The ADA, Organized Dentistry Coalition and other health care stakeholders 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 March 1 letters to Reps. Brian Babin, R-Texas, and Chrissy Houlahan, D-Penn., and Sens. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., and John Boozman, R-Ark., the groups thanked the lawmakers for re-introducing the bill in the House and Senate, noting its passage is an important part of student loan repayment reform. The ADA also sent letters to the House and Senate .
“As you are aware, the cost of graduate-level medical and dental education is substantial for the vast majority of students,” wrote the coalition, which was led by theAmerican Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. “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.”
The REDI Act does not provide any loan forgiveness or reduce a borrower’s original loan balance. The main goal is to prevent dentists and physicians “from being penalized during residency by precluding the government from charging them interest on their loans during a time when they are unable to afford payments on the principal,” the coalition wrote.
Follow all the ADA’s advocacy efforts at ADA.org/Advocacy .