Federal and Private Loan Programs

Temple law students may be eligible for federal Stafford and Graduate PLUS loans through the Direct Loan Program and if needed, private loans through private lenders. Students who are in default on a previous federal student loan are not eligible for any additional federal loans and may have difficulty receiving a private loan due to the credit criteria. It may be possible, however, to cure a default. If you are in default please contact your lender immediately for more information.

What types of loan are available? 

Click here for a chart with the different loan types, interest rates, eligibility requirements and repayment options which are available to law students. More detailed information on the different loan types is provided below.

How much should you borrow?

You should refer to the Cost of Attendance figures for an estimate of what your law school expenses should be. The total of all of your financial aid, from all sources, may not exceed the amount of your cost of attendance. Other than this restriction, the amount you borrow is really up to you. Please bear in mind that borrowing should not be undertaken lightly and repaying student loans may impact on career choices and post-graduate lifestyle. Students who borrow the minimum amount needed to make ends meet may afford themselves more flexibility in legal employment options. If you find that you are running short of funds you may request for additional loan funds at any time during the academic year as long as you have not already exhausted your eligibility in loans.

Financial Aid Refunds

For planning purposes, be advised that loan funds are issued in two separate disbursements; you will receive half of your loan in the fall, the other half in the spring. The amount which is sent to the school may be lower than the amount you have actually borrowed and must pay back because your lender may deduct fees (origination, insurance, and/or guarantee fees) from your disbursement amount each semester. The amount of these fees will be indicated on a disclosure statement which is sent directly to you from the lender.

Once your loan proceeds have been credited to your tuition account, you are entitled to any funds in excess of your tuition and fees. Refunds will be directly deposited into your individual checking or savings account if you have signed up for direct deposit. Students may sign up for direct deposit on TUPortal. If you do not sign up for direct deposit, you will receive your student loan refund in a paper check which will be mailed to you. Refund checks are usually not released to students until the first week of classes each semester.

Federal Direct Stafford Loan

The principal building block of most students financial aid package is the Federal Direct Stafford Loan. Eligible students may borrow up to $20,500 during an academic period. Beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year, the full amount of the Direct Stafford Loan will be unsubsidized, which means it will accrue interest while the borrower is in school and throughout the loan grace period.

The interest rate on the federal Direct Stafford loan for the 2014-2015 academic year is fixed at 6.21%. Borrowers will be responsible for paying the interest which accrues on any unsubsidized loan amounts, but have the option of deferring any payments until they graduate or terminate their studies. The Department of Education deducts a 1.072% loan origination fee from each loan disbursement. The origination fee will increase to 1.073% on new loans disbursed after October 1, 2014.

Although graduate and professional students will no longer be eligible for Direct subsidized loans, the terms and condititions of any Direct subsidized loans borrowed prior to July 1, 2012 will not be affected by this change.

Requesting a federal Direct Stafford Loan

All students who wish to borrow a federal Direct Stafford loan must file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Temple Law School Financial Aid application so that their eligibility for the loan may be determined. In addition, all students who plan to borrow federal Direct Stafford loan must file the new electronic Master Promissory Note (eMPN) with the Direct Loan Program. Students who plan to borrow both the federal Direct Stafford loan and the Direct Graduate PLUS loan will need to complete two separate eMPNs (one for each loan type).

To complete the Federal Direct Staffordized eMPN:

  • Go to the Direct Loan website, http://studentloans.gov
  • Sign in using your Federal Student Aid PIN (same PIN you used to complete the FAFSA)
  • Click on the Complete MPN link which is under Master Promissory Note on the left hand side of the page
  • Select the loan type Subsidized/Unsubsidized to complete the Stafford Loan eMPN. (Please note, you do not need to indicate the amount you are applying for on the eMPN. You specify the amount you are applying for each year on the Temple Law School Financial Aid Application).

Other Types of Loans

Students who have exhausted their eligibilty for the federal stafford loan and who wish to supplement their borrowing can choose to apply for either the GradPLUS loan or a private loan. Information on the two loans and how to apply is provided below.

Direct Graduate PLUS Loan

The Direct Graduate PLUS loan is a federally guaranteed, credit-based loan. Eligibilty for the Grad PLUS loan is the same as the Direct Subsidized/Unsubsidized Loan, except for the addition of credit criteria. To meet the credit criteria, a student must have no adverse credit, defined as being 90 days or more delinquient on a debt or having been subject to a default determination/bankruptcy discharge, foreclosure, repossession, tax lien, wage garnishment or write-off of a Federal student aid debt. The absence of a credit history is not considered adverse credit. Students who do not meet this credit criteria on their own may apply with an endorser. Students may also appeal the credit decision if they feel their credit was denied in error or if there are extenuating circumstances they wish to have considered. Students should contact the Direct Student Loan Origination Center at 800-557-7394 with questions regarding Credit Appeals and Endorser Applications.

The interest rate on the federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan for the 2014-2015 academic year is fixed at 7.21%. The Department of Education deducts a 4.288% loan origination fee from each loan disbursement. The origination fee will increase to 4.292% on new loans disbursed after October 1, 2014.

To apply for the Federal Direct Graduate PLUS loan you must do the following:

  • Go to the Direct Loan website, http://studentloans.gov
  • Sign in using your Federal Student Aid PIN (same PIN you used to complete the FAFSA)
  • Click on Complete MPN on the Direct Loan website and select Graduate PLUS
  • The Graduate PLUS loan requires that you complete an application for credit approval. To complete the applicaiton, select Request PLUS Loan on the left side of the page or Complete PLUS Application Process in the center of the page. (You can indicate on this appication whether you want to borrow the maximum amount or a specific amount).
  • Send an email to the Law School Financial Aid Office at lwfinaid@temple.edu to notify us that you have applied for the Graduate PLUS loan. If you do not notify our office, we will not know to process your loan.

Private/Commercial Loan Programs

Students can also supplement their borrowing with a private loan offered through a number of private lenders. Students are advised to borrow as little as possible through private loan programs since the interest rates can be high and the fees associated with the loan can be significant.

Good credit is a requirement for a private loan and some lenders base the amount of their guarantee fees on the applicant's credit rating. If you do not know what your credit rating is, or if you are concerned that you may not qualify for a private loan due to poor credit, you should obtain a copy of your credit report as soon as possible. Many lenders allow you to pre-apply for a private loan. Your credit will be checked before your application is sent to your school for certification. If you are not approved, you will be notified and may be able to apply with a co-signer or choose a different lender. Or, you may also want to consider borrowing through the GradPLUS program (see above).

Private loans are not based on need, however a private loan must be included in a student's financial aid package as a source of financial assistance. A private educational loan is not a personal loan and your eligibilty for a private loan must be certified by the Law School Financial Office. You may not receive private loan funds which, when added to the other aid your receiving for an academic period of enrollment, exceed the cost of attendance.

Please contact the Law School Financial Aid Office for information on private loan lenders.

Perkins Loan

The Perkins loan is a need-based federal government loan that is offered to students who demonstrate the highest amount of financial need. The Perkins Loan has a fixed interest rate of 5% and no loan fee.  Interest does not accrue on the loan and payment is deferred while you are enrolled in school at least half-time.  Repayment begins 9 months after you graduate or cease to be enrolled half-time. If you are awarded a Perkins loan as part of your financial aid package, you are required to complete the Perkins Loan Entrance Counseling and sign a Perkins promissory note before any funds are credited to your tuition account.  Temple University is the lender for all Perkins loan funds awarded while attending Temple Law School.

Bar Examination Loans

Click here for more information on Bar Loans.