Is Law School Worth It? How to Analyze the Return on Your Investment

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Many future lawyers grow up idolizing Atticus Finch from”To Kill a Mockingbird,” or dream of making life-changing speeches to sway a grand jury.

But with the average cost of law school hovering just under $140,000 these days, would Atticus Finch be able to afford to become a lawyer?

What’s more, a flood of law school graduates entering the job market is creating intense competition for jobs. So not only is there a high cost of attendance, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to find a job – or one that lets you earn enough to pay off your student debt.

It’s all enough to make even the most passionate would-be lawyer wonder, “Is law school worth it?”

Let’s find out.

A few preliminary law school statistics

The benefits of law school could be listed for days. It’s a chance to grow your skills as a critical thinker, learn how to make tough decisions under pressure, and research like a pro. No matter what, what you learn can help you for life.

But when it comes to investing money in those learnings, the question of whether or not going to law school is worth it arises.

Private student lender Earnest recently released data on these costs:

  • Average law school debt is around $139,900.
  • The average income of a law school graduate is $140,400.
  • People with a Juris Doctor degree (JD) in their mid-careers (11 years post-graduation) usually have a higher debt-to-income ratio than those with an MBA, MS, or MD.
  • Those who attended a Top 100 law school have a lower debt-to-income ratio.

Law school carries some of the highest debt of all types of graduate degrees. Just take a look at this chart from Earnest.

is law school worth it

Image credit: Earnest

Additionally, which law school you go to matters. This is tough to swallow given the fact that Top 100 schools are much more difficult to get into and will likely cost more than your local state law school.

Below is a chart illustrating just how much the school matters when it comes to speed of student loan debt payoff. Out of professional and graduate degrees such as law, medicine, business, engineering, and more, the greatest divide in the speed of debt payoff based on schools can be seen in law.

going to law school

Image credit: Earnest

With an average debt load that is just barely under the average salary – and the fact that where you go to school matters so much – is law school worth it? Let’s walk through some things to consider so you can decide for yourself.

Is law school worth it? 4 things to consider

As you think about whether or not going to law school is worth it, consider the following:

1. Employment landscape

A common selling point of law school is that the education goes far beyond teaching the law.

The way classes are structured, and the type of work students have to do revolves around teaching them how to think critically,  communicate effectively, and persuade audiences. Those are skills that can be used in all careers.

But what about career paths? Well, there are plenty of those as well. Here are a few obvious choices:

  • Join a law firm.
  • Start a practice.
  • Become a general counsel for a company.
  • Work in legal research and/or writing.
  • Become a professor of law.

Former lawyer and now attorney-editor with Enjuris, Jennifer Kain Kilgore, discovered just how far a law degree could take her.

Kilgore suffered an accident that made it impossible for her to work the long hours that came with firm life. She’s managed to find a way to work more flexibly and fulfill her other dream of writing.

“The working world has truly become a ‘gig economy.’ I have two part-time jobs and a few other side projects,” Kilgore said. “I found that my JD made me formidable when applying to jobs.”

When asked if she regrets getting her law degree now that she doesn’t practice, Kilgore’s answer was swift and confident.

“I wanted the knowledge, even if I didn’t end up practicing,” Kilgore explained. “Plus, I knew it would make me a better writer.”

2. Earning potential

Given the vast range of employment opportunities, it’s tough to nail down the earning potential for lawyers. For example, starting a practice of your own can cost you more than you earn for years while working for a large law firm can pay quite a lot right out of the gate.

What’s more, the type of law you practice matters.

“There are many types of law practice, and within each practice, locality matters a great deal concerning pay rates,” said personal injury lawyer Chris Gilreath. “Certain segments of the legal market are dependent on the broader economy, while others are not.”

Practice areas aren’t the only variation that can occur. You might find yourself working in the public sector or a nonprofit. While working in either area could decrease your earnings, it could also increase your chances for student loan forgiveness. Then there are jobs like general counsel and other business opportunities.

Since this data can range so much, consider the type of job you’ll want after law school and where you’ll live. Then use sites like Glassdoor to discover the salary range you can expect.

Don’t forget to compare that salary amount to the projected costs you’ll be paying based on where you go to school and any additional expenses you plan to take on.

3. Weigh the risks before you decide

Besides balancing the cost of law school, employment opportunities, and earning potential, there are a few risks to consider before you take the plunge.

You need to pass the bar to practice.

Law school is a major academic challenge, but your JD alone won’t be enough. As any prospective law student already knows, you can’t practice law without passing the bar.

Make sure you understand this risk. If you don’t pass, there is still plenty of work you can do in the legal field, and much of it can be done without investing in a law degree.

Burnout is real and could derail your career.

