​Loan Programs

School of Law Tuition Credit Loan

This is a university loan made directly to students who generally must demonstrate exceptional financial need. A typical TCL award for the 2017-2018 academic year is $5,000. Repayment begins one year after the student graduates or leaves school. Interest accrues at the rate of five percent of the unpaid balance during repayment.

School of Law Access Loan

This is a university loan made directly to students who generally must demonstrate exceptional financial need. A typical LAL award for the 2017-2018 academic year is $5,000. Repayment begins one year after the student graduates or leaves school. This is an interest free loan and the aggregate maximum a student can borrow is $15,000.

Federal Direct Loans

Unsubsidized

Interest on an Unsubsidized Direct Loan begins immediately after the loan is disbursed. Students can choose to pay the interest monthly or have it capitalized to the principal at repayment. Graduate law students can borrow up to $20,500 from the program each academic year. The aggregate maximum students may borrow from this program is $138,500. (No more than $65,500 of this amount may be in subsidized loans.) Beginning July 1, 2017, interest rates on Direct Loans has been fixed at 6.0%. An origination and guarantee fee of 1.069% will be charged and deducted from each loan disbursement.

Graduate PLUS Loan

This is a federally-guaranteed student loan to help meet the costs that exceed direct subsidized and unsubsidized loan limits. This loan carries a 4.276% origination and guarantee fee. The interest on the Direct Graduate PLUS Loan is fixed at 7.0%. Eligibility is contingent on creditworthiness.

Private Loan Programs

There are a number of private loan plans tailored to help meet the cost of a graduate education. These private loans provide a source of credit for both full- and half-time graduate students whose educational funding needs exceed personal resources and assistance available through traditional programs. A sample interest rate is: Libor plus 2.45 percent. Students may borrow up to their unmet cost of attendance budget each academic year. Repayment of the principal and interest of the loan begins six to nine months after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. These loans require creditworthiness.

DACA and International Students

MPOWER

MPOWER Financing was created as a Public Benefit Corporation to help promising students from around the world who struggle to complete their education as a result of being excluded from traditional financing options.

  • No Cosigner or collateral required
  • No U.S. credit history needed
  • Loans can range from $2,001 - $50,000 (over 2 academic terms)
  • Interest only payments during 6-month post-graduation period
  • Fixed Interest Rates

Deferments

Students with prior outstanding student loans may qualify for deferment and/or forbearance provisions when these students are enrolled at least half-time in law school. Students must formally request a deferment or forbearance through the procedures established by the holder of the loan, and must continue making payments until notified that the deferment has been granted.

LOAN TYPE ELIGIBILITY/LOAN LIMIT INTEREST RATE/FEE REPAYMENT / DEFERMENT

USD Law Access Loan

$15,000 lifetime limit.

U.S. Citizen or eligible resident.1

Generally must demonstrate financial need

0% interest

12 month grace period. 10 year repayment period.

Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan

Currently enrolled in school at least half-time.

U.S. Citizen or eligible resident.

School certifies eligibility.

Annual Maximum:
$20,500

Aggregate Maximum:
Subsidized: $65,500
Unsubsidized: $138,500
(Less the subsidized amount)

Interest rate is fixed at 6.0%.

For the school year 2017-18, a loan fee of 1.069%.

A portion of the total fees will be deducted from each loan disbursement.

Repayment begins six months after student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

10-30 year repayment period depending on indebtedness and repayment option.

Interest payment begins immediately unless deferment is requested. The interest accrues and is added to the principal at repayment.

USD Tuition Credit Loan

U.S. Citizen or eligible resident.1

Awarded by USD Financial Aid Office.

Generally must demonstrate financial need.

5% fixed interest rate.

No loan fees.

10 year repayment period.

Repayment begins one year after the student is no longer enrolled at least half-time.

No interest occurs while the student is in school at least half-time and during the one year grace period.

1 An "eligible resident" is defined as any student meeting the FAFSA definition of Eligible Non-Citizen or any student who has been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (or "DACA") status by the USCIS.

Loan Debt Management

The decision to acquire any form of debt is a serious obligation. It is helpful to anticipate your funding needs and to continuously monitor your level of debt at any given time. You can make it easier to deal with this long-term financial obligation by implementing sound debt management practices. It may be helpful in determining a personal debt management strategy to consider the following.

  • Analyzing income projections
  • Estimate how far your paycheck will go after you graduate
  • Consider your repayment options including loan consolidation
  • Consider incentive repayment programs and stay current on your educational loans

According to federal law, some types of federal loans must offer graduated or income-sensitive repayment options. Under these plans, you may be able to make lower monthly loan payments for the first few years when your income may be limited. Payments are gradually increased over a period of years as your income rises. Another alternative to consider is consolidation of your federal loans. This option allows you to consolidate your federal loans into a single loan and reduce your monthly student loan payment by as much as 20% to 40% by extending the repayment period. However, by extending your repayment period you will incur additional interest charges. It is best to discuss the various repayment options with your student loan lender. The staff of the Financial Aid Office will provide various informational tools to thoroughly look at the advantages and drawbacks to federal loan consolidation. Consolidation options may also be available to refinance private/alternative educational loans depending on the lender.

For more information, see the budgeting section of our website.

Private Bar Study Loans

Private bar study loans can be a helpful option if you don't have the financial resources necessary to cover your bar study and bar exam expenses. Unlike educational loans you may have borrowed previously, bar loans are quite flexible. The amount you are allowed to borrow is not limited by a school designated cost of attendance, so you can borrow any amount up to the maximum set by your lender. Additionally, bar loan funds are disbursed directly to the borrower rather than being delivered through the school.

You should keep in mind, however, that all bar loans are private loans. They are not federally guaranteed, so you must be able to pass the lender's credit check. Additionally, bar loans cannot be included in a federal student loan consolidation, so you will have a separate repayment obligation for your bar loan.

During the current credit crunch only a few student loan providers are offering bar study loans. Several of these are listed below. You should examine the information offered directly from the lenders to choose the best loan product for your needs. The University of San Diego does not recommend or endorse any private lender and there may be other lenders in addition to those listed. You are welcome to borrow from any lender you choose.

Discover Bar Exam Loan

Borrowers may request up to $16,000 with a 20-year repayment term

Must have aggregate loan debt below $180,000 including bar loan.

Apply online or call 1-(800)-STUDENT or 1-(800) 788--3368 to apply by telephone.

Fifth Third Bank Bar Study Loan

Borrowers may request amounts up to $15,000 with a 15-year repayment term.

PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study

Borrowers may request up to $15,000 with a 15-year repayment term.

Apply online or call 1 (800) 762-1001 for more information.

Sallie Mae Bar Study Loan

Borrowers may request amounts up to $15,000 with a 15-year repayment term.

Apply online or call 1 (800) 984-0190 to apply by telephone.

Wells Fargo Bar Exam Loan

Borrowers may request up to $12,000 with a 15-year repayment term.

Must have aggregate loan debt below $180,000 including bar loan.

Apply online or call 1 (800) 378-5526 for more information.