Interview with a Director of Student Financial Planning

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Session 21

Session 21

In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Tony Sozzo, the Director of Student Financial Planning at New York Medical College (NYMC). That’s where Ryan went to medical school and he attributes Tony to being a valuable asset to him and everyone helping students realize that they have more control over this than they realize. With Tony’s great financial planning, NYMC has a default rate of only 0.8%.

Listen is as they discuss the value of financial planning in setting you up for the future. They also cover the cost of going to medical school, the effect of your credit score and history, financing, applying for financial aid, budget creation in medical school, and a whole lot more!

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Tony:

Tony is doing financial seminar within 10 days or 2 weeks

Tony’s advice to students coming into medical school:

You have options.

Consider yourself as a consumer

Take ownership and get involved right from the start

Borrow wisely and only borrow what you need.

Send money back if you don’t need it.

Keep your credit card debt as the lowest possible.

The 120-day rule:

Sending the borrowed money back within the first four months of any semester

This will lower the principal balance of the loan taken out of that semester

Any new interest accrued at the graduate school level is now lowered

How do you give the money back?

Find out which servicer the government assigned you to

Go to their website and set up a free account

Put in your routing number for your checking/savings account

Every time you have extra money, go in and send it right back as back to the government

Taking control of credit card debt

Sacrifice a little bit now for the greater gain later on down the road

Think about the other people in your life

Try to make your money work within your spending plan

What your budget or spending plan covers:

Tuition and direct cost

Indirect expenses:



Books & supplies


Miscellaneous expenses

What if you have family?

  • The financial aid process is in place for the students but they can have some ways to add into the budget
  • Some institutions recognize the cost of daycare or nanny care based on documentation into the budget
  • Health insurance covering children

Advice to stellar students who think of not going to medical school because of the cost:

  • There are many different ways to deal with debt that won’t choke you.
  • You have so many options available to you for the kind of doctor you want to be that will be open to you.

The effect of credit score and bankruptcy history on financial aid application:

  • Looking at the last three months of your life if you’ve been good
  • If you have a recent problem, go for a cosigner that has a good credit history
  • If on your second year you’re good and you apply, you get the loan on your own.
  • Co-signing means they’re responsible if you default later on down the road
  • Learn about your credit scores to see the mistakes and fix them
  • Credit score of over 620 is what they’re looking for
  • Have a good picture of your financial life. Go to and get the three major credit reporting agencies’ reports for free.

Some pieces of advice for premed students:

Don’t go to medical school if you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.

Links and Other Resources:

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