Graduate/Law Loan Information
Loans are a major form of self-help aid for students. As part of your award letter, you may be offered a loan. A loan must be repaid in full, including any interest and fees. Student loans have long repayment periods and generally repayment will not begin until you leave school. Interest rates vary, depending on the type of loan you borrow. The promissory note you sign will contain the exact terms of the loan you are borrowing. Keep your copy for reference.
Important Announcement for Graduate and Law Students
President Obama on August 9, 2013 signed into law the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013 which provides a new method of determining Direct Loan interest rates.
For loans first disbursed on or after July 1st 2013 through June 30, 2014 the interest rate for the Direct Unsubsidized Loans for Graduate/ Professional students is 5.41% and the Grad PLUS loan is 6.41%.
Please note that the Budget Control Act of 2011 eliminated the in-school interest subsidy for graduate and professional students. Effective July 1, 2012 Federal Direct Subsidized loans will no longer exist on the graduate and professional level.
To Borrow or Not To Borrow
By accepting a Stafford Student Loan, you incur a binding obligation to repay the loan in full, including interest and any applicable fees. It is essential that when you plan for educational costs, you also plan for future repayment of any amounts you have borrowed. When making the decision whether or not to accept a loan, you should be aware of all the requirements, interest rates, repayment options, schedules and deferment options.
"Federal student loans are real loans, just like car loans or mortgage loans. You must repay a student loan even if your financial circumstances become difficult. Federal student loans usually can’t be written off in bankruptcy. They can’t be canceled because you didn’t get the education or job you expected, and they can’tbe canceled because you didn’t complete your education (unless you couldn’t complete your education because your school closed)." - Federal Student Aid publication
How to Borrow Wisely
- Don't borrow without first looking into other methods of financing your education (scholarships and assistantships, for example).
- Look into local resources of financial aid from community organizations and civic groups.
- Repay your debt as soon as possible. The longer you owe, the more you owe.
- To help secure your financial future, monitor the status of your loans and your repayment history and repay your loan on time.
FSA Student Loan Ombudsman:
Via on-line assistance: studentaid.gov/repay-loans/disputes/prepare
Phone 877-557-2575, Fax 202-275-0549
Via mail FSA Ombudsman Group 830 First Street, N.E., Mail Stop 5144 Washington, D.c. 20202-5144
Repaying Your Federal Student Loan
St. John's School of Law in conjunction with the Office of Student Financial Services has provided this helpful summary of Planning and Preparing for Repayment of Federal Student Loans. Here you will find repayment options, cosolidation options, payment programs and answers to frequently asked questions.