Loan Payment Programs
There are many student loan repayment programs that are designed to help law school graduates who have borrowed significant amounts of debt while earning their degrees. Resources for these programs come from the University of Michigan Law School, the federal government, and in some instances, employers. This section of our website is designed to help bring these resources together to make your search easier.
Michigan Law's Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAP)
The Debt Management Programs at the Law School provide graduates with maximum flexibility to choose jobs from any law-related area (excluding judicial clerkships and UM funded fellowships) including modest-paying public interest positions, while still maintaining a reasonable lifestyle and remaining current on outstanding loan obligations. Graduates whose combination of income and debt make them eligible receive assistance in meeting their loan obligations incurred during law school. Special note for those pursuing Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) positions: On rare occasions, the job you receive may not be law-related and therefore make you ineligible for the Law School's loan repayment assistance programs. The Office of Career Planning will work with you as much as possible to avoid this, but if you are in doubt about it, please be in consultation with the Financial Aid Office to discuss your eligibility. For further information select the correct program below for your entering class.
Entering classes 1984–2010 (you may elect one of the two programs below)
Entering classes 2011–later
The federal government's College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007
The College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 established, among other things, two new programs that will be of particular interest to graduates going into low paying and public interest jobs. Income Based Repayment (Section 203 of the Act) allows borrowers to pay back their federal loans on the basis of their income at the time of repayment. Loan Forgiveness (Section 401 of the Act) will forgive federal Direct loans after 120 payments and 10 years of full time employment in the public service sector. It is possible to take advantage of both of these programs at the same time, or to elect one or the other option. One option does not either preclude nor exclude another. Our CCRAA FAQ provides more details on these programs.
The JRJ Program provides funding for federal student loan repayment for eligible public defenders and prosecuting attorneys who agree to remain employed within Michigan for at least three years. Program information and application instructions are available at: www.michigan.gov/jrj.
Federal loan consolidation provides variable rate loan holders an opportunity to lock-in the current interest rate on their federal loans. Once federal loans have been consolidated, the rate cannot be adjusted again in the future. If it seems that most borrowers' loans are already set at a fixed interest rate, this is because most borrowers have already consolidated, or their loans disbursed after July 1, 2006, which is when the federal loan program changed from offering variable to fixed rate loans. Please visit Direct Loans website for further information.
Private loan consolidation should not be confused with federal loan consolidation. There are ususally fees and in most cases the interest rate is variable. The rates that are offered will be based on your credit score. Further information on private loan consolidation is available at www.finaid.org/loans/privateconsolidation.phtml. If you are considering private loan consolidation, proceed with caution and feel free to contact us with any questions.
Note: Many states, legal services programs and public defender offices have Loan Repayment Assistance Programs (LRAPs). The ABA maintains a list of state and employer LRAPs at www.abanet.org/legalservices/sclaid/lrap/home.html. You should check with your employer to see if there is an LRAP available to you.