Bar Exam Loan Information

Note: This information is for February, March and May 2014 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 that you are expected to graduate. 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 relations 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 certify bar exam loans in February. If no disbursement amounts or dates are designated on your application, the loan will be certified as follows: $3,000 disbursed immediately, and the balance on May 1, 2014. For those who apply to the Credit Union, the funds will be deposited into the borrower's HUECU account in full upon certification. 

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. Please note that Harvard Credit Union loans, PNC, Discover loans and Wells Fargo loans will be certified electronically while Sallie Mae Bar Study Loan requires schools to complete a paper certification. If you apply for a Sallie Mae Bar loan, you will need to submit your paper application to our office.  We will then complete the school section and send it to Sallie Mae via FAX.  

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 this year.  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.  

Additionally, you may find this Bar Loan Budget Worksheet helpful in calculating the amount you want to borrow.

To apply and for more detailed and updated information regarding the bar loan programs from these lenders, please click on the links below:

Bar Loan Comparison Chart (2014 terms)
 Harvard Credit Union Post Grad Transition LoanPNC Solution Loan for Bar StudyDiscover Bar Exam LoanSallie Mae Bar Study LoanWells Fargo Bar Exam Loan
Borrowing Maximum$15,000$15,000$16,000$15,000$12,000
Cumulative Debt LimitNone$225,000$225,000None$180,000 (including bar loan)
Origination Fee0%0%0%0% 3% or 5% depending on credit0%
Grace Period6 months from 5/15/20146 months from 5/15/20149 months from 5/15/20149 months from 5/15/20146 months from 5/15/2014
Interest RatePrime + 2.25 - 5.75% depending on credit rating
  • Variable rate loan interest rates range from 3.47% to 10.42%
    (APRs from 3.45% to 10.42%)
  • Fixed rate loan interest rates range from 6.49% to 12.99% depending on credit rating
    (APRs from 6.40% to 12.99%) depending on credit rating
  • Variable rate range Prime + 0.00% to 4.00%
    (APRs from 3.25% to 7.25%)
  • Fixed rate APRs from 6.74%
1-Month LIBOR +3.50% to 1-Month LIBOR +11.75% depending on credit rating (3.74% to 12.74%APR)
  • Variable interest rates as low as 7.46% APR (with discount) to 7.69% APR (without discount)
  • Fixed interest rates as low as 9.30% APR (with discount) to 9.53% APR (without discount)
Length of Repayment10  years with a minimum monthly payment of $50 which might shorten the repayment period depending on the total amount borrowed.15  years15 years15  years7  years **This loan is ineligible for LIPP because it has a repayment term of less than 10 years.**
Repayment Incentives0.25% for electronic debiting
  • 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% for electronic debiting
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction when automatic payments are made
  • 0.25% rate reduction for previous Wells Fargo student loan or other qualifying account
  • 0.25% interest rate reduction for enrolling in automatic payments

 

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 non-citizen permanent.

 

  • 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 2/4/2014

Last modified: April 23, 2014