Commercial loans are alternatives to federal loans. They are credit-based, may have lower fees than federal loans and may even offer the borrower a choice between fixed or variable interest rates. Please note that these loans are not eligible for the various repayment benefits associated with federal student loans. Students may apply for assistance through one or more commercial loan provider. The amount borrowed from any of these programs when combined with other forms of approved financial aid cannot exceed the student expense budget.
Students potentially seeking a career in public interest or government work are strongly advised NOT to choose commercial loans over Grad PLUS loans if a supplement to Stafford loans is necessary, as commercial loans are not eligible for various related federal programs and will NOT be covered by Georgetown Law’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program for students who entered Georgetown Law in the 2009-2010 academic year or later.
Like federal loans, commercial loans may still require students to be enrolled at least half-time in a degree programs (6 credits for J.D. students and 4 credits for LL.M. students), although some programs offer loans to students enrolled less than half-time. In addition, the borrower must typically be a U.S. Citizen or permanent resident or have a U.S. citizen or permanent resident co-signer.
A student may borrow a commercial loan amount equal to the total student budget minus any other financial aid. Additionally, when selecting a commercial loan program a student should determine if the program has an aggregate education debt limit, and if so, whether that limit accommodate the expected amount of borrowing. If your total education debt exceeds the lender’s limit you will not be able to borrow from the program.
Most lenders use a borrower’s credit score to evaluate eligibility and interest rates. An applicant with a score of 680 or higher is more likely to be approved.
Depending on your lender selection, commercial loan funds may arrive via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or via paper check format. Funds that arrive via EFT are posted to the student’s account. Paper checks can be claimed at the Student Accounts Office. If account balance is paid in full, paper loan checks made payable to the student may be released directly to the student. If the student owes money to Georgetown Law, funds will be applied first to the outstanding account balance and the excess will be refunded though the Student Accounts Office.