school, you were occupied with reviewing interpretations and writing briefs –
not thinking about loan repayment. Now
that you’re a graduate, it’s time to transition from student life to real life. Carolina Law provides access to
financial guidance and support in the form of loan repayment assistance,
information on debt management, and advising regarding common financial
questions that may arise after graduation.
Understanding Your Loans
Most of our
students use federal education loans (unsubsidized loan and the Graduate PLUS
loan) to finance their law school education, but some students use private
education loans. If you have a private
education loan, please contact the bank or lender; the following information is
for federal education loans.
how much you’ve borrowed in federal loans (including undergraduate loans),
access your record on the National Student Loan Data System. Selecting the number next to each loan gives you detailed information
about that specific loan, including your loan servicer (current ED
Servicer). Create an account on your servicer’s
website. You may have more than one
servicer; if so, be sure to create an account on each servicer’s site.
graduation, you have a six month grace period on your law school federal loans
before repayment is required. Depending
on your situation at the end of the grace period, you may choose to make
payments or postpone payments.
If you choose
to make payments, you have several repayment plan options. Your repayment plan determines your monthly payment amount, which is
influenced by several factors – including your repayment period length. Your repayment period length also determines
the total amount of interest you will pay over the lifetime of your loan.
are automatically placed into the Standard (Level) Repayment Plan. To request the Graduated or Extended
repayment plans, contact your servicer. To apply for an Income-Driven repayment plan, complete the Request. There are five Income-Driven repayment plans: Income-Based Repayment (IBR), new IBR, Pay As
You Earn (PAYE), Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR), and Income-Sensitive. If you meet the criteria, you will be placed
into the Income-Driven repayment plan which you qualify for that is most
beneficial to you. The Repayment Estimator will allow you to compare your monthly
payments under the different repayment plans and give you an idea which
Income-Driven repayment plans you may qualify for.
If you choose
to postpone payments, your options are deferment or forbearance. Certain situations qualify for deferment. For example, while you were a School of Law student, you qualified for
in-school deferment. If you don’t
qualify for a deferment, your servicer may be able to grant you a
forbearance. With forbearance, you may
be able to stop making payments or reduce your monthly payment. To apply for a deferment or request a
forbearance, contact your servicer.
having difficulty making your monthly payments, don’t let your loans go into
default – contact your servicer. You
could be eligible for a repayment plan with lower monthly payments or postpone
payments through deferment or forbearance.
Public Service Benefits
public service is not just about the paycheck; it’s also about the mission and
making a difference. While public
service typically doesn’t pay like the private sector, we need people performing
these important roles in their communities. Two programs, Public Service Loan Forgiveness (offered through the U.S.
Department of Education) and Loan Repayment Assistance Program (offered by UNC
School of Law) work together to encourage individuals to enter and continue to
work in public service careers.
Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
PSLF is a loan forgiveness program for certain federal
loans. After making 120 qualifying
payments while employed in eligible public service organizations, borrowers may
qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their federal education
UNC School of Law Loan Repayment Assistance Program
LRAP provides a short-term forgivable loan toward repayment
of qualified law school education loans for eligible graduates who enter
law-related public service jobs. This
program works in conjunction with PSLF; alumni use LRAP funds to make monthly
payments on their federal education loans during their period of 120 qualifying