Many law students take out a “bar loan” to cover living expenses while they study full time for the bar exam during the summer. Studying full time is highly recommended for first-time success in passing the bar exam, but it can impose financial challenges in addition to study challenges; only you can decide what your individual situation requires, but remember that a conservative estimate of the time it takes to prepare adequately for the bar exam is 600 hours total study, practice and review time. Anything that allows you to make studying your full time job is something to consider. You may also want to check with your Emory University financial aid adviser to see if you have any unused regular student loan eligibility that you could use instead of, or in addition to, a private bar loan. Some students may be able to look to family members for support; if you haven’t had that conversation yet, now is a good time to do that. If you will need to apply for a bar loan, you can do so now, during your last semester.
Four major lenders offer these private loans subject to credit checks: Discover, PNC, Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo. Other lenders may also make such loans and you can research your options. Some basic information is below; please make sure, however, to check directly with the lenders for the most accurate, complete and up-to-date information. Emory Law does not endorse any specific lender. For various loan analysis calculators, you can visit www.finaid.org.