The Catholic University of America

After Graduation

Financial Aid


- AFTER GRADUATION -

Most graduating students typically have questions about loan repayment, BAR exam loans, and consolidation. Information on these topics and more are below.

 


  

- EXIT COUNSELING -

All Federal Student Loan borrowers who drop below half time status (due to graduation or withdrawal) are required by Federal Regulation to complete an Exit Counseling. The Financial Aid Office typical offers three ways to complete this requirement: online, in person by appointment, or at an Exit Counseling presentation.

Exit Counseling is a review of loan terms and conditions, and your rights and responsibilities as a borrower. The counseling session can be completed anytime during the last semester of attendance. To complete Exit Counseling for Federal Direct Loans, please go here.
 

 

REPAYMENT -

After graduation you will be expected to start making payments on your loans. More than 70% of borrowers miss their first payment because they did not know or understand their repayment schedules. This can hurt your credit score and negate your borrower benefits.

Review our Repayment pages to anticipate your monthly payments and be prepared to submit your first payment.

  


 

- BAR EXAM STUDY LOAN -

Several banks and lending institutions offer a Bar Exam Study Loan to provide funds for living expenses, Bar prep courses, and Bar exam fees.These are commercial (i.e., non-federal) loans, are credit-based, and have variable interest rates. Bar Loans typically max out at $15,000. We have created a Bar Exam Study Loan Chart comparing the terms of several lenders.You do not have to choose a loan from our lender list.

Bar Exam Study Loans typically request verification of your graduation date in a process known as certification. For this reason, please notify our office when you have completed a Bar Loan application.

 


 

- FEDERAL LOAN FORGIVENESS and LOAN REPAYMENT ASSISTANCE -

The College Cost Reduction & Assistance Act (CCRAA) offers lower monthly payments and loan forgiveness options to qualifying federal loans through programs such as Income Based Repayment (see also Q&As and QuickFacts) and Public Service Loan Forgiveness (Q&As and QuickFacts). If you decide to use Public Service Loan Forgiveness, you will need to complete this form, using these instructions.

NEW -- The Pay As You Earn Repayment Plan offers monthly payments lower than those under the Income Based Repayment noted above. You can apply for it with this form. Additional qualifications apply to this this program.

DC Loan Assistance Repayment Program Graduates working as a lawyer in DC with an income less than $65,000 a year are encouraged to apply for the DC Bar Foundation's LRAP Award. It offers up to $12,000 annually while working for an eligible employer in DC.

Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program Under the Civil Legal Assistance Attorney Student Loan Repayment Program, an eligible student loan borrower with one or more eligible loans, may receive up to $6,000 in student loan repayment for each year of completed service up to an aggregate total of $40,000. Loan repayment commitments are limited to the amount appropriated for the program for a given fiscal year by the Congress and are only available to eligible applicants until those funds are fully committed. Quick facts can be found here.

 


 

- STUDENT LOAN BASICS -

A. Federal Subsidized Stafford Loans**
- Variable interest rate, if disbursed before July 1, 2006
- Fixed rate of 6.8%, if disbursed after July 1, 2006
- Interest does not accrue during in-school status
- 6 month Grace Period. First payment due around Nov. 1st*
- Standard Repayment Term is 10 years, but can be extended to 25 years upon request
 
B. Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loans
- Variable interest rate for loans disbursed before July 1, 2006
- Fixed rate of 6.8% for loans disbursed after July 1, 2006
- Interest begins accruing during school
- 6 month Grace Period. First payment due around Nov. 1st*
- Standard Repayment Term is 10 years, but can be extended to 25 years upon request
 
C. Federal Graduate PLUS Loans
- Fixed interest rate of 8.5% for FFELP loans disbursed before July 1, 2010
- Fixed interest rate of 7.9% for Direct Loans disbursed after July 1, 2006
- Interest begins accruing while in school
- Repayment begins 45 days after graduation/withdrawal for loans disbursed before July 1, 2008
- 6 month deferment for loans disbursed after July 1, 2008
- Repayment Term is 10 years, but can be extended to 25 years upon request
 

D. Federal Consolidated Loans
- Fixed rate (determined by the weighted average of the loans being consolidated)
- No Grace Period. Your first payment could be due immediately upon graduation
- Repayment Term is 10 years, but can be extended to 30 years upon request

E. Private Commercial Loans
- Variable interest rate (minimum monthly payment fluctuates with the market)
- Grace period varies according to lender. Typically 6-9 months after graduation/withdrawal
- Repayment Term varies according to lender. Typically 20 years

* Assumes graduation date is in May.

** Subsidized Stafford Loans will not be available to graduate students after the 2010-2011 academic year. Go here for more information.

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