20 Best Law Schools for Avoiding Six-Figure Student Debt

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

cheapest law schools
Logo

We’ve got your back! Student Loan Hero is a completely free website 100% focused on helping student loan borrowers get the answers they need. Read more

How do we make money? It’s actually pretty simple. If you choose to check out and become a customer of any of the loan providers featured on our site, we get compensated for sending you their way. This helps pay for our amazing staff of writers (many of which are paying back student loans of their own!).

Bottom line: We’re here for you. So please learn all you can, email us with any questions, and feel free to visit or not visit any of the loan providers on our site. Read less

If you’re considering a career in law, you’re probably looking at the most affordable law schools to minimize student debt  and you should be.

A new Student Loan Hero study found that by the time law school students graduate, they owe an average of $111,752 in student loans.

The question of whether law school is worth it comes down to your ability to minimize student debt and land a high salary after graduation. By choosing to attend one of the cheapest law schools, you can afford to repay your loans without living on a shoestring budget.

For this study, Student Loan Hero surveyed 116 programs to find the 20 cheapest law schools that give graduates a leg up on repaying law school loans. Find out if your top choice ranks among the most affordable law schools.

Study: Attending the cheapest law schools helps graduates tackle student debt repayment

To rank these law schools, we looked at the cheapest law schools and compared tuition costs, indebtedness, and post-graduation employment rates and salaries.

That gave us a list of cheap law schools where graduates leave with excellent career prospects and a healthy ratio of lower student debt to higher income.

For instance, according to our survey, a typical law school student faces annual tuition costs of $36,096 and an average of $111,752 in student debt.

Although the average law school employment rate is 87.1%, a typical law school graduate earns a starting salary of $73,710. That means for every $100 borrowed for law school, they will earn only $66 in the first year.

How does that compare to our rankings of the cheapest law schools? Here’s what graduates of the 20 most affordable law schools can expect on average:

  • Annual law school tuition: $25,421
  • Student loan balance at graduation: $83,195
  • Post-law school starting salary: $78,569
  • Employment rates: 90.7%
  • Debt-to-income ratio: .94

Compare the 20 most affordable law schools to the 20 least affordable law schools, and the differences are staggering. Students and graduates of the worst law schools for avoiding student debt can expect to face the following on average:

  • Annual law school tuition: $43,935
  • Student loan balance at graduation: $144,189
  • Post-law school starting salary: $63,810
  • Employment rates: 77.7%
  • Debt-to-income ratio: .44

Law school graduates who don’t attend cheap law schools might face greater difficulties finding a high-paying job and repaying their six-figure debt.

Top 20 most affordable law schools in the U.S.

It’s no wonder the phrase “choose wisely” comes to mind when deciding which law school to attend. After all, choosing your program from among the cheapest law schools could mean the difference between a student loan balance of $144,000 upon graduation and law school debt that’s half that amount.

It’s also central to the pay you can expect to receive. Remember: Your income will directly affect how much student loan debt you can afford to repay and whether you can take advantage of options such as refinancing law school loans.

So before you make your final decision, consider the following 20 most affordable law schools. Perhaps a few of your top choices already rank among the best law schools for avoiding six-figure debt.

1. Brigham Young University (Clark)

  • Annual tuition: $12,310 (for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $58,113
  • Average starting salary: $75,872

Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School is a bargain for students who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with tuition costs of $12,310 annually. Nonmembers pay $24,620 per year.

This low cost allows around 31% of students to avoid law school debt altogether. Meanwhile, those who do borrow can expect smaller balances now and higher incomes at graduation by earning 1.31 times more than they owe on average.

2. Georgia State University (GSU)

  • Annual tuition: $16,858 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $64,384
  • Average starting salary: $83,427

Georgia State University College of Law’s tuition for in-state students beats the average by more than $19,000 per year, making it easier to limit student debt. That adds up to $47,368 less in debt at graduation than the $111,752 average.

GSU graduates’ law school debt is also more easily paid off, as starting salaries are about $9,700 greater than the average. However, out-of-state tuition is significantly higher at $36,456 annually, making this school less of a deal for out-of-state residents.

3. Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey

  • Annual tuition: $27,269 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $56,173
  • Average starting salary: $64,604

Graduates of Rutgers Law School have the lowest student loan balance on this list. They have about half the average debt for law school grads in this study.

