Bar Study Loans

Bar study loans are credit-qualified private loans intended to help cover expenses incurred after graduation while a student prepares for the bar exam. Refer to lender websites for complete details on available bar study loan programs.

What You Need to Know

  • There is no federal loan for bar study. Filing the FAFSA is not required.
  • These are credit-qualified private loans intended to cover bar prep course fees and/or living expenses during the period of non-enrollment while you are studying for the bar.
  • You apply directly with the lender or bank. If approved, the Office of Financial Aid will be asked to complete the loan certification.
  • The lender sets the terms of your bar study loan, including the interest rate, the maximum loan amount, and the time frame during which you can apply.
  • Bar study loan interest rates may be fixed or variable. The rate will be determined after a review of your credit history and credit score.
  • Applying with a creditworthy cosigner may increase the likelihood of your approval or help you obtain a lower interest rate. Some lenders offer a cosigner release option.

Before You Apply — Research, Budget, and Prepare

  • Research: Review the lenders/banks that offer bar study loans and compare your options. To assist students in searching for Bar Study Loans, we have provided you with ElmSelect’s loan search tool. This tool allows students to review and compare multiple lenders and loan products easily. Note that you are not required to choose a lender listed in ElmSelect. Reach out to the lender directly if you have any questions. It’s also a good idea to order a free copy of your credit history from Look it over, fix any errors, and do what you can to improve your credit so you can get the best possible terms on your bar study loan. 
  • Budget: Review your current monthly expenses. Can you reduce these temporarily? Do you have other resources you could use before (or instead of) a bar study loan? Can family help? Calculate how much you will need to borrow to cover your costs while studying for the bar, and consider building in a small cushion for emergencies.
  • Be prepared: Most loan applications will require you (and your cosigner, if applicable) to enter your SSN, email address, phone number, permanent address, and employment information. You will also need to provide the amount you want to borrow.

Keep Good Records

Private bar study loans do not appear on in your Aid Summary, so be sure to keep good records for yourself. Review your credit periodically and take steps to maintain a good credit history.