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Loans

There are several loan programs for law students to assist with financing expenses for law school, including living expenses as needed.

To ensure the best plan for your situation, research these opportunities for financial assistance, as well as the obligations and responsibilities of each. Loans must be repaid. Email the assistant director of student financial services and financial education for any questions regarding which program may best suit your long-term plans.

Direct Unsubsidized Loan Program

Saint Louis University participates in the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. Direct Loan funds are provided through the U.S. Department of Education.

Direct Unsubsidized loans are available to students who are or will be enrolled at least half-time at an accredited school. Students must apply for these loans by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. Saint Louis University’s federal school code is 002506. Once Saint Louis University receives FAFSA information, award letters are sent out to students in March for the upcoming academic year. A student must then confirm the amount of the loan via mySLU by selecting “Financial Aid Awards” under the student tab.

If a student is a first-time borrower with this loan program, they must also complete a Direct Unsubsidized Loan Master Promissory Note and Entrance Counseling via studentloans.gov.

  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens. (Note: students with an F1 or F2 student visa or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G series visa are NOT eligible for federal aid.)
  • Amounts available: Up to $20,500 per academic year.
  • Repayment: 10-25 years, depending on the total amount borrowed. Use the repayment calculator tool to explore the various options.
Direct PLUS Loans

The Direct PLUS loan often bridges the gap between existing financial aid and the remaining cost of attendance. Direct PLUS loans are available to students who are or will be enrolled at least half-time at an accredited school. The lender will perform a credit check at the time of application. To be approved, the applicant must not have an adverse credit history.

Students apply for these loans annually through the following steps:

  1. Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) via fafsa.gov. Saint Louis University’s federal school code is 002506.
  2. Submit a “Direct PLUS Loan Request” via studentloans.gov. Students must exhaust loans offered through the Direct Unsubsidized loan program first.
  3. New borrowers only: Complete a Master Promissory Note(MPN) and Entrance Counseling via studentloans.gov.
  • Eligibility: U.S. citizens, eligible non-citizens. (Note: students with an F1 or F2 student visa or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G series visa are NOT eligible for federal aid.)
  • Amounts available: Up to the cost of attendance minus other aid.
  • Repayment: 10-25 years, depending on the total amount borrowed.  Use the repayment calculator tool to explore the various options.
Private Loans

Law students also have a variety of private loan programs from which to choose.

A private loan is an educational loan for credit-worthy borrowers (student, parent or other) that is offered by banks and other organizations. These loans are not federally funded through the Federal Direct Loan Program. Private loan programs have similar requirements and limits, differing mainly in guarantees, fees and repayment options. The interest rates and terms vary by lender and are usually tied to the prime rate or LIBOR index.

View a side-by-side comparison of federal loans versus private loans.

These loans are available to law students who are or will be enrolled at an ABA-accredited law school. Students must have a good credit history or a credit-worthy co-signer. The lender has discretion on approving the loan. However, research is key in determining which loan(s) best fit your criteria. Private loans cannot be consolidated with federal loans.

Be sure to follow each step of your lender's process when applying for a private student loan. Should you need assistance, contact your lender as they will walk you through their process and update you on the status of your loan.

View SLU’s historical lender list.

This is a list of lenders used by students and other borrowers at Saint Louis University within the last three academic years. The university does not endorse any lender, nor do any of the lenders compensate Saint Louis University to be on this list.

It is highly encouraged that a borrower interested in pursuing a private loan research a lender that works best for their financial situation. A borrower may pursue any lender of their choice.

Bar Loans

Bar loans are available to students who will graduate from an ABA-accredited law school and are preparing for the bar exam. Students must have a good credit history or a credit worthy co-signer.

Bar loans are considered private/alternative loans and are not part of the federal student loan program. Eligibility requirements will vary by lender. Interested applicants should visit the following sites to determine which lender best suit their needs. Students will apply online on the lender's website.

Students should notify the SLU LAW Financial Aid Office once the loan application has been approved for credit. If questions arise, please contact the lender or the Financial Aid Office.
When searching for bar exam/study loan, students should thoroughly research the loan. Below are some items to keep in mind when comparing the various bar loans to determine which one best suits your needs and repayment ability.

