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5 graduate degrees that trigger the worst student loan payments

  • Optometrists have more debt than dentists.
  • Some degrees lead to a longer timeline of payments than others.

All you optometrists: No, you don't need to have your eyes examined. You really do have that much student debt — a median payment of $1,369 a month, or nearly 15 percent of income.

A new report by the online loan marketplace Credible.com, looked at which degrees lead to the most debt. It analyzed the student debt portfolio of 91,000 borrowers who have requested rates to refinance their graduate school arrears.

The findings could help people brace for the financial undertaking of schooling beyond their undergraduate education.

"There's not a lot of data on the return on investment of a degree," said Stephen Dash, founder and CEO of Credible.com. "If you're a prospective student, this is one of the factors you should be considering."

Of course, this shouldn't be the only factor.

"If everyone chose a degree based on the return on investment, then we'd have a lot of MBAs and not a lot of doctors," Dash joked.

Here are some of the graduate degrees that lead to big debt, according to Credible.com:

1) Optometry

Allergan's Restasis medicine for dry eyes.
Source: Allergan | YouTube
Allergan's Restasis medicine for dry eyes.

Monthly debt-to-income ratio: 14.9 percent

Median monthly loan payment: $1,369

Median annual income: $110,000

2) Veterinary

Pete, an orange tabby kitten, getting an examination by a veterinarian.
Waring Abbott | Getty Images
Pete, an orange tabby kitten, getting an examination by a veterinarian.

Monthly debt-to-income ratio: 12.6 percent

Median monthly loan payment: $891

Median annual income: $85,000

3) Physician Assistant

bk.kaiser.20110524.1661.jpg
Brooks Kraft / Contributor | Getty Images

Monthly debt-to-income ratio: 11.6 percent

Median monthly loan payment: $964

Median annual income: $100,000

4) Dentistry 

Dentist
Musketeer | Getty Images

Monthly debt-to-income ratio: 11.5 percent

Median monthly loan payment: $1,434

Median annual income: $150,000

5) Pharmacy

A Kmart pharmacist with a customer.
Source: Kmart
A Kmart pharmacist with a customer.

Monthly debt-to-income ratio: 10.9 percent

Median monthly loan payment: $1,092

Median annual income: $120,000

Here's a breakdown of how long people take to pay off their student loans, by degree: