Medical Student Fails Out Of School With No Degree After Accumulating $430K In Student Loan Debt

He left school with no degree and a crippling amount of debt.

man stressed about student loan debt Geber86 / Shutterstock

Hearing the words “student loans” is enough to make even the bravest members of society flinch. They are a constant topic of discussion and can lead to some pretty heated arguments.

It’s not every day that you hear about someone having almost half a million dollars in student loan debt, though. That’s exactly what happened to one former medical student who failed and was forced to leave school.


The medical student left school with no degree and $430,000 in student loan debt.

Like many facing financial troubles, James from Lexington, Kentucky called in to The Ramsey Show, a podcast hosted by financial expert Dave Ramsey.

James explained his situation to Ramsey. “I have currently about $430,000 in student loans,” he said. “I was in medical school. I had failed two sets of boards after three years and then was recently dismissed.”

@gcnewsflash Medical Student With No Degree Failed Out of School with 430K in Debt and Immediately Regrets it #money #finance #wealth ♬ Stargazing (Slowed + Reverb) - Marcelo De Carvalho

RELATED: LinkedIn Professional Mocks Young People With Student Loans For Having Expensive Tattoos, Coffee & Cell Phones But Not Paying Off Their Debt


“Right now, I have a debt but no degree ... that I was planning to use to actually be able to pay that back,” James continued. “At this point, I don’t really know what my options are to try to dig out of this.”

Ramsey was pretty shocked to hear all of this. “How did you get that far into it and then not be able to pass the boards?” he asked.

James explained that he did well in the first two years but became overwhelmed with the amount of information needed to retain for the exams. "I just couldn’t put it all together at the end,” he said.

Ramsey asked if it would be possible for James to get back into school and finish his program. Unfortunately, according to James, he would have to reapply, go through the entire process again, and take out even more loans

@gcnewsflash Replying to @Money Reacts With GC Medical Student With No Degree Failed Out of School with 430K in Debt and Immediately Regrets it - Part 2 #money #finance #wealth ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano - MoppySound

RELATED: Teacher Says We Need To Stop Telling Kids Not To Go To College — 'Anti-Intellectualism Is Toxic'

Ramsey then questioned what James had been doing since failing out of school.

“Well, I’ve basically just been getting by,” James replied. “I was able to find a job, first of all as a substitute teacher, and then I was hired as a high school biology teacher. But, my loans are on deferments right now, and I have some forbearance to go.”


James explained that he really wasn’t sure what path to take moving forward. “At this point, I’m not sure [about] any other career options. I’ve thought about physician’s assistant, other programs like that, but it requires going into more debt," he said.

James’ best option might be to keep teaching.

Teachers aren’t known for their high salaries, which may be what is causing James to consider leaving the profession. However, they do get other perks.

According to the Federal Student Aid website, some teachers are eligible for student loan forgiveness through programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.

@gcnewsflash Replying to @Marine Grunt 🇺🇸 Medical Student With No Degree Failed Out of School with 430K in Debt and Immediately Regrets it - Part 3 #money #finance #wealth ♬ Ambient-style emotional piano - MoppySound

These programs would likely not take care of the full amount of James’ loans and wouldn’t go into effect until he had been teaching for a few years. However, every little bit counts, and it may be something worth considering. 


James is at a difficult place in his life where he must decide what to do now that certain dreams are out of reach. But you know what they say: When one door closes, another opens. Maybe teaching is that new door for James.

RELATED: Teen Upset That Parents Won't Pay For Her College Despite Making $320K A Year

Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.