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Author Topic: Bad Credit and Attending law School  (Read 1822 times)

Lawschool2005

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Bad Credit and Attending law School
« on: March 27, 2004, 07:43:50 PM »
Hello , I am new to this board and have a really importnat credit. I want to start Law school next year but my credit is bad. I have started paying it off but I still owe alot. I was wondering if I will be able to get loans to pay for law school. I was reading that you have to have good credit to get private loans but it didn't say anything about getting Stafford loans and theough fafsa. Can I still get loans if I have bad credit?

schoomp

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2004, 08:05:37 PM »
As far as I know - Stafford loans (or the other government loans) do not require a credit check.  However, there is a limit on the amount of government loans you can get and it isn't the cost of attending most law schools - going on the assumption that you don't get any scholarships, don't work the first year, and still have "normal" expenses like rent, food, clothes, etc.  To make up the difference between the government loans and the cost of living, taking out private loans is the biggest and most used option.  For private loans, you typically have a credit check and without good credit you may or may not get them.

The biggest thing that could be a problem, imo, is if you are going to still be paying off what you owe right now while going to school.  The cost of living at most schools does not figure in any kind of debt (i.e. car payments, credit card payments, loan payments, etc).  If you are making, say $500 a month in payments, that is $500 above the normal cost of living the school thinks you should live on, which is low to begin with - unless you plan on having everything paid off before you start.

My advice, would be to talk to the financial aid counselor at whatever school you are going to.  The federal loan limit (I think!!!!) is about 18,500 per year.  If you are going to a school that is around 8000 a year plus books and fees - you are looking at a budget of maybe 9000-10000 a year to live off of - roughly 1000 a month if you work during the summer.  If you have a lot of payments you are making then that could be really hard...  But, then again, if you are going to a night program, living with your parents or someone else that pays the rent, got a scholarship you could be in a much better situation.


planejane

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2004, 08:12:30 PM »
Schoomp is right about it being $18,500 per year for student loans.  I am kinda in the same situation right now.  I have paid off about $5000 in credit card bills and I have $5000 left, which I am trying really hard to do before law school next year.  Even though I really don't like where I live and I would rather move back to Georgia, I am considering night law school while I still have a really good job here in Alabama.  There are some pluses to night school on my end.  It is something to consider.  Your law school costs won't be so high when you graduate. 

Best of luck!

Lawschool2005

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2004, 08:21:15 PM »
So say I get $18,500 from Stafford and my tuition is only $10,000 I still get the remainder to use for my living expenses and stuff?? Is the money split up betewwn semesters? Like you get half one semester and the other half the next or do you get it all at one time?
 

schoomp

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2004, 09:26:21 PM »
So say I get $18,500 from Stafford and my tuition is only $10,000 I still get the remainder to use for my living expenses and stuff?? Is the money split up betewwn semesters? Like you get half one semester and the other half the next or do you get it all at one time?
 

I've only taken loans for grad school - not law school, however I think it works the same way...

You get a certain amount each year - if you had 18,500 in loans (which you actually get about 18000 because you have to pay a fee usually to take the loans) - your tuition is 10000 a year (5000 a semester).  They split the amount of your loan for each semester - 9000 a semester about.  the money is usually given to the school and then the school sends you a check for the balance after taking out tuition - so each semester you get 4000 a few weeks after the semester starts (typically because the school doesn't get the money till the first of the semester and it takes a little bit to get the check cut to you).

I think it is typically given out per semester as you have to be enrolled for a certain credit amount per semester to actually qualify.  If one semester you decide to take a really light load (say 1 class), then you don't qualify for the whole amount so you might not get it.  This is something you should check with the school on though.  However, more as a learn from my mistake, as I thought I was getting a certain amount one semester and I couldn't get it until the second half of the semester (the school did 2 8 week sessions a semester) because the first half I took 1 credit hour and the second 3 credit hours - because of that I couldn't actually get the loan until I was in the 3 credit class...

Enzyme

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2004, 09:54:51 PM »
Keep in mind that the law student's budget that schools calculate do not include any money for credit card debt and basically all sources say to pay it off before hand if possible. The last thing you want you want to do is get to law school and not have enough to cover them and then have dreaded calls coming in as you are busy with law life. Sounds like you are trying to pay if off though, so keep going towards that goal as much as possible.

Good luck.

Hello , I am new to this board and have a really importnat credit. I want to start Law school next year but my credit is bad. I have started paying it off but I still owe alot. I was wondering if I will be able to get loans to pay for law school. I was reading that you have to have good credit to get private loans but it didn't say anything about getting Stafford loans and theough fafsa. Can I still get loans if I have bad credit?

Lawschool2005

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2004, 12:13:56 AM »
Thank you. I hope to have it all paid off by the time I attend Law school . I don't know if my credit will look alot better though because i would still show that I was late on some accounts and one was in a collection agency. I was worried that I may not get approved for any credit or loans to help pay for school.

schoomp

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Re: Bad Credit and Attending law School
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2004, 01:28:51 AM »
Have you thought about trying to get a loan now for the amount you owe on your credit cards?  You could try through your bank/credit union to get a personal loan to pay it off - this would do several things - first give you a chance to find out if you will qualify for loans later, probably be at less interest than you are paying now, make it so you only have one payment (assuming you have several cc's), and give you a positive reference with the bank (if you pay it on time all the time). Plus, assuming you have a job right now, it would probably be easier to get the loan now rather than later when you aren't working.  If you show for the next year you pay it, maybe they will overlook the lack of job later when you need another loan for school.

The other thing you probably should do is get copies of your credit reports from all three agencies - there can be a lot of difference between the three and then you know where you stand.  There is a chance when you go to get a loan, you can tell them that your credit with transworld is so-so, eqifax is great and experian is awful, etc...