As continuing students, you will need to remember to renew your FAFSA each year and re-submit your University of Chicago Graduate Loan and Work-Study Application. The Student Loan Administration handles the processing and disbursement of Law School student loans, so please contact them if you have questions. May 14 is the priority deadline for applying for next year's loans.
Tuition and Billing
For questions about your tuition bill or student account, please visit the Bursar's Office.
All law students may take out a one-time $1,500 loan to purchase a computer. Students should contact SLA to process this loan.
Some lenders offer private loans to graduating 3Ls to cover the costs of taking the bar exam. These loans are often made on the basis of credit and can range up to $15,000. The Student Loan Administration provides a helpful list of private loan lenders and indicates which of those lenders are offering bar loans this year. Students should apply for bar loans directly through the lender of their choice and contact SLA for loan certification. Students should apply for bar loans before graduation.
Keeping Track of your Loans
3Ls will be required to attend an Exit Counseling session hosted by SLA before graduating. Sessions are usually hosted at the Law School two days in May. Students who miss one of these sessions must contact SLA in order to complete this requirement. During Exit Counseling, SLA will provide you with the terms and conditions of your federal loans as well as information about your Perkins loans here at the University. Students can also find information on their federal loans through the National Student Loan System (NSLDS) at www.nslds.ed.gov.
Repaying Your Loans
It is very important to keep in contact with your lenders. Please remember that repayment of your loans is your responsibility. Lenders often provide different payment plan options such as graduated repayment, income-sensitive repayment, or extended repayment. Late payments can have severe penalties including damage to your credit rating.
Generally, grace periods are periods of time after graduation during which you are not required to make loan payments. Federal Stafford loans have a grace period of 6 months and Perkins loans have a grace period of 9 months. Graduate PLUS loans do not offer a grace period and repayment will begin upon graduation or if you drop below half-time. Most student loans still accrue interest during this time. If you took time off between undergraduate and law school, please check with your lender to see whether or not you have used up your grace period.
Deferment or Forbearance
If you are having trouble repaying your loans, you should contact your lender to discuss repayment options such as deferment or forbearance. Deferment of federal loans is guaranteed under certain circumstances. Forbearance is an agreement between you and your lender to postpone your loan payments.
SLA also provides a repayment brochure that you can download from their website. Students should contact SLA in case of name, address, or social security number changes.
Consolidation may be a way to facilitate payment of your loans by reducing your monthly payments. In decreasing your monthly payments your loan repayment period is usually extended, thereby causing you to pay more in interest over the life of the loan. You can consolidate your federal loans, including Stafford, Perkins, and Graduate PLUS loans. You cannot consolidate alternative or private loans with your federal loans. Many private lenders have stopped offering consolidation but you should contact your lender to inquire. You may also choose to consolidate with the Federal government. The federal consolidation website (http://loanconsolidation.ed.gov) contains information and an online calculator to help you determine whether consolidation would benefit you.