Now that you have surpassed the LSAT hurdle, the next challenge you are faced with is not only applying to law schools, but figuring out how you will source the cost of education for your law degree. You probably have not given it much thought other than trying to find the best interest student law loans. That's a start but here is some more detail on the process to follow in order to obtain low interest loans for law students.
Firstly, let's list some of the major sources of funding for law students:
1. Federal Stafford Student Loan Program
2. Federal Perkins Loan Program
3. Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
4. Private/alternative loans
When searching for law school loans or any other type of school loan, you can't get a much lower interest rate than what is supplied by the Federal Government. This is why our list above seeks out federal sources of financial aid first then leaves the private sources as an option after federal funds are exhausted. The best way to get started is by filling out your FAFSA application. This will determine your eligibility for federal loans. Private and alternative loans should be considered only as a last resort to meet the shortfall where federal loans cannot fulfill the financial need.
Federal Stafford Loans are available to students enrolled at least half-time. These low interest student loans are made by lenders who are a part of the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP). These loans are either subsidized or unsubsidized depending on your eligibility for financial aid.
Federal Perkins loans
The Federal Perkins Loan allows students to borrow up to $3,000/year (5 year max) for undergraduate school and $5,000/year for graduate school (6 year max). The Federal Perkins Loan has one of the lowest interest rates and is awarded to students who have an exceptional financial need. You also must have applied for a Pell Grant to be eligible. Besides a low interest rate, one of the other benefits is that the interest on the Perkins Loan is subsidized while you are in school.
Federal Graduate PLUS Loan
The Federal Graduate PLUS Loan has a fixed interest rate of 8.5% and is available to students who are enrolled at least half-time. This loan is not based on need and is credit based but the criteria for obtaining this type of loan is less stringent than private education loans. In some cases you may be able to borrow up to the full cost of attendance minor other financial aid.
Private Education Loans
Private Educational Loans are another alternative funding source for law students. They are usually used to bridge the gap where more funds than the above mentioned loans are needed. Terms of private loans vary significantly, so it's important to do your research. These loans can be more expensive than federal loans because the federal government does not guarantee them. In some cases you may be able to get a lower interest rate if you have a co-signer. A credit check is required and/or debt-to-income ratio on the borrower and/or co-borrower.
Low interest student law loans are available, but it is recommended that you seek out your federal options first then turn to private student loans. By doing your research and discussing options with potential lenders, you can find a low interest loan that best fits your needs.