What’s more, the typical Rutgers Law School graduate’s debt is $8,431 less than their starting salary, even with the school’s below-average starting pay.

4. University of Iowa

  • Annual tuition: $24,930 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $74,128
  • Average starting salary: $74,903

University of Iowa College of Law’s average debt level is the eighth-lowest, coming in at about $37,600 less than the average in this study. That’s matched with a salary on par with the overall average for law school grads.

When you add up those factors, you’ll find that University of Iowa alumni will find it easier than most to repay law school debt.

5. University of Houston

  • Annual tuition: $30,401 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $97,246
  • Average starting salary: $102,153

Large starting salaries over six figures help University of Houston Law Center grads repay their student loans.

With starting salaries that are about $28,450 more than the average and law school debt around $14,500 less than the average, student loans are easier to manage for these alumni.

Further, more than a third (35%) of graduates leave University of Houston Law Center with no student loans at all.

6. University of Texas at Austin

  • Annual tuition: $33,995 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $103,417
  • Average starting salary: $105,647

Next up is another Texas law school. The University of Texas School of Law is in the top 10 with starting salaries over $100,000.

In fact, this law school’s high starting salary makes it easier for alumni to afford the average six-figure law school debt. What’s more, U.S. News & World Report ranks Texas Law as No. 1 for having the highest ratio of starting salaries compared to annual tuition costs.

However, this is the last law school on the list for which starting salaries beat typical law school debt.

7. University of Arizona (Rogers)

  • Annual tuition: $25,525 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $84,601
  • Average starting salary: $76,664

The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law has the lowest rate of student debt of any law school in the top 20.

Just 62% of graduates leave with law school loans. They also owe around $27,150 less in law school debt while earning slightly above-average starting salaries.

8. University of Nebraska — Lincoln

  • Annual tuition: $15,036 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $62,888
  • Average starting salary: $58,614

In-state residents will benefit the most from Nebraska College of Law’s low tuition. It’s no surprise this law school carries the third-lowest average student loan balance.

However, out-of-state students, beware: You’ll pay more than twice as much at $34,192 a year.

9. University of Wisconsin — Madison (UW-Madison)

  • Annual tuition: $21,450 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $77,555
  • Average starting salary: $72,089

Below-average tuition helps law school students at the University of Wisconsin in Madison keep student loan balances low.

In fact, University of Wisconsin Law School alumni owe about $34,200 less than the average law school graduate. Repaying this debt while earning near-average starting salaries puts these graduates ahead of the curve on law school debt.

10. University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill

  • Annual tuition: $23,551 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $95,365
  • Average starting salary: $88,781

UNC School of Law can be a smart choice to kick-start a law career.

Grads earn above-average starting salaries and have higher employment rates. Plus, UNC School of Law alumni earn high salaries compared to their student loan debt, making it easier to quickly pay it off.

11. University of North Dakota (UND)

  • Annual tuition: $11,434 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $66,917
  • Average starting salary: $55,470

University of North Dakota has the lowest annual tuition among the 20 cheapest law schools on this list. Even out-of-state students pay about average tuition at $25,423 per year.

That gives University of North Dakota School of Law graduates the sixth-lowest student law school debt in this study.

However, while law school debt is easier to avoid at UND, grads should expect lower starting salaries and an employment rate of just 46%.

12. Louisiana State University — Baton Rouge (Hebert)

  • Annual tuition: $22,520 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $83,919
  • Average starting salary: $71,065

LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center graduates can earn a JD with nearly $28,000 less in law school debt than the average. They also pay lower tuition rates in school and earn starting salaries on par with the average law school graduate.

If that’s not enough to pique your interest, graduates also enjoy higher employment rates at 93.7%.

13. George Mason University

  • Annual tuition: $25,351 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $118,056
  • Average starting salary: $83,669

Graduates of the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University are among the least likely to have student debt at all, with just 63% borrowing for law school.

Even though the average student loan balance for alumni is about $6,300 higher than the average in this survey, George Mason University ranks among the most affordable law schools.

Additionally, a high employment rate of 96.7% means graduates will easily find a job. Plus, they outearn the average law school graduate’s starting salary by about $10,000.

14. Ohio State University (Moritz)

  • Annual tuition: $29,668 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $88,301
  • Average starting salary: $74,820

Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law has the highest post-graduate employment rate of the top 20 law schools at 97.7%.

