The Loans for Disadvantaged Students program provides long-term, low-interest rate loans to full-time, financially needy students from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue a degree in allopathic medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, optometry, podiatric medicine, pharmacy or veterinary medicine.

Different from other federal loans for graduate/professional students and the Primary Care Loan, students interested in this loan must provide parental information for determination of eligibility, regardless of age or marital status.

Students eligible to apply for this loan must be a citizen, national or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and come from a disadvantaged background. An individual from a disadvantaged background is defined by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one:

  • Who comes from an environment that has inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skill and ability to enroll in and graduate from a health professions school.
  • Who comes from a family with an annual income below a level based on low-income guidelines according to family size published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index, and adjusted by the Secretary of Health and Human Services for use in health professions and nursing programs. 
Loan Type Loans for Disadvantaged Students (LDS)
Annual Maximum

Not to exceed cost of attendance or financial need minus other aid.


Fixed 5 percent deferred while enrolled full time in MD program, during grace period and qualifying post MD graduate periods.

Grace Period

12 months after dropping to less than half-time, withdraw or graduate

Loan Fees None
Repayment Period 10 years, generally
Service Commitment


Additional Information