Bar Examination Loans

  • Graduating students may apply for a bar loan to assist them with the costs associated with studying for and taking the bar exam. The law school encourages students not to work while studying for the bar exam if possible, and we have found that this can help guarantee the best results on the bar exam. The availability of bar loan funds made this a realistic option for many graduates.

    We encourage you to find out if you have any eligibility remaining in your financial aid budget for the 2019-2020 academic year. If so, you can borrow those funds through a federal Direct Unsubsidized or Direct Graduate PLUS loan and may not have a need for any additional funding through a bar loan. You should only apply for a bar loan if you have already reached your maximum financial aid eligibility and will have a need for additional funds to cover your costs while you are studying for and taking the bar exam.

  • About the Bar Loan

    • The bar loan is a private loan.
    • The interest rate and fees associated with the loan may be higher than the federal student loan.
    • You do not have to demonstrate “financial need” for a bar loan.
    • Any amounts you borrow in a bar loan cannot be included in your federal student loan repayment, federal student loan consolidation, or any federal student loan forgiveness.
    • You will be required to make an additional loan payment of at least $50 every month to pay off a bar loan.

    Below is a snapshot with basic information about the different bar loans that are currently available to students.  Please contact the lender directly to get more information about the loans including their rates and terms. 

    Sallie Mae

    Bar Study Loan

    (877) 279-7172

     

    PNC Bank

    Bar Study Student Loan

    (800) 762-1001

    Discover

    Bar Exam Loan

    (800) STUDENT(788-3368)

    Wells Fargo

    Bar Exam Loan

    (800) 378-5526

    Loan Limit

    Minimum: $1000
    Maximum: $15,000

    Minimum: $1000
    Maximum: $15,000

    Minimum: $1000 Maximum: $16,000

    Minimum: None stated Maximum: $12,000

    Deferral

    Payments deferred while
    in school.

    Payments deferred while
    in school.

    Payments deferred while in school.

    Payments deferred while in school.

    Grace Period

    Grace period for 9 months after graduation or cease half-time enrollment.

    Grace period for 6 months after graduation or cease half-time enrollment.

    Grace period for 9 months after graduation or cease half-time enrollment.

    Grace period for 6 months after graduation or cease half-time enrollment.

    Application

    Time Frame

    Can apply during the final year of study if enrolled at least ½ time or up to 12 months after graduation. Must sit for the bar exam no later than 12 months after graduation

    Can apply during the final year of study or up to 6 months after graduation. Must sit for the bar exam no later than 6 months after graduation

    Can apply during the final year of study or up to 6 months after graduation.

    Can apply during your final year of school and up to 30 days after graduation.

     

  • How to Apply for a Bar Loan

    1. Complete and submit the Intent to Apply for a Bar Exam form to the Law School Financial Aid Office.
    2. Choose a lender and complete the bar loan application directly with the lender.
    3. When you apply directly through the lender online or over the phone, you normally receive a credit decision within a few minutes. If you are approved for credit, the lender will send the Law School Financial Aid Office a request for school certification (if required).
    4. When the lender receives all of the required information from both the student and school (if school certification is required), the lender will disburse the funds directly to the student on or around the dates requested by the student.

    Generally, if you complete the online application, bar exam loans can take 7-10 days to process. Paper applications can take longer. The Law School Financial Aid Office will determine if you have any remaining eligibility through a federal Stafford loan before certifying your bar loan application. Due to the more favorable interest rate and terms, you should always borrow up to your limit through the federal loan program before you take on any private loan debt.

    Good credit is essential to your eligibility for a bar loan. If you are denied for a bar loan based on your credit, you do have the right to appeal directly through the lender. You may be given the option of applying with a cosigner. However, a cosigner does not make up for a borrower’s unacceptable credit history. If your bar loan application is denied by your original lender, you can apply through another lender provided their deadline has not already passed. If you choose to apply for a bar loan through another lender, you will need to complete a separate application for that lender and submit proof of your credit denial from the original lender to the Law School Financial Aid Office. If you anticipate that the credit criteria could be a problem, you should apply for the loan as soon as possible. Doing so will allow you enough time to appeal or apply with another lender.

     

Temple Law Financial Aid
215-204-8943
800-560-1428
lwfinaid@temple.edu