They also earn slightly above-average starting salaries and get a head start on repaying law school debt by limiting it to $88,301 upon graduation.

15. Boston College

  • Annual tuition: $50,620
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $108,873
  • Average starting salary: $103,147

The only private university in the top 20, Boston College Law School carries the highest tuition costs among these law schools.

Despite annual costs that top $50,000, graduates tend to limit debt to a relatively low figure. Plus, since Boston College Law School grads net large starting salaries, even this six-figure debt can be managed and repaid in time.

16. University of California — Los Angeles (UCLA)

  • Annual tuition: $45,338 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $118,291
  • Average starting salary: $109,030

UCLA School of Law has the highest average starting salary among the top 20 law schools, with the average graduate earning well over six figures. In fact, that’s nearly 50% more than the average post-law school salary.

Add employment rates of 95.5%, and UCLA School of Law grads are well-positioned to maximize post-law school earnings.

This high salary also lags about $9,000 behind the typical debt of a UCLA School of Law graduate. With a higher ROI, UCLA ranks among the most affordable law schools.

17. University of Florida (Levin)

  • Annual tuition: $22,299 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $82,480
  • Average starting salary: $69,032

The Levin College of Law at the University of Florida is one of the cheapest law schools listed here, with three years of law school costing just under $67,000. The average student loan balance of Levin graduates is about $15,000 higher than that.

Unfortunately, graduates can expect below-average salaries. The average law school debt for graduates of this school beats out the average by just over $29,000, however.

18. Wayne State University

  • Annual tuition: $30,727 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $81,738
  • Average starting salary: $74,879

At Wayne State University Law School in Michigan, graduates have a high starting salary compared to their student debt.

Borrowers make it out of this law school with less student loan debt than the combined cost of tuition for three years at a little more than $92,000. What’s more, out-of-state students won’t pay significantly more, with tuition costs at just $33,509 annually.

19. University of Arkansas — Little Rock (Bowen)

  • Annual tuition: $15,121 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $65,931
  • Average starting salary: $57,420

In-state students at UA Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law pay $21,000 less per year than the average law school tuition.

That helps keep borrowing low and student loans manageable — even with a starting salary that’s about $16,300 below the average.

20. William & Mary Law School

  • Annual tuition: $32,000 (in state)
  • Average law school debt at graduation: $90,028
  • Average starting salary: $82,945

Rounding out the list is William & Mary Law School in Virginia, where graduates leave with $21,700 less debt on average. These law school graduates also earn a higher starting salary, which helps them keep up with student loan payments.

Top 50 most affordable law schools

Wondering how other law schools in the U.S. stack up when it comes to borrowing student loans?

Here’s a list of the top 50 cheapest law schools we found to be the best options if you’re looking to avoid six-figure law school debt.

Is your top pick or current school among the best law schools for avoiding debt? See how your school measures up in terms of average law school debt and average starting salary.

Ranking Law School Average Law School Debt Average Salary (NALP)
1. Brigham Young University (Clark) $58,133 $75,872
2. Georgia State University $64,384 $83,427
3. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey $56,173 $64,604
4. University of Iowa $74,128 $74,903
5. University of Houston $97,246 $102,153
6. University of Texas  Austin $103,417 $105,647
7. University of Arizona (Rogers) $84,601 $76,664
8. University of Nebraska  Lincoln $62,888 $58,614
9. University of Wisconsin  Madison $77,555 $72,089
10. University of North Carolina  Chapel Hill $95,365 $88,781
11. University of North Dakota $66,917 $55,470
12. Louisiana State University  Baton Rouge (Hebert) $83,919 $71,065
13. George Mason University $118,056 $83,669
14. Ohio State University (Moritz) $88,301 $74,820
15. Boston College $108,873 $103,147
16. University of California  Los Angeles $118,291 $109,030
17. University of Florida (Levin) $82,480 $69,032
18. Wayne State University $81,738 $74,879
19. University of Arkansas  Little Rock (Bowen) $65,931 $57,420
20. William & Mary Law School (Marshall-Wythe) $90,028 $82,945
21. University of Cincinnati $75,512 $70,099
22. Vanderbilt University $127,434 $110,384
23. Temple University (Beasley) $86,937 $73,085
24. University of Tennessee  Knoxville $80,445 $70,029
25. University of Tulsa $76,988 $64,919
26. Northwestern University (Pritzker) $154,923 $131,503
27. University of Oklahoma $83,433 $65,874
28. University of Illinois  Urbana-Champaign $99,782 $91,753
29. Cornell University $158,128 $131,742
30. Columbia University $159,769 $136,512
31. Cleveland State University (Cleveland-Marshall) $83,484 $70,518
32. University of Nevada  Las Vegas $97,361 $72,654
33. University of Hawaii  Manoa (Richardson) $82,510 $66,926
34. West Virginia University $82,683 $62,897
35. University of Missouri $80,138 $61,127
36. Washburn University $81,528 $61,204
37. University of Kansas $88,809 $64,171
38. University of Minnesota $106,436 $82,027
39. University of Mississippi $67,539 $51,530
40. University of New Mexico $75,277 $57,951
41. University of Memphis (Humphreys) $76,997 $56,404
42. Indiana University  Bloomington (Maurer) $99,895 $78,880
43. CUNY $78,523 $58,009
44. University of Utah (Quinney) $91,982 $68,155
45. New York University $167,646 $125,457
46. University of California  Berkeley $145,260 $112,935
47. University of Michigan  Ann Arbor $146,309 $114,928
48. University of Idaho $86,022 $45,500
49. Southern Methodist University (Dedman) $126,172 $95,049
50. University of Colorado  Boulder $100,499 $65,550