This reminder comes from family lawyer Stephen Page. Having spent his career at a firm, albeit one that provides a flexible work-life balance, he knows well the risks of burnout.

“There are a lot of people who burn out after only a few years as an associate,” said Page. “Typically those large firms have very high billing targets, and associates are forced to work very long hours. Ultimately, it is a lifestyle that is not for everyone.”

This burnout is a huge risk. You could end up abandoning your legal career before paying off the total investment. Remember, lawyers have some of the highest graduate school debt, as demonstrated in this chart below.

is law school worth it

Image credit: Earnest

4. Will being a lawyer make you happy?

If you don’t know if you’ll be happy as a lawyer, then investing in law school is dangerous.

One thing many successful practicing lawyers have in common is an unbridled passion for their work. Do you foresee feeling that way, like personal injury lawyer Riah Greathouse?

“I get to see firsthand the difference that an advocate can make in someone’s lives,” said Greathouse. “The legal system is complex, and so many people forgo their rights because they don’t understand the system. There is no greater joy than knowing you’ve made the difference in whether or not someone gets justice.”

Immigration lawyer Renata Castro, who is still paying off her student loans, echoes the sentiment.

“Being a lawyer far outweighs the high cost of my legal education, especially because I do what I love,” Castro explained.

In the end, being passionate about your work is something you can’t put a price tag on. The question is how to tell if you’ll be passionate about the law. Here’s some advice from practicing lawyers to help.

Try out the law before enrolling in school.

“If you’re on the fence, spend a year as a paralegal or law clerk in a law office first, then decide,” suggested attorney J. Bryan Wood.

Ask yourself if you’re a people person.

“Are you willing to shake hands, kiss babies, cut ribbons, give speeches to groups, develop empathy for those who seek your counsel, show employers and clients and people you interact with that you care about them or are willing to work hard to achieve their goals?” asked lawyer Bob Tankel. “If so, the future is bright.”

Don’t go to law school unless you want to practice law.

“The law is a very difficult, cut-throat business. [Yet] the law can be rewarding in many different ways – personal, financial, etc.” explained attorney R. Mack Babcock. “But it is very hard and stressful work. If you’re not up for the work and stress, you’re not fit for law.”

Make sure law school is the right decision for you

When it comes to law school, it won’t matter how much you could earn if you realize after the fact that you hate it – or if you burn out and make a career switch.

There’s no question that it’s important to consider how much you could earn compared to how much your degree will cost. Not to mention the employment statistics in your area and the types of law jobs you want.

But more than anything, law school is an investment that will pay off the most if you passionately love the law and will do whatever it takes to make a legal career work.

Need a student loan?

Here are our top student loan lenders of 2019!
LenderVariable APREligibility 
* 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.

1 Important Disclosures for College Ave.

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 a 10-year repayment term, has a $10,000 loan that is disbursed in one disbursement and a 8.35% fixed Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): 120 monthly payments of $179.18 while in the repayment period, for a total amount of payments of $21,501.54. 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 valid as of 7/1/2019. Variable interest rates may increase after consummation.


2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Rates include 0.25% Auto Pay Discount
     
  2. Explanation of Rates “With Autopay” (APD)
    Rates shown include 0.25% APR discount when client agrees to make monthly principal and interest payments by automatic electronic payment. Use of autopay is not required to receive an Earnest loan.

    Available Terms
    For Cosigned loans – 5, 7, 10, 12, 15 years. 
    Primary Only – 10, 12, 15 years

    In school deferred payment is not available in AL, AZ, CA, FL, MA, MD, MI, ND, NY, PA, and WA).


3 = Sallie Mae Disclaimer: Click here for important information. Terms, conditions and limitations apply.

4 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

Offered terms are subject to change and state law restrictions. Loans are offered through CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS #1175900).

  1.  Rates are as of July 1, 2019 and include auto-pay discount. All loans are eligible for a 0.25% reduction in interest rate by agreeing to automatic payment withdrawals once in repayment. Variable rates may increase after consummation.

5 Important Disclosures for Citizens.

Citizens Disclosures

  1. Undergraduate 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 August 1, 2019, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.26%. Variable interest rates range from 3.36% – 11.62% (3.36% – 11.47% 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 co-signer. Fixed interest rates range from 4.72% – 12.19% (4.72% – 12.04% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a co-signer. Lowest rates shown requires application with a co-signer, 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. Citizens Bank Student Loan Eligibility: Borrowers must be enrolled at least half-time in a degree-granting program at an eligible institution. Borrowers must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident or an international borrower/eligible non-citizen with a creditworthy U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer. For borrowers who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer is required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Citizens Bank private student loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, and if applicable, self-certification form, school certification of the loan amount, and student’s enrollment at a Citizens Bank- participating school. 

