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The Navigator: Joy Sorensen-Navarre

Updated: Feb 6

Joy is a nationally recognized educator and expert on student loan debt. She is the President of the consulting firm, Navigate, which is relied on by health systems across the country to help physicians achieve student loan relief and her clients are on track to save over 153 million dollars. She is also a frequent speaker at residency programs, hospitals and conferences, and professional journals and websites throughout the medical community readily share her insight.

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Before founding Navigate, Joy was a financial advisor, providing investment, insurance and estate planning for medical professionals. It was in response to her clients’ requests that she became an expert in student loan repayment. She has over 10-years executive leadership experience and serves on multiple nonprofit boards of directors. In addition to leading Navigate, Joy supports many community development and children’s projects.

Joy’s Prescription for Success:

Number 1: Relax. When you enter medical school, concentrate on your own health and well-being, and what you’re learning and how you’re going to help the rest of us who are healthcare consumers. Don’t worry about those student loans. The time to think about your student loans will be in those last two to three months of medical school.

Number 2: As you’re finishing up your medical education find an expert to help you structure a repayment plan for your student loans that aligns with the career path you’ve chosen.

Number 3: Follow your heart and mind in terms of career selection and realize that with a good plan, you can manage these student loan decisions.

Connect with Joy:

Notable Quotes from Joy’s interview:

[ Physicians ] don’t realize that on these graduate education loans, the interest isn’t subsidized. Every day the interest is accruing. And so, even when they’re still in school, even when they’re in training, these loan balances are increasing.
Don’t be frivolous with your student loan money. Just take what you need and don’t take any extra.
Take your career path into mind when you’re deciding what types of student loans to get.
Every time there’s been some kind of a threat or perceived threat, my response after studying and doing the research on the issue has always been, stay calm and carry on.
When a student loan balance is relatively high, and an income is high. It turns out that an income driven repayment plan can be a very practical tool for even a physician.
The only way to figure out which [loan] is best for you is to crunch the numbers and figure out which one is going to be better for you today and over the life of the loan. And you can always switch plans if it makes sense for you.
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