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Dental debt management tool debuts

Washington—Current and incoming dental students will have access to a newly customized online debt management tool through school financial aid offices, the Association of American Medical Colleges and American Dental Education Association announced Aug. 5 as many students were returning to school.

The Dental Loan Organizer and Calculator, designed to help dental school borrowers, will be available to residents and graduates as well.

"ADEA is pleased to collaborate with the AAMC on this interprofessional initiative," said Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, ADEA president and chief executive officer. "It is essential that we continue to educate dental students on debt management and provide them with tools such as the Dental Loan Organizer and Calculator to help them manage their debt."

The DLOC debuts as the student loan policy debate heats up. Congress addressed one aspect of the growing public and professional concerns about student debt with passage of legislation addressing interest rates. The American Dental Association urged Congress to take a broader, long-range look at minimizing the debt burden.

The AAMC-ADEA initiative is modeled on an AAMC debt management tool for medical school students and residents introduced in 2010.

"Debt management is an important issue for health professions students," said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., AAMC president and chief executive officer. "Like the Medloans Organizer and Calculator, this valuable tool [DLOC] is a step forward in equipping dental school students – and potentially health students in every field – with an online organizer and calculator for managing their loans. The AAMC is pleased to collaborate with ADEA to provide all currently enrolled dental school students with this service."

The user-friendly online resource allows borrowers to enter and save details of their education loans and obtain personalized repayment scenarios for individual portfolios while accurately accounting for the residency-fellowship training periods of medical and, now, dental students. The DLOC will run repayment scenarios based on an individual's career plans following dental school, including post-doctoral plans.

More information about the DLOC is available online.