Here at Above the Law, time and time again, we’ve warned both prospective and current law students about the dangers of student loans. According to the most recent data available for the class of 2018, the average law school graduate has a debt of $115,481 (that’s an average of $89,962 for public schools and an average of $130,900 for private schools). With debt loads that large, it is imperative that law school graduates secure employment with salaries high enough to service those loans, lest they risk defaulting on their debts. Given the disheartening employment statistics that some law schools have continued to post year after year, it seems obvious that graduates will have issues when it comes to repaying their debts; some graduates will allow their loans to fall into delinquency, and other graduates will default on their loans outright.
The consequences of student loan default are severe , and can range from wage garnishments to Treasury offsets to acceleration of the entire debt owed. This is not a situation that anyone would want to deal with at any time in their lives, but some law school graduates have been forced to endure the disastrous repercussions of default.
Are graduates of your law school at risk of defaulting on their student loans?
The latest information from the U.S. Department of Education may provide some guidance. During the tracking period for Fiscal Year 2016 — which includes data from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2018 for borrowers who entered repayment in 2016 and defaulted in 2016, 2017, or 2018 — more than 20 freestanding law schools (i.e., law schools that aren’t affiliated with any college or university) reported student loan default rates of up to 5.5 percent. For what it’s worth, reliable data is currently unavailable for law schools affiliated with undergraduate colleges or universities because those default rates are included with their parent schools’ rates.
According to data collected by LendEDU , these are the freestanding law schools with the highest student loan default rates for Fiscal Year 2016 (some of these schools are unaccredited by the ABA, one is on ABA […]