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Note: This information is for February, March and May 2016 Graduates.

Some lenders offer bar exam loans which are designed to assist graduating law students in their efforts to finance bar exam-related expenses. While these loans are not part of your academic year financial aid, they still need to be certified by Student Financial Services in order to verify your expected graduation date and in order to be eligible for the LIPP program. We will certify only one bar loan application per student.

Harvard Credit Union, Wells Fargo, PNC, Discover, and Sallie Mae are lenders that offer bar exam loans. The Credit Union requires you to be a member and Wells Fargo requires you to have a prior banking or borrowing relationship while PNC, Discover, and Sallie Mae do not. Your loan application will be approved according to your creditworthiness and, upon approval, a loan check will be mailed directly from the lender to you at the address you list on your application or in the case of the Harvard Credit Union, deposited directly into your credit union account. Please note, we cannot advance money on bar loan funds.

We will begin to electronically certify bar exam loans in February. If the lender allows us to list multiple disbursement dates on the certification form, your loan will be certified as follows: $3,000 disbursed immediately (within 10 business days), and the balance on May 1, 2016. For those who apply to the Credit Union, the funds will be deposited into the borrower’s HUECU account for the full amount within 10 business days after they receive our certification since HUECU does not offer multiple disbursement dates.

We hope the comparison chart below will help you focus on the important terms of any loan program you review regardless of which lender you choose and allow you to make an informed decision on which program you want to borrow through.

A maximum of $10,000 in bar exam loan funds will be eligible for LIPP assistance. Graduates considering participation in LIPP should consider the length of the loan’s repayment term and contact the lender to ask about the possibility of formally shortening the repayment term to 10 years from the 15 year term that is typically standard. LIPP only provides assistance on the ACTUAL required payment and, although not required, recommends that participants place all of their loans on 10 year repayment terms. Estimated payments will not be considered for LIPP purposes.

Please note that BarBri is offering a Bar Loan. Be certain to compare this loan to the other bar loan options. Keep in mind that the BarBri loan is NOT eligible for LIPP assistance since it has a three year repayment term which makes it ineligible for LIPP assistance. It is not listed on the chart below because most students who take bar loans do not have the ability to repay the loan within three years.

Information provided by the lenders and subject to change without notice. It is important to contact the lender directly for the most accurate and up to date information:

Bar Loan Comparison Chart (2016 terms)
Harvard Credit Union Post Grad Transition Loan PNC Solution Loan for Bar Study Discover Bar Exam Loan Sallie Mae Bar Study Loan Wells Fargo Bar Exam Loan
Borrowing Maximum $15,000 $15,000 $16,000 $15,000 $12,000
Cumulative Debt Limit None $225,000 $180,000 $180,000 (including bar loan) $180,000 (including bar loan)
Fees 0% 0% 0% 0% 0%
Grace Period 6 months from 5/13/2016 * 6 months from 5/13/2016 9 months from 5/13/2016 9 months from 5/13/2016 6 months from 5/13/2016
Interest Rate Variable rate: Prime + 2.25 – 5.75% depending on credit rating Variable rate: 3 month average of the 1 –month LIBOR + 3.30% – 10.25% depending on credit rating
  • Variable rate as low as 3-month LIBOR + 3.74%       – 8.49% depending on credit rating
  • Fixed rate from 6.40% -12.61% depending on credit rating
1-Month LIBOR +3% – 9.75% depending on credit rating
  • Variable rate:            Prime + 4.74%
  • Fixed rate: 9.99%
Length of Repayment  10 year 15 years 15 years 15 years 7 years **This loan is ineligible for LIPP because it has a repayment term of less than 10 years.**
Repayment Incentives 0.25% off your rate with automated payments from your checking or savings account
  • Get 0.50% off your rate with automated payments from your checking or savings account
  • A co-signer release option is available after the initial 48 consecutive on-time monthly payments2
0.25% off your rate with automated payments from your checking or savings account
  • 0.25% off your rate with automated payments from your checking or savings account
  • 0.25- 0.50% rate reduction for various and  previous Wells Fargo student loan or other qualifying account
  • 0.25% off your rate with automated payments from your checking or savings account
Eligibility
  • Enrolled in final year of law program or have graduated within 6 months
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident with a valid Social Security number and U.S. address
  • Credit Union Membership Required
  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Have lived in the U.S. for the previous two years
  • Enrolled in final year of law program or have graduated within 6 months
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. permanent resident with a valid Social Security number and U.S. address
  • Enrolled in final year of law program or have graduated within 12 months
  • Sitting for the bar no later than 12 months after graduation
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident alien without conditions and with proper evidence of eligibility
  • An international student borrowing with a credit worthy cosigner who is a U.S. citizen or  permanent resident and present U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Service (USCIS) documents.
  • Current Wells Fargo customer (checking/savings account or prior loan history)
  • Enrolled in final year of law program or have graduated within 30 days
  • Have an established, positive credit history
  • U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or permanent resident alien without conditions and with proper evidence of eligibility

This information is updated as of 2/24/2016