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One reader had already learned about whether to hire a student loan lawyer. But he wrote to us asking for something much more practical — a list of qualified student loan lawyers in Phoenix. He submitted this question to our support team:
“I have determined that I need to seek legal counsel. Can you help me locate a qualified lawyer that helps people with a federal student loan?”
After all, consumer attorneys have niches. You might see attorneys brand themselves as debt relief lawyers, for example.
If you have a federal loan problem you can’t solve without support, you might seek a self-ascribed student loan lawyer who handles federal cases.
On the other hand, if your situation centers on a troubling private loan, you’ll want to stay local. Private loans “are subject to state law,” student loan lawyer Joshua Cohen told Student Loan Hero.
5 places to find a student loan lawyer
Now that you know a little bit more about the kind of lawyer you’re seeking, let’s address the question about where to find one.
Your first thought might be to search on Google or ask a friend who has a similar student loan problem. These basic strategies could lead you to the right professional.
But browsing online is more likely to send you to a firm with a superior internet marketing strategy, not necessarily top-notch service. And asking a neighbor who received great service might pair you with a lawyer who doesn’t specialize in your case.
With these pitfalls in mind, here are five alternatives to consider. They range from industry, professional, and public organizations. All offer referrals.
1. National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA)
Counting bankruptcy attorneys as members, the NACBA works at the legislative level to represent consumers in debt. But it also offers more basic resources for its audience.
Using the website’s directory of member lawyers, you can search by name or firm. If you don’t have a referral yet, you could use the site’s map of member lawyers to find one near you. The map will allow you to see each attorney’s location and information.
2. National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA)
NACA is a bar association of 1,500-plus consumer rights attorneys. A special section of its website is reserved for consumers having trouble with the servicing or collection of federal and private student loans.
Using its attorney directory, you can select student loans (or bankruptcy) from the drop-down menu, plus the state where you live. Each clickable search result will offer the lawyer’s areas of expertise in greater detail.
3. Bar associations
The American Bar Association (ABA), a professional organization with more than 400,000 members, doesn’t offer attorney referrals. But it does refer you to three kinds of resources by state:
If you live in Arizona, for example, the ABA’s clickable maps would lead you to:
- Maricopa County Volunteer Lawyers Program
- State Bar of Arizona
- Maricopa County Bar Association’s lawyer referral service
You’ll have to do some navigating on these websites to find programs and lawyers that specialize in student loans.
Don’t worry if you’re coming up empty on your state’s ABA-approved offerings. You could also contact your state’s consumer protection office. USA.gov has a helpful directory.
4. Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
If you’re a low-income student loan borrower and the ABA’s pro-bono offerings are lacking in your state, check out the LSC. The nonprofit funds 133 legal aid programs to help individuals at or near poverty level struggling with five types of issues, including consumers with student loans.
5. Lawyer review websites
The fifth and final free strategy to find student loan lawyers near you is to consult a lawyer review website like Avvo or LegalZoom. You might have already landed on a similar one after searching on Google.
Although not as objective as the previous four resources, these sites could be a good starting point to find a candidate to represent you. Keep in mind that some platforms won’t include student loan law as a specialty. At Avvo, for example, you can find local lawyers who work on debt collection and debt settlement cases.
Another word of caution: Remember that the lawyer profiles on these sorts of websites are advertisements. So avoid sweet-talking, dressed-up lawyers who don’t actually specialize in loans.
Find the right student loan lawyer for your situation
Hopefully, you’ll find student loan lawyers specializing in your case from a couple of our five recommended resources. Once you have the names and contact information of at least a few candidates, vet each lawyer with probing questions. You’ll want to ask, for example, about their fees as well as their experience dealing with cases like yours.
A student loan lawyer can deliver the professional help you might need. Finding one might seem like the hard part, but the challenge lies in finding the right one.
If you have a student loan question you’ve been waiting for an answer to, contact our customer support team. Your question might end up in this column.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.49% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown. All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.48% effective April 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.49% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 6.65%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.41%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.49% – 7.11%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.98% – 9.72%6||Undergrad & Graduate|