Law Schools, Money

Law School Loans, Loan Consolidation, and Refinancing: Open Thread

law school student loans debt Above the Law blog.jpgIn case you haven’t noticed, the economy is headed for the toilet (assuming it’s not there already). The White House and the Federal Reserve have declared their intent to rush to the economy’s defense, although it may be too little, too late.
Even if the lowering of interest rates can’t save the faltering economy, it may at least bring good news for debt-saddled law school students and graduates. From one such reader:

It would be super-cool if you could do a post about loan consolidation or loan refinancing, now that interest rates appear to be going down again.

Okay, I know you’ll get a lot of people saying “Slow news day, huh?” But I’m a 3L wondering about this stuff, and it would be a good service.

And from an LLM student, who is not eligible for federal loan programs and is shopping around among private providers:

Are there any particular student loan packages that your readers would recommend?

I managed to get a comparative chart (prepared by Duke University) comparing various private loan packages. Out of that chart, I’ve narrowed it down to the following providers:

* Nellie Mae;
* Sallie Mae / Southwest Student Services Corp.;
* Access Group/National City Bank;
* Bank of America;
* Chase;
* Citibank;
* Wachovia; and
* Wells Fargo.

The chart certainly is helpful in terms of comparing repayment periods, aggregate loan limits, fees, and interest rates. However, I’m at a loss as to the meaning of various terms, such as “prime rate” and “LIBOR rate,” and how exactly they translate into computation of monthly loan payments. I’d greatly appreciate whatever help you and your readers can provide in this regard.

If you can speak to these specific questions, or if you have more general thoughts to share about law school debt — tips, predictions, rants — feel free to chime in, in the comments. Thanks.

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