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Financing Law School

Reviewing Current Loan Debt
and Estimating Total Borrowing

University of Denver Financial Aid

These next two emails in our series will help you estimate what your total loan debt will be at graduation and what your monthly payments might look like. Understanding these things before you start law school will ensure there are no surprises at graduation, and may actually cost you less in the long run.

Review current student loan debt.
Did you borrow federal student loans as an undergraduate student? And are you still making payments on those loans? If the answer is yes to both questions, it's a good idea to review your remaining loan balance so you can add that amount to the total you'll borrow for law school.

To view all of the federal student loans you have borrowed to date, log into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for federal student aid. Here you will find all of the information you need to keep track of your loans, including current balances, interest rates and servicer contact information. In fact, we recommend that you log into NSLDS at least once per semester throughout your time at DU to make sure the loan debt you are accumulating is accurate and what you're expecting. To access this site, you'll need your FSA ID.

Important note: Private loans do not appear in NSLDS. If you borrowed a private education loan from a bank or credit union, you will need to contact your lender directly to get more information.

If you do currently have federal student loan debt, those loans will go into in-school deferment once you start classes. This means you will not have to make payments on your loans as long as you are enrolled in at least four credits. Most of the time, loans will go into deferment automatically, but some students may need to submit an In-School Deferment Request form to their servicer.

Estimate Your Total Borrowing for Law School
It's a good idea to estimate the total amount you'll have to borrow for your program to ensure you can afford the monthly payments once you graduate. We'll talk about repayment plans and calculating loan payments in next week's email, but first you'll need an idea of what your total loan debt will be.

As we mentioned in the first email, we recommend that you utilize the Estimated Billing Worksheet to calculate what your bill will be each semester and how much you'll need to borrow for the 2017-18 academic year. (Remember, this document works best when opened in Internet Explorer.) As long as any scholarships you receive are renewed throughout the rest of your time at DU, you can expect your total borrowing for this academic year to be similar in future years. Take note of that total number, as you'll need it next week to estimate your future monthly payments.


That's it for this week! Up next week: Understanding Repayment Plan Options and Estimating Future Payments

Want to review past or future emails? Check out the archives!

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