Banfield to provide debt relief for veterinarians
Banfield Pet Hospital announced today that it will be launching a new debt-relief program for its veterinarians in December 2017.
“High levels of veterinary student debt are plaguing the industry, and Banfield is committed to helping veterinarians address this significant burden,” said Daniel Aja, DVM, Banfield’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, in a media release. “We’re investing in the new Banfield Veterinary Student Debt Relief Pilot Program to support our doctors first and foremost—but also set the bar for the veterinary profession to help address this industry-wide issue.”
The new Banfield Veterinary Student Debt Relief Pilot Program for eligible doctors will include three main elements:
1. A low-interest refinancing option with a supplementary 0.25 percent interest-rate reduction from a third-party financial institution.
2. A monthly student loan contribution of $150 paid by Banfield directly on qualifying student loans.
3. A one-time $2,500 payment for each qualifying Banfield student program in which the doctor participates prior to graduating.
Veterinarians who graduate with student debt average more than $167,000 in loans, according to the AVMA. The Banfield Veterinary Debt Relief Pilot Program is intended to begin to help relieve this burden and promote the financial health and well-being of Banfield doctors, the release states.
“When I graduated from veterinary school, I had finally achieved a lifelong dream to be part of the profession I loved so much—but it came at a high cost,” says Kirk Breuninger, VMD, MPH, DACVPM, an ambassador for the pilot program. “Like most early-career veterinarians, my student debt weighed heavily on me and made financial freedom very challenging. The new student debt benefit shows Banfield is listening to and addressing the needs of its associates.”
Banfield says the debt relief program is designed to help doctors focus on what matters most to them—providing high-quality care to pets. Other health and well-being strategies for Banfield doctors include, according to the release:
- comprehensive benefits
- programs that focus on mind and body, financial, career and community well-being
- flexible schedules
- community volunteering programs
- stress resilience and energy management programs
- continuing education funds
- Banfield-sponsored industry memberships
- 100 percent practice-paid partial income replacement for full-time associates to cover illness, pregnancy and unexpected life events
- 100 percent practice-paid life insurance coverage.