents.”

Follow all of the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy.