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question re:student loans

sbc.mom_3xsbc.mom_3x Alum Member
edited January 2015 in General 1501 karma
When I do ultimately go to law school I'm going to be living off of loans (hopefully somewhat of a savings acct) for living expenses as well as obviously tuition from-- loans. Hoping for a couple or a few scholarships. So I'm considering the fact that I've got under grad student loans... is that going to affect my ability to get the maximum amount in student loans I can for law school? I'm trying to get credit card debts paid off as well as build on my savings account within the next 16 months. Would it be wise to try and save as much as I can or apply some of that money towards paying off the financial aid loans I already have outstanding?

Comments

  • DrackedaryDrackedary Legacy Member
    edited January 2015 239 karma
    Obviously, I can only speculate from a generalized point of view. Student loans are handled differently depending on where you live.

    Previous student loans from your undergrad can impact the amount of future loans depending on your source. Government loans shouldn't be a problem, but if you are trying to get a bank loan, that could be a problem. Private sources (banks) would be a bit wary lending too much money to someone who already has a significant debt load. You might be able to get a student line of credit from a bank though. A banker once told me that her bank is generally more willingly to offer a line of credit to students in professional training schools (law, med, nursing, etc.) since they are more likely to lead to viable income.

    Depending on where you are, you might want to look at student loan repayment assistance. If you are making below a certain threshold, it is possible the lender can reduce your monthly payments or put them on hold till you get your finances together. The reason I suggest this is to allow yourself to save more money in the period between undergrad and law school. You should investigate the options, but it's usually government loan programs that offer suggest assistance rather than private. Currently, my government has temporarily put repayment on hold for me. This allows me to save money for law school and pay down other debts.

    And yes, paying the credit card off ASAP is a good idea!

    Good luck.
  • shine.on.meshine.on.me Alum Member
    463 karma
    I'm in the same boat. I have a decent amount of debt and I plan on relying heavily on loans, some savings, scholarships and grants to live on while I'm in law school. I'm on a debt management program that helps with managing my credit cards. They should all be paid off next Spring (2016)-right before I plan to start law schol. If you are having any trouble making those payments, I highly recommend it.

    Student loans are different. My family and I paid out-of-pocket my first two and a half years for community college and the other two and a half years I was lucky to be in need and merit based status. Furthermore, I went to state-supported school. I didn't have to borrow too much. I have friends with much more student debt than I do but its still burying me.

    Its my understanding that like @Drackedary says that the amount the federal and state loans will depend on how much debt you currently have. And that private loans are different. I read somewhere that you can get a co-signer if you are not approved on your own on private loans. In my state, its my understanding that the payments for my undergrad government loans will be deferred while I'm in grad school but I could be wrong. But I also think the original repayment period will end while I'm in law school. I have a lot of things to figure out myself as well.
  • jdawg113jdawg113 Alum Inactive ⭐
    2654 karma
    So I generally dont take what I hear at events too strictly but I remember hearing at a LSAC forum that law school loans tend to work a bit differently in that there generally arent real caps in what you can take out (but might be based off of the schools estimated cost and might cap at that) but thats the extent of my knowledge
  • joegotbored-1joegotbored-1 Alum Member
    802 karma
    So, sub/unsub direct loans are capped at 20,500 a year. Grad Plus loans are capped at the budget created by your school for full cost of attendance minus any outside funding you receive and minus any scholarships.

    The smaller cap has about 6% interest, the unlimited grad plus loan is at over 8%.

    Best advice for law school loans is don't do it if you can avoid it! Study your tail off here at 7Sage and watch those scholarships roll in :) Also, keep cost of living in mind because even a full ride won't cover it. The difference between Los Angeles and Middlenowhere, USA is a big one in terms of loans.
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