WalletPop experts answer your questions on the cost of career changes and health care

Nursing students
Nursing students

It's eight months before tax season, but our experts are already on hand to tackle your personal finance questions. Leave a comment down below and we'll get on it. Here, the experts help readers with questions about changing careers, taxes and health care.

Question: I am weighing a career change into nursing and will need to apply for financial assistance, as I have been unemployed for the past year. Given what nurses make the first few years, how much of a debt load can I afford to take on? I do not have any outstanding debt and have very little in savings. Besides student loans, what other kind of financial assistance could a nursing student get?
--Thien, New York City


Answer from David Alexander, president of Soliant Health, a health care staffing agency: Financial issues are very important to weigh when deciding on a career change. Given that you don't have debt now, and a nurse makes about $50,000 in the first year, you want to be careful to take on just enough to get your degree. As with anything, it pays to check out a variety of schools to see what best suits your needs. Different schools have different tuition rates and many, especially in the medical field, get more than their fair share of scholarship money because health care institutions tend to be notable charitable recipients. Check in directly with the dean's office at each school to dig further into financial aid and scholarships.