Law Financial Wellness Tools
Your University of Chicago legal education is an investment in your future. As with any investment, planning is a important component of the process. We hope that the financial wellness resources outlined below prove useful as you look to begin your legal education and start planning for your legal career and future financial goals.
MAX by AccessLex
The University of Chicago Law School is proud to partner with AccessLex Institute, the largest nonprofit organization in the country focusing on access, affordability, and the value of a legal education, to bring you MAX by AccessLex.
During law school (and beyond) you will face many important financial decisions. And even now, you may be faced with questions about student debt and repayment options. 70% of law students say they feel stressed about personal finances. Reduce your stress level by increasing your knowledge and worry less about your student loan debt. MAX can help! MAX is a comprehensive, innovative, and effective financial education program created expressly for law students. Developed to maximize the financial capability and capacity of law students, MAX provides best-in-class financial education curriculum—in a format that is accessible and engaging—to drive knowledge gain and behavior change essential to improving financial well-being.
To get started, go to AskEDNA.AccessLex.org. Registration and participation are available at no cost to you. Your name, email address, school and class year are all you need to log in to the program, personalize your experience and track your progress. No other personal information is required, and all information remains confidential. Each online lesson only takes about 15 minutes to complete.
And then, there are the scholarships. AccessLex will award scholarships incentives every academic year. To be eligible, you must enroll in MAX and complete lessons.
Financial Counseling Opportunities
AccessLex Institute also offers AccessConnex, a free service available to access one-on-one counseling with Accredited Financial Counselors. Their team can help with a variety of financial topics, including student loan debt counseling and repayment options. They are available during all stages of your legal education, from when you are an aspiring law student to when you are a law school graduate.
The Office of Financial Aid is always available to discuss a variety of financial aid topics, including providing one-on-one loan counseling, guidance on financial aid options that may be available to better reflect your individual circumstances, and referrals to other tools and services that may be of use to you. We also offer programming throughout the academic year on the loan repayment process and other student loan topics. Finally, we coordinate completion of federally-required entrance and exit loan counseling that students will need to complete both before they first receive federal student loans at UChicago Law and then when they are preparing to graduate. We encourage you to contact us with any questions.
Other Financial Wellness Tools
The sections below provide more information about available student loan calculators, tax resources, and other financial wellness tools.
Monitor and Manage Your Credit
You should monitor your credit for a few reasons, as credit history can affect your student loan eligibility and employment, as well as for your own financial health and to catch signs of potential identity theft. You can request a free credit report annually from each of the three major credit bureaus listed below through AnnualCreditReport.com. The free reports generated through AnnualCreditReport.com are part of a national program to help consumers protect their identity and personal information. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website has additional information on how to obtain your free annual credit report.
Additionally, the three major credit bureaus offer other options to help monitor your credit through their websites, including the opportunity to freeze your credit report for free. While this is a great step to help prevent identity theft, you will need to manually lift your credit freeze at each separate bureau anytime you want to apply for a financial product that reviews your credit history for approval, including the federal Graduate PLUS loan and any alternative/private student loans. The Federal Trade Commission's website has additional information about credit freezes and fraud alerts.
Major National Credit Reporting Agencies
Student Loan Calculators
- Federal Student Aid Loan Simulator: the Loan Simulator helps you estimate monthly student loan payments and choose a loan repayment option that best meets your needs and goals.
- AccessLex Student Loan Calculator: know what you’ll need to borrow. Explore repayment plans. Identify loan consolidation and refinancing options. Determine how much you can have forgiven under PSLF. Realize the power of prepayment. The AccessLex Student Loan Calculator is the FREE and easy way to do it all.
- Nerdwallet Student Loan Calculator: use this calculator to estimate your monthly payments on a single federal student loan or private student loan, calculate the total payment on multiple student loans at different interest rates, or calculate the total interest you'll pay.
- Finaid.org Loan Payment Calculator: this Loan Payment Calculator computes an estimate of the size of your monthly loan payments and the annual salary required to manage them without too much financial difficulty.
The Law School is unable to provide individual tax counseling or advice but the University offers a number of helpful webpages that provide more information to assist with your tax questions.
- Bursar Tax Information website
- UChicagoGRAD Tax Information for Students website
- Office of International Affairs Tax Responsibilities for International Students website
- IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education