Methodology: This study surveyed 116 law schools using data from the U.S. News & World Report college rankings and employment data from the National Association for Law Placement (NALP).

This study ranked colleges on four factors:

  1. The ratio of the average post-law school starting salary (from NALP) to the average indebtedness (from U.S. News), weighted at half
  2. Annual in-state tuition, weighted at one-sixth (from U.S. News)
  3. Percentage of graduates leaving law school with student debt, weighted at one-sixth (from U.S. News)
  4. Employment rates of recent law school graduates, weighted at one-sixth (from NALP)

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
1 Important Disclosures for CollegeAve.

CollegeAve Disclosures

College Ave Student Loans products are made available through either Firstrust Bank, member FDIC or M.Y. Safra Bank, FSB, member FDIC. All loans are subject to individual approval and adherence to underwriting guidelines. Program restrictions, other terms, and conditions apply.

  1. All rates shown include the auto-pay discount. The 0.25% auto-pay interest rate reduction applies as long as a valid bank account is designated for required monthly payments. Variable rates may increase after consummation.
  2. This informational repayment example uses typical loan terms for a freshman borrower who selects the Deferred Repayment Option with an 8-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 7% variable Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 96 monthly payments of $179.28 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $17,211.20. Loans will never have a full principal and interest monthly payment of less than $50. Your actual rates and repayment terms may vary.
  3. As certified by your school and less any other financial aid you might receive. Minimum $1,000. Information advertised as valid as of 07/1/2018. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.

2 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. At least a 3.0 GPA or equivalent qualifies for a one-time cash-reward of 1% of the loan amount of each new Discover student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.

3 Important Disclosures for Ascent.

Ascent Disclosures

Before taking out private student loans, you should explore and compare all financial aid alternatives, including grants, scholarships, and federal student loans and consider your future monthly payments and income. Applying with a cosigner may improve your chance of getting approved and could help you qualify for a lower interest rate. Ascent Student Loans may be funded by Richland State Bank (RSB) or Turnstile Capital Management, LLC (TCM), which are not affiliated entities. Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. Ascent Student Loan products are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application, verification of application information and certification of loan amount by a participating school. All loan products may not be available in certain jurisdictions. Other terms and conditions apply. Ascent is a federally registered trademark of TCM and may be used by RSB under limited license. Richland State Bank is a federally registered service mark of Richland State Bank.