    Please Note: International Students are not eligible for the multi-year approval feature.

  3. 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. Borrowers whose loans were funded prior to reaching the age of majority may not be eligible for co-signer release. Note: co-signer release is not available on the Student Loan for Parents or Education Refinance Loan for Parents.

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.

©2019 SunTrust Banks, Inc. SUNTRUST, the SunTrust logo and Custom Choice Loan are trademarks of SunTrust Banks, Inc. All rights reserved.

* Offer valid for new Custom Choice Loans for which applications are submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on June 1, 2019 and 11:59:59pm EST on August 31, 2019. A 0.50% interest rate reduction will be included in the loan options presented to an applicant during the online application process, upon passing the initial credit review. The interest rate reduction will be applied as of the first disbursement date and will be effective for the life of the loan.

  1. Interest rates and APRs (Annual Percentage Rates) depend upon (1) the student’s and cosigner’s (if applicable) credit histories, (2) the repayment option and repayment term selected, (3) 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 are effective for applications received after on or after 08/01/2019. The variable interest rate for each calendar month is calculated by adding the current index (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 2.375% on 08/01/2019. The variable interest rate will increase or decrease if the One-month LIBOR index changes or if a new index is chosen. The applicable index or margin for variable rate loans may change over time and result in a different APR than shown. 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.  APRs assume a $10,000 loan with two-disbursements and the summer savings rate discount of 0.50% (applicable to applications submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on June 1, 2019 and 11:59:59pm EST on August 31, 2019). The high APRs assume a 15-year term with deferred principal payments. The low APRs assume a 7-year term, no deferment and payments beginning 30-60 days after the last disbursement via auto pay from a SunTrust Bank account. See footnote 6 for details about auto pay.
  3. 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 4. 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 will be $50.00. There are no prepayment penalties.
  4. 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 during 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, the summer savings rate discount of 0.50% applicable to applications submitted for a credit decision between 12:00:00am EST on June 1, 2019 and 11:59:59pm EST on August 31, 2019, no rate reduction for auto pay, 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 7.553% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $186.60. 10-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 10-year repayment term (120 months) and an 8.014% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $150.41. 15-year term: $10,000 loan disbursed over two transactions with a 15-year repayment term (180 months) and a 8.488% APR would result in a monthly principal and interest payment of $124.45.
  5. 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.
  6. Earn an interest rate reduction for making automatic payments of principal and interest from a bank account (“auto pay discount”) by completing the direct debit form provided by the Servicer. 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 be applied after the Servicer validates your bank account information and will continue until (1) three automatic deductions are returned for insufficient funds during the life of the loan (after which the discount cannot be reinstated) or (2) automatic deduction of payments is stopped (including during any deferment or forbearance, even if payments are made). In addition, the extra 0.25% interest rate reduction for auto pay from a SunTrust Bank checking, savings or money market account will be discontinued if automatic payments are no longer made from one of the aforementioned SunTrust Bank accounts. In the event the auto pay discount is discontinued, the loan will accrue interest at the rate stated in your Credit Agreement. 
  7. 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 Important Disclosures for PNC.

PNC Disclosures

  1. Annual Percentage Rates (APRs): APRs from 4.52% to 11.11% are for the fully deferred repayment option, include the 0.50% interest rate discount for automatic payment and encompass the full range of APRs for the three repayment term options (5, 10 and 15 year). APRs within this range may vary based on the repayment term chosen. See break down of APR ranges by repayment terms below.
  2. Fixed Annual Percentage Rates (APRs): APRs range from 4.52% to 9.58% for a 5-year term. APRs range from 5.05% to 10.26% for a 10-year term. APRs range from 5.55% to 10.84% for a 15-year term. Fixed rates are based on the creditworthiness of the borrower and co-signer, if any. Loan Payment Example: The monthly payment per $10,000 borrowed at a fixed rate range of 5.05% APR to 10.26% APR for 10 years means you would make 120 payments which may range from $131.94 to $207.24. For the fixed rate loan, the monthly payment will remain fixed for the term of the loan. Payments may vary for other repayment term options.

    Variable Annual Percentage Rates (APRs): APRs range from 4.90% to 9.92% for a 5-year term. APRs range from 5.38% to 10.57% for a 10-year term. APRs range from 5.85% to 11.11% for a 15-year term. Variable rates are based on the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) index plus a margin depending on the creditworthiness of the borrower and co-signer, if any. The LIBOR index, adjusted quarterly, is equal to the average of the one-month LIBOR rates as published in the “Money Rates” section of the Wall Street Journal on the first business day of each of the three (3) calendar months immediately preceding each quarterly adjustment date. The LIBOR index is currently 2.47%. If the index increases or decreases, your rate will increase or decrease accordingly. Loan Payment Example: The monthly payment per $10,000 borrowed at a variable rate range of 5.38% APR to 10.57% APR for 10 years means you would make 120 payments which may range from $135.93 to $212.65. For the variable rate loan, the monthly payment may increase or decrease if the interest rate increases or decreases. Payments may vary for other repayment term options.

