The Catholic University of America




Students Counseled on New Solutions to High Loan Debt


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The significant amount of money that most law students borrow to finance their educations need not be an 800-pound financial gorilla on their backs when they graduate, according to a leading expert.
Professor Philip G. Schrag, Delaney Family Professor of Public Interest Law Georgetown University Law Center, spoke to Catholic University law students on April 8 about the smart management of student loan debt, a subject to which he has devoted much attention in recent years.
His talk, “The New World of Student Loan Repayment and Forgiveness,” drew at least 50 students who wanted to learn more about some repayment options unavailable just a few years ago.
Schrag’s slide presentation covered such topics as Income Based Repayment, a law championed by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA), and PAYE (Pay As You Earn), a formula backed by the Obama Administration that holds monthly repayment rates to about 7 percent of discretionary income.  
The PAYE option is especially attractive to students like those enrolled at the Columbus School of Law, which send a relatively high percentage of graduates into public service legal jobs.  
In most cases, full time public service practitioners will have the balance of their loans forgiven after ten years in a qualifying job. Graduates who elect to work in non-public service jobs will, in most cases, pay off their loans over a 20-year period, with any remaining balance forgiven after that time.
Schrag assured students that today’s more flexible and realistic repayment options make law school debt much more manageable.