  1. Competitive rates calculated monthly at the time of loan approval. (Rates are effective as of 8/01/2018 and include a 0.25% discount applied when a borrower in repayment elects automatic debit payments via their personal checking account.)
    Ascent Tuition: Variable rate loans are based on a margin between 2.00% and 11.00% plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 2.069%, which may adjust monthly. Your interest rate may increase or decrease, based on LIBOR monthly changes, resulting in an APR range between 3.82% – 12.82%. Fixed rate loans have an APR range between 5.54% and 14.59%.
    Ascent Independent: Variable rate loans are based on a margin between 4.00% and 12.50% plus the 1-Month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR), rounded to the nearest 1/100th of a percent. The current LIBOR is 2.069%, which may adjust monthly. Your interest rate may increase or decrease, based on LIBOR monthly changes, resulting in an APR range between 5.49% and 12.77%. Fixed rate loans have an APR range between 7.06% and 13.72%.
  2. Payments may be deferred. Subject to lender discretion, forbearance and/or deferment options may be available for borrowers who are encountering financial distress.
  3. Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. There are three (3) flexible in-school repayment options that include fully deferred, interest only and $25 minimum repayment. Click here for a Tuition repayment example.
  4. Flexible repayment plans may be offered with up to a fifteen (15) year repayment term for a variable rate loan and ten (10) year repayment term for a fixed rate loan. Students must be enrolled at least half-time at an eligible school. Minimum loan amount of $2,000. Ascent borrowers who choose a fixed rate option may ONLY select a loan term of five (5) or twelve (12) years (60 or 144 months, respectively). For certain loans with low balances the minimum monthly payment amount may cause the loan amortization schedule to be less than the selected term. Click here for Ascent Tuition cosigned loan current rates and repayment examples.
  5. Interest rate reduction of 0.25% for enrollment in automatic debit applies only when the borrower and/or cosigner signs up for automatic payments and the regularly scheduled, current amount due (including full, flat, or interest only payments, as applicable) is successfully deducted from the designated bank account each month. Interest rate reduction(s) will not apply during periods when no payment is due, including periods of In-School, Deferment, Grace or Forbearance. If you have two (2) returned payments for Nonsufficient Funds, we may cancel your automatic debit enrollment and you will lose the 0.25% interest rate reduction. You will then need to re-qualify and re-enroll in automatic debit payments in order to receive the 0.25% interest rate reduction.
  6. All applicants (individual and cosigner) are required to complete a brief online financial literacy course as part of the application process to be eligible for funding.
  7. Eligibility, loan amount and other loan terms are dependent on a number of factors, including: loan product, other financial aid, creditworthiness, school, program, graduation date, major, cost of attendance and other factors. Aggregate loan limits may apply. The cost of attendance is determined and certified by the educational institution.
  8. The legal age for entering into contracts is eighteen (18) years of age in every state except Alabama where it is nineteen (19) years old, Nebraska where it is nineteen (19) years old (only for wards of the state), and Mississippi and Puerto Rico where it is twenty-one (21) years old.
  9. 1% Cash Back Graduation Reward subject to terms and conditions, click here for details.
  10. Students can apply to release their cosigner and continue with the loan in only their name after making the first 24 consecutive regularly scheduled full principal and interest payments on-time and meeting the other eligibility criteria to qualify for the loan without a cosigner.

* Application times vary depending on the applicants ability to supply the necessary information for submission.


* The Sallie Mae partner referenced is not the creditor for these loans and is compensated by Sallie Mae for the referral of Smart Option Student Loan customers.
4 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

5 Important Disclosures for PNC.

PNC Disclosures

  1. Interest will continue to accrue during periods of deferment. You will receive quarterly interest statements during this deferment period. Paying the interest as it accrues each quarter will save you money over the repayment term of the loan because any accrued interest that you do not pay will be added to the principal balance at the end of the deferment period.
  2. If automatic payment is discontinued, you will no longer receive an automatic payment discount. A federal regulation limits the number of transfers that may be made from a savings or money market account. Please contact your financial institution for more information on transfer limitations on savings accounts.
  3. A request to release a co-signer requires that you have made forty-eight (48) consecutive timely payments with no periods of forbearance or deferment within the forty-eight (48) month timeframe. “Timely payment” means each payment is made no later than the 15th day after the scheduled due date of the payment. “Consecutive payment” means the minimum monthly payment must be made for forty-eight (48) months straight without any interruption. To qualify for a co-signer release, the borrower must submit a request, meet the consecutive, timely payment requirements, provide proof of income and pass a credit check.

PNC Bank is one of the nation’s largest education loan providers. For over 40 years, PNC has been committed to helping students and their families make possible the adventure of college.


6 Important Disclosures for SunTrust.

SunTrust Disclosures

Before applying for a private student loan, SunTrust recommends comparing all financial aid alternatives including grants, scholarships, and both federal and private student loans. To view and compare the available features of SunTrust private student loans, visit https://www.suntrust.com/loans/student-loans/private.

