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Tips for choosing financial supports for law school


sunshine
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sunshine
  • Law School Admit
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Hi folks, I wanted to ask about people's experiences with choosing their loans/grants/lines of credit, and if you would be willing to share those experiences or some advice. 

Personally, I am a first gen university student (neither of my parents went to uni, and the fam I have that did go to school went to local colleges), and I grew up below the poverty line, so I don't have anyone in my life who would even know where to begin when it comes to financing law school. I've been fortunate so far in that I got through school so far on scholarships and part-time work, but obviously that won't cut it for law school. 

Thanks in advance!

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TobyFlenderson
  • Law Student

it's very common for law students to fund their education with a combination of their own money, government funding (like OSAP), and a line of credit. If you're in Ontario, you'll want to apply for OSAP during the summer (not 100% on when the deadline is to ensure you have money before your tuition deadline), and if you've received an admission offer, you can start to explore a line of credit.

The conventional wisdom is to go to Scotiabank. From my own experience, this has held true. However, the key is to get an experienced PSLOC (professional student line of credit) advisor. Your local branch advisor, who may have never worked on a law school line of credit before, is going to accidentally give you a worse deal, because they don't know the standard. There was a list of reps based on program and school that floated around the old forum, but I can't seem to find it. I'll keep looking and edit my post if I do.

Either way, wherever you go, you'll want to make sure you get prime + 0% to avoid paying unnecessary interest. As far as I know, COVID/lending hesitancy hasn't changed Scotia's position on offering prime + 0, but a more recent applicant might provide new information. Most people get 135K over the three years (45K becomes available at a time, to avoid you spending too much in one year and not having enough to pay for 3L tuition or something like that). Some places give you less. I encourage you to push for 135, it's better to have it and not use it. You should also be able to push payments on the principal to two years after graduation. This gives you a year after grad, most likely your articling period, to keep paying just the interest if need be. Speaking of interest, it's standard (at least with Scotia) that you don't pay interest during your three years + two after grad. Instead, the interest is "paid" from your LOC itself, as long as there's room to take it. This means you're paying interest on interest, but it does let you not worry about making payments during a period you're probably not working, or working very little (like 1L).

This is all the basic information that immediately comes to mind. What school will you be attending? I'll try to find that rep list.

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37 minutes ago, sunshine said:

Hi folks, I wanted to ask about people's experiences with choosing their loans/grants/lines of credit, and if you would be willing to share those experiences or some advice. 

Personally, I am a first gen university student, and I grew up below the poverty line, so I don't have anyone in my life who would even know where to begin when it comes to financing law school. I've been fortunate so far in that I got through school so far on scholarships and part-time work, but obviously that won't cut it for law school. 

Thanks in advance!

As a first gen student from an underprivileged background, your first step should be looking for every grant, bursary and scholarship you can find. You'll likely meet the eligibility criteria of quite a few. OSAP should be quite generous with there grants as well. 

After you've exhausted those options you can draw from loans, including a PSLOC. 

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