  1. What is the eligibility criteria for the bar loan?
  2. What is the borrowing limit for the bar loan?
  3. What is the interest rate? Is it a fixed or variable rate? How is the interest determined - APR, LIBOR, etc.? How is the interest calculated?
  4. Are there any loan fees (origination, disbursement or repayment)? If so, what is the fee amount?
  5. How are the funds disbursed? Can you request multiple disbursements?
  6. Can I get a lower interest rate or fees with a co-signer? Is there a co-signer release option?
  7. Is there a grace period for the bar loan? How long is the grace period?
  8. What are the repayment options/repayment plans for the loan? What is the length of repayment? Is there a prepayment penalty?
  9. What are the payment options (online, auto-debit, check)? Is there an interest rate reduction by paying via auto-pay?
  10. What options are available if I am having difficulty making my payments? Are there are any forbearance/deferment options available?
  11. Are there any forgiveness or cancellation options available? Do they offer any forgiveness programs? Are there any cancellations options for the loan (such as total permanent disability or death of the borrower)?

Below is a list of lenders that offer bar exam/bar study loans. Students should look at each one closely and see which bar loan best fits their needs and ability to repay the loan. This is not a comprehensive listing of available bar loans, and this listing does not constitute a recommendation of these loans.

International Loans

For international students planning on studying at Saint Louis University School of Law, financial arrangements must be met before studies can begin. Federal aid is not available to international students on a F1 or F2 student visa, J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa or a G series visa.

Contact the appropriate lenders for specific requirements and qualifications. Saint Louis University School of Law does not endorse or recommend any loan over another. Please read and research the various loans carefully to determine which loan best matches your needs.

Find more information about financial aid for international students here.

Emergency Loans

Our generous donors have enacted several emergency loan funds to assist students during their legal education. The School of Law has limited funds available to law students in need of short-term, emergency funds. Depending on the availability of funds, students may borrow up to $2,000. It is imperative that all borrowers abide by the repayment obligations to ensure continued availability to other students. Amounts owed are debts to the University. Failure to repay may result in the refusal to release official transcripts or the imposition of other penalties. Please see the Law School Financial Aid Office regarding the emergency loan funds.

At the current time, the following emergency loans are available to law students:

  • Irvin and Margaret Dagen Emergency Loan: Up to $1,000 is available to currently enrolled law students. Loan repayment is up to six months with a 6% interest rate if the loan is not paid in full by the maturity date.
  • Terry Gould Emergency Loan: Up to $2,000 is available to currently enrolled law students. Loan repayment terms will be agreed upon by the borrower, not to exceed their expected graduation date. If necessary, a 6% interest rate will apply if the loan is not paid in full by the maturity date.
  • Allen E. Fishman Emergency Loan: Up to $300 is available to graduating students to help with bar related expenses. Loan repayment is three years with an interest rate of 6% if the loan is not paid in full by the maturity date.
  • Callis Revolving Student Loan Fund: Fund was established to help graduating students attempting to cover the cost of bar prep expenses, but who do not have available funds. Law students must be enrolled in their last semester of law school and have a graduation application on file. Loan repayment is three years with an interest rate of 6% if the loan is not paid in full by the maturity due date.

Financial information for international students

Student Loan Questions

Are federal student loans based on credit?

Because Stafford loans are guaranteed by the federal government, previous credit problems will not affect your ability to qualify — unless you have defaulted on a student loan. Credit problems may affect your eligibility for the Graduate PLUS loan and private/alternative loans. The Graduate PLUS loan and the private/alternative loans are approved based on the credit of the borrower or that of a credit-worthy co-borrower.

I applied for loans before the semester began. When do I get my loan funds?

Refunds begin the week before school begins. If you completed your application well in advance of the semester, you should receive your loan funds within the first two weeks of school. It is recommended that you sign up for an electronic refund via the Bill Payment Suite in MySLU.

How can I clear a default on my student loan?

You must contact your lender or loan servicer immediately in order to work out a repayment plan. In most cases, you will be required to make at least six consecutive, on-time payments before you can apply for further federal loans.

If you are unsure of who owns your student loans, you can request that information by using the National Student Loan Data System.