Certain restrictions and limitations may apply. SunTrust Bank reserves the right to change or discontinue this loan program without notice. Availability of all loan programs is subject to approval under the SunTrust credit policy and other criteria and may not be available in certain jurisdictions.

SunTrust Bank, Member FDIC. ©2018 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (a) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (b) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (c) the requested loan amount and (4) other information provided on the online loan application. If approved, applicants will be notified of the rate applicable to your loan. Rates and terms effective for applications received on or after 10/01/2018. The current variable APRs for the program range from 4.001% APR to 13.001% APR and the current fixed APRs for the program range from 5.351% APR to 14.051% APR (the low APRs within these ranges assume a 7-year $10,000 loan, with two disbursements and no deferment; the high APRs within these ranges assume a 15-year $10,000 loan with two disbursements). The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the current One-month LIBOR index to your margin. LIBOR stands for London Interbank Offered Rate. The One-month LIBOR is published in the Money Rates section of The Wall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). The One-month LIBOR index is captured on the 25th day of the immediately preceding calendar month (or if the 25th is not a business day, the next business day thereafter), and is rounded up to the nearest 1/8th of one percent. The current One-month LIBOR index is 2.250% on 10/01/2018. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the One-month LIBOR index changes. The fixed rate assigned to a loan will never change except as required by law or if you request and qualify for the auto pay discount.
  2. Any applicant who applies for a loan the month of, the month prior to, or the month after the student’s graduation date, as stated on the application or certified by the school, will only be offered the Immediate Repayment option. The student must be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for the partial interest, fully deferred and interest only repayment options unless the loan is being used for a past due balance and the student is out of school. With the Full Deferment option, payments may be deferred while the student is enrolled at least half-time at an approved school and during the six month grace period after graduation or dropping below half-time status, but the total initial deferment period, including the grace period, may not exceed 66 months from the first disbursement date. The Partial Interest Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) is only available on loans of $5,000 or more. For payment examples, see footnote 7. With the Immediate Repayment option, the first payment of principal and interest will be due approximately 30-60 calendar days after the final disbursement date and the minimum monthly payment is $50.00. There are no prepayment penalties.
  3. The 15-year term and Partial Interest Repayment option (paying $25 per month during in-school deferment) are only available for loan amounts of $5,000 or more. Making interest only or partial interest payments while in school deferment (including the grace period) will not reduce the principal balance of the loan. Payment examples within this footnote assume a 45-month deferment period, a six-month grace period before entering repayment and the Partial Interest Repayment option. 7 year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 7 year repayment term (84 months) and a 8.468% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $199.90. 10 year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 10-year repayment term (120 months) and an 8.938% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $162.92. 15 year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 9.423% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $136.90.
  4. The 2% principal reduction is based on the total dollar amount of all disbursements made, excluding any amounts that are reduced, cancelled, or returned. To receive this principal reduction, it must be requested from the servicer, the student borrower must have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher and proof of such graduation (e.g. copy of diploma, final transcript or letter on school letterhead) must be provided to the servicer. This reward is available once during the life of the loan, regardless of whether the student receives more than one degree.
  5. Earn an interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”). Earn a 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from any bank account and an extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from a SunTrust Bank checking, savings, or money market account. The auto pay discount will continue until (1) automatic deduction of payments is stopped (including during any deferment or forbearance) or (2) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan. The extra 0.25% interest rate reduction when you auto pay from a SunTrust Bank account will be applied after the first automatic payment is successfully deducted and will be removed for the reasons stated above. In the event the auto pay discount is removed, the loan will accrue interest at the rate stated in your Credit Agreement. The auto pay discount is not available when payments are deferred or when the loan is in forbearance, even if payments are being made.
  6. A cosigner may be released from the loan upon request to the servicer provided that the student borrower is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien, has met credit criteria and met either one of the following payment conditions: (a) the first 36 consecutive monthly principal and interest payments have been made on-time (received by the servicer within 10 calendar days after their due date) or (b) the loan has not had any late payments and has been prepaid prior to the end of the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments in an amount equal to the first 36 months of scheduled principal and interest payments (based on the monthly payment amount in effect when you make the most recent payment). As an example, if you have made 30 months of consecutive on-time payments, and then, based on the monthly payment amount in effect on the due date of your 31st consecutive monthly payment, you pay a lump sum equal to 6 months of payments, you will have satisfied the payment condition. Cosigner release may not be available if a loan is in forbearance.
  7. If the student dies after any part of the loan has been disbursed, and the loan has not been charged off due to non-payment or bankruptcy, then the outstanding balance will be forgiven if the servicer is informed of the student’s death and receives acceptable proof of death. If the student becomes totally and permanently disabled after any part of the loan has been disbursed and the loan has not been charged off due to non-payment or bankruptcy, the loan will be forgiven upon the servicer’s receipt and approval of a completed discharge application. If the student borrower dies or becomes totally and permanently disabled prior to the full disbursement of the loan, and the loan is forgiven, all future disbursements will be cancelled. Loan forgiveness for student death or disability is available at any point throughout the life of the loan.