    APRs and loan payment examples are for the fully deferred repayment option for the Undergraduate & Graduate loan programs and include the 0.50% interest rate discount for automatic payments. The lowest APR is available to well qualified applicants. Your actual APR will be based on your credit qualifications, selection of fixed or variable rate option, loan program, repayment term, repayment option and whether you elect the automatic payment feature. Loan payment examples assume 30 days to first payment after the deferment period (45 months in school and 6 month grace period). Payments vary for other rates, repayment terms and repayment options.

    In addition to Undergraduate and Graduate loans, PNC offers loans for Health & Medical Professions, Health Professions Residency and Bar Study. Rates may vary by loan program and are subject to change at any time. Visit pnconcampus.com for current rates, additional loan payment examples and more details about the Solution loan products.

  3. Automatic Payment Discount: During repayment, an interest rate discount of 0.50% is available for automatic payments. Borrower must be making scheduled payments that include both principal and interest. Interest only payments do not qualify for the 0.50% interest rate discount. Automatic payment can be established through the loan servicer American Education Services (AES). Advertised rates include the 0.50% automatic payment interest rate discount. The rate discount will be applied at the time automatic payment is established. If automatic payment is not established, the available rates will be 0.50% higher than the advertised rates. If automatic payment is established and discontinued at any time during repayment, the borrower will no longer receive an automatic payment discount and the rate will increase by 0.50%. Discount may also be suspended during periods of forbearance or deferment. Payments may be made from a checking or savings account. 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.
  4. Repayment Options: Immediate, interest only payments while in school and full deferment of principal and interest options available. 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.
  5. Co-Signer Release: A request to release a co-signer requires that, as of the date of the request, you have made at least forty-eight (48) consecutive timely payments of principal and interest 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 the most recent 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.
  6. Tax Deductibility: Interest may be tax deductible. Consult a tax advisor.

Please note: PNC reserves the right to modify or discontinue the terms of these program at any time without notice. You are encouraged to explore all scholarship, grant and federal borrowing options before applying for a private loan. Private loans are subject to credit approval.

PNC is a registered service mark of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.
© 2019 The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. All rights reserved. PNC Bank, National Association.


7 Important Disclosures for Discover.

Discover Disclosures

  1. Students who get at least a 3.0 GPA (or equivalent) qualify for a one-time cash reward on each new Discover undergraduate and graduate student loan. Reward redemption period is limited. Please visit DiscoverStudentLoans.com/Reward for any applicable reward terms and conditions.
  2. View Auto Reward Debit Reward Terms and Conditions at DiscoverStudentLoans.com/AutoDebitReward.
  3. Aggregate loan limits apply.
  4. Lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments. The interest rate ranges represent the lowest interest rate offered on the Discover Undergraduate Loan and highest interest rates offered on Discover student loans, including Undergraduate, Graduate, Health Professions, Law and MBA Loans. The fixed interest rate is set at the time of application and does not change during the life of the loan. The variable interest rate is calculated based on the 3-Month LIBOR index plus the applicable Margin percentage. The margin is based on your credit evaluation at the time of application and does not change. For variable interest rate loans, the 3-Month LIBOR is 2.50% as of July 1, 2019. Discover Student Loans will adjust the rate quarterly on each January 1, April 1, July 1 and October 1 (the “interest rate change date”), based on the 3-Month LIBOR Index, published in the Money Rates section of the Wall Street Journal 15 days prior to the interest rate change date, rounded up to the nearest one-eighth of one percent (0.125% or 0.00125). This may cause the monthly payments to increase, the number of payments to increase or both. Please visit discover.com/student-loans/interest-rates for more information about interest rates.
Discover's lowest rates shown are for the undergraduate loan and include an interest-only repayment discount and a 0.25% interest rate reduction while enrolled in automatic payments.
3.96%
11.98%
1
Undergraduate, Graduate, and Parents

Visit College Ave

3.37% – 10.75%*,3Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SallieMae

3.35% – 11.44%2Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Earnest

3.66% – 9.64%4Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit CommonBond

3.36% – 11.62%5Undergraduate and Graduate

VISIT CITIZENS

3.14% – 10.68%6Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit SunTrust

4.90% – 11.11%6Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit PNC

3.37%
11.87%
7
Undergraduate and Graduate

Visit Discover

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. 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 to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with 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.

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