What’s the average cost of law school?
Law school isn’t cheap. In the U.S. the average private law school costs $51,268 a year in tuition and fees, while public, in-state students pay $29,074 in tuition and fees. Out of state students pay an average of $42,143 per year in tuition and fees. Since law school lasts for three years, you have to triple these numbers to get a picture of your total costs. You should also add in living expenses such as food and housing, as well as technology expenses such as a laptop and internet access.
How Do Law School Loans Work?
How Much Can You Borrow In Law School Loans?
The amount of money that you can borrow for law school depends on the lender. Some have caps on the amount you can borrow while others will allow you to borrow up to the full amount of tuition and fees, as well as for food, housing, books and even the cost of a computer.
How Do You Get The Best Interest Rate On Law School Loans?
Getting the lowest possible interest rate on a law school loan is possible only for those with the highest credit scores. Having a credit score of 740 or above is considered to be excellent. Other than having a high credit score, it can help to shop around for the lowest interest rates.
Can Law School Loans Be Used To Cover Living Expenses?
Yes, some law school loans can be used to cover food, housing and other expenses. Some lenders even cover the cost of a laptop and books, so that 100% of your certified education expenses can be rolled into your law school loan.
What Is the Average Student Loan Debt for Lawyers?
According to the American Bar Association, the average law school graduate graduates with approximately $165,000 in debt. In fact, more than 95% of students take out loans to attend law school, and more than 55 percent of students report postponing buying a house. On top of that , nearly 30% reported postponing or deciding not to get married.
How Long Do Law School Loans Take to Pay Off?
While most law school loans are for 5 to 15 years, the average time it takes to pay off a law school loan is actually 20 years. That’s because students can refinance their loans, extending the time that they can take to fully repay them.
Can Law School Loans Be Forgiven?
Yes, but only in certain cases. For example, Department of Justice employees can apply for a forgiveness program if they have at least $10,000 in federal student loans and meet other qualifying criteria. Most federal student loans are eligible, and DOJ employees can apply for up to $6,000 in forgiveness per calendar year, with a lifetime maximum of $60,000.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements for a Law School Loan?
You have to be enrolled at least part-time in an accredited law school and have a credit score that meets the lender’s minimum. Some lenders will also require you to cosign with another person. Other lenders may require you to be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
Types of Law School Loans
There are three main types of law school loans available.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Federal direct unsubsidized loans are available up to a total of $20,500 each year from the Dept. of Education. These loans have a six month grace period after graduation until repayment begins. There are also flexible rate plans
Graduate PLUS Loans
If you don’t have bad credit, you can apply for Graduate PLUS Loans, and those with credit problems can apply with an endorser who has good credit. You can borrow up to the amount of the school’s cost of attendance, minus other financial aid you received.
Private Law School Loans
Private law school loans are issued by private lenders, just like most other kinds of loans. They can have different payment periods, and different qualifications for borrowers. You can choose loans with fixed or variable interest rates, and some loans have grace periods and other features. Some even allow you to skip payments occasionally.