7 Important Disclosures for LendKey.

LendKey Disclosures

Additional terms and conditions apply. For more details see LendKey


8 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

A government loan is made according to rules set by the U.S. Department of Education. Government loans have fixed interest rates, meaning that the interest rate on a government loan will never go up or down.

Government loans also permit borrowers in financial trouble to use certain options, such as income-based repayment, which may help some borrowers. Depending on the type of loan that you have, the government may discharge your loan if you die or become permanently disabled.

Depending on what type of government loan that you have, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness in exchange for performing certain types of public service. If you are an active-duty service member and you obtained your government loan before you were called to active duty, you are entitled to interest rate and repayment benefits for your loan.
If you are unable to pay your government loan, the government can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount. In addition, the government has special powers to collect the loan, such as taking your tax refund and applying it to your loan balance.

A private student loan is not a government loan and is not regulated by the Department of Education. A private student loan is instead regulated like other consumer loans under both state and federal law and by the terms of the promissory note with your lender.
If you refinance your government loan, your new lender will use the proceeds of your new loan to pay off your government loan. Private student loan lenders do not have to honor any of the benefits that apply to government loans. Because your government loan will be gone after refinancing, you will lose any benefits that apply to that loan. If you are an active-duty service member, your new loan will not be eligible for service member benefits. Most importantly, once you refinance your government loan, you will not able to reinstate your government loan if you become dissatisfied with the terms of your private student loan.

If your private student loan has a fixed interest rate, then that rate will never go up or down. If your private student loan has a variable interest rate, then that rate will vary depending on an index rate disclosed in your application. If the interest rate on the new private student loan is less than the interest rate on your government loans, your payments will be less if you refinance.
If you are a borrower with a secure job, emergency savings, strong credit and are unlikely to need any of the options available to distressed borrowers of government loans, a refinance of your government loans into a private student loan may be attractive to you. You should consider the costs and benefits of refinancing carefully before you refinance.

If you don’t pay a private student loan as agreed, the lender can refer your loan to a collection agency or sue you for the unpaid amount.

Remember also that like government loans, most private loans cannot be discharged if you file bankruptcy unless you can demonstrate that repayment of the loan would cause you an undue hardship. In most bankruptcy courts, proving undue hardship is very difficult for most borrowers.


9 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Student Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of October 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.22%. Variable interest rates range from 4.19%-12.16% (4.19%-12.06% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 5.25%-12.19% (5.25% – 12.09% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown requires application with a cosigner, are for eligible applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, borrower making scheduled payments while in school and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of the loan.
  2. Multi-year approval funds available for future use are subject to a soft credit inquiry at time of your next request to verify continued eligibility. After we make the initial Loan to you, we may refuse to allow you to take out additional loans under the multi-year approval feature, terms and conditions will be outlined in your promissory note. Please Note: International students are not eligible to receive an offer for multi-year approval. Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.
  3. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  5. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
3.69%
10.94%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit CollegeAve
3.97% – 12.97%3Undergraduate and GraduateVisit Ascent
4.34%
12.99%
2
Undergraduate and GraduateVisit Discover
4.12% – 10.98%*,4Undergraduate and GraduateVisit SallieMae
5.03% – 11.23%5Undergraduate and GraduateVisit PNC
4.00% – 13.00%6Undergraduate and GraduateVisit SunTrust
4.72% – 9.81%7Undergraduate and GraduateVisit LendKey
3.72%
9.68%
8
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit CommonBond
4.19%
12.06%
9
Undergraduate, Graduate, and ParentsVisit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.