Law School Discussion

Please help with loan question!!

Please help with loan question!!
« on: June 22, 2005, 09:20:05 AM »
I posted this on the pre-law board but no one is responding and I am freaking out about maybe someone could help?


I thought I was being responsible when I went to talk to my financial aid office to get some help on how to finance law school.  The problem was, the fin. aid office at my school is for the entire university and seem to not know that much about the law school specifically.

They explained to me how to get my federal loans (up to the estimated COA) and that was easy.  However, I need more than what they are giving me as the COA only covers my rent, phone, car, and utilities.  I have to furnish my apartment (am moving from thousands of miles away so I have none) and get a computer plus , um...EAT.  When I asked them how to get additional loans, the woman looked at me like I was crazy.

She told me that the law school should have told me that law school was a sacrifice and if I can't live on the COA, I should reconsider going.  She specifically told me that the COA doesn't consider car payments and supplemental or NEW books (which EVERYONE recommends) and that I should find that funding elsewhere.  I said I have no assistance from my parents and that the law school recommended I have a one-bedroom so my only choice is additional loans.

Since my school is public, I don't have reservations about taking out private loans because my total debt won't be that bad after I graduate.  I'd rather be comfortable in my living situation and not have to constantly worry about money.  I'll deal with the debt when I get out and work in BIGLAW for a few years (by the way, I am a LA in the firm most notorious for its "sweatshop qualities" right now, so I know what I am getting into).

She said the school would not authorize any additional loans from a private bank and if I went and got additional loans, the government would reduce my fed. loans by the amount of my loans so that I was only taking out the cost of attendance.  In short, she suggested nothing to help me and basically patronized me for being high-maintenence.

I was so upset by this woman, my dad had to calm me down and reassure me that if I wanted a loan I could get one.

My question is: what was she correct about and what is she not?  I can't beleive that this office is so bad...but there's nothing I can do.  The fact remains, I need an additional loan. 

I applied for one from (because my sister has an undergrad loan from there) and I am waiting for approval...but I don't want this to take away from my federal loans.




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Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2005, 10:01:47 AM »
I am not sure about it taking away from the school amount (but the other way around - see below).  I would got to the FAFSA website and look for a number to call there and ask them.  I applied for and received an additional $30K above and beyond the $18500 from Stafford and an additional ~$2K Perkins.  I eventually returned the $30K private loan because my COA was estimated by the school to be higher than I expected and I didn't need it.

I do know private lenders MAY coordinate with the school and not lend you above (COA minus Fin Aid).  SOME may not, but will charge higher interest - basically it's an unsecured private loan. 

Check with your bank, most larger banks have a school loan programs.  Try SallieMae, Access Group, Chela, or GMAC for loans. 

GMAC was the one who fronted me another $30K without any input from the school.  Interest was higher, 20 year payback amounted to $55K interest if I went the whole term.  I DID NOT report this to the school (nor check if I had to) since I returned the loan.

Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2005, 10:19:15 AM »
Did anyone else click on the link for the lender and get directed to a porn site?

Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2005, 10:50:44 AM »


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Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2005, 11:18:15 AM »
Hey--I'm curious about this too.  I think I should be ok, especially if my husband comes with me, but I'm worried I may need to take out more than cost of attendence, especially if I don't get a paying job my first summer.  My tuition is $22K and my school estimates the budget at $36K, which after tuition and laptop and books, leaves about $800 a month (for the whole year, not just the months I'm in school, because I'm paranoid about not having a summer job after 1L).  After $500 for a l bedroom apartment, that's not much for bills and food.

Anyone else worried about this?

Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2005, 03:59:03 PM »
I took out an addition $7500 last year and will take the same this year.  I go through Wells Fargo.  Its called an Education Connection loan.  They don't report it to your school, so its completely separate from your federal student loans.  You have to pay the interest while you are in school (minimum payment of $50/month, but I just figured that into the loan), and you'll probably need a cosigner.  Its definitely been worth it though--I didn't want to have to worry about money either, and this helped in that regard. Good luck!


Re: Please help with loan question!!
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2005, 04:57:36 PM »
for what it's worth, some schools have a computer loan policy where they'll increase your COA by up to 2000 for purchase of a computer (you have to purchase it and then submit for reimbursement, I think). You could see if your school has a policy like that. Also... does your law school by any chance have its own financial advisors? It sucks dealing with undergrad advisors.