Education loans are to be used for tuition, fees and living expenses while in school, and must be repaid, with interest. They generally have relatively low-interest rates and have deferment and repayment provisions that allow students flexibility when it comes time to repay the loans. Students can use these education loans to meet their tuition and living expenses by borrowing up to the cost of attendance, minus any financial aid (scholarships and grants) they receive during an academic year. At Fordham Law School, students can apply for federal loans and private loans.
Federal education loans are provided by the government, and have fixed interest rates, flexible repayment options, deferment/forbearance, loan forgiveness and cancellation benefits. There are origination fees associated with all federal loans.
All Federal loans are borrowed directly from the Federal government through the U.S. Department of Education. Eligibility for federal aid is determined by the information you provide in the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (studentaid.gov). To borrow a federal education loan, you must:
- be enrolled at least half-time in an eligible degree program;
- be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or eligible non-citizen;
- not be in default on a federal student loan;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress by the end of each academic year.
Private education loans may be available to students who have very good credit. We do not recommend or endorse the use of private loans but recognize this is an option for you. Private loans differ from federal loans in several significant ways:
- Private loans are not federally guaranteed and not regulated or monitored by the U.S. Department of Education.
- Interest rates can be variable, usually with no cap (the rate can go up or down any time after you borrow).
- Processing fees may be higher than federal loans.
- Private loans are issued only to students who have good credit.
- Credit worthy co-signers may be required if the student has bad credit.
- Private loans can be more expensive.
- Repayment periods may be longer, resulting in higher interest costs.
- Private loans have no deferment option, but lenders may offer forbearance.
- Private loan forgiveness in the event of death or disability, varies with the lender.
- They may not be consolidated with Federal loans.
- Private loans are not eligible for Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
We recommend you maximize your eligibility for Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Federal Grad PLUS Loans before considering a private loan.
Bar Study Loans
Bar study loans are private, credit-based student loans designed to assist students and recent graduates with the costs of preparing for and taking the bar exam. Bar study loans may be a useful option if you do not have the finances necessary to cover your bar exam costs and your living expenses while you study for the bar. Unlike educational loans borrowed during the academic year, the lender will determine the amount offered. Generally, students may be eligible to borrow up to $15,000; however, the lender sets the maximum based on creditworthiness and total indebtedness. The interest rates and terms are determined by the lender. With a bar study loan, you will have a separate repayment obligation with the lender.