What is an Origination Fee ? Plus Other Terms You Should Know When Borrowing for Law School

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Apr 2, 2023

Table of Contents

  1. Origination Fee
  2. Application Fee
  3. Cosigner
  4. Related Articles

Like every industry (probably worse than most industries) finance throws around terms and expects you to keep up or fall behind. This is LSD's attempt to cut through some of the noise and help you understand the terms they will throw at you when you try to borrow money a public (U.S. Government) or private (any lender or bank) loan.

What is an origination fee? 

  1. If your loan has an origination fee then you will receive less money than you borrow. If you have a 4% origination fee, then you will get 96% of whatever you borrow. Borrow $10k, you will receive $9,600, and interest will accrue on the full $10k. -LSData 
  2. “An origination fee is a percentage of your loan amount charged by the lender for the processing of your loan. Federal student loans have an origination fee; therefore, the amount you may receive as a disbursement may be slightly lower than the amount you accept.” -studentaid.gov

The loans I am applying for have application fees, is that normal?

  1. In short, no; You should reconsider the lender if they are charging application fees. None of our partner lenders charge application fees. 
  2. If you are in a credit position where you can’t qualify for any federal loans or private loans (from more reputable lenders) that you need to attend school, then we recommend reaching out to your university for guidance.  

What is a cosigner?

  1. Simply put, a cosigner is someone who agrees to pay your loans if you can't.
  2. Since two people are putting their name and credit on the line (COSIGN-ing, get it?) you can usually get a better rate than you could alone.
  3. Most private lenders require a cosigner, unless your credit is really strong (above a ~650-680).

Related Articles

  1. How should I Choose a Student Loan?
  2. Oddly specific questions you might be asking when borrowing for law school.
  3. What Law School should I go to?
Windsor MIT '22, Harvard College Advisor

I am the half of LSD that didn't take the LSAT, or go to law school (Sorry about that). But I did go to MIT business school while surrounded by law students and lawyers, so I am somewhat qualified to talk about the intricacies of law school apps and finances.

Windsor (the dog) didn't write this but he WAS a Resident Tutor and career advisor at Harvard College with me, so deserves some credit.


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@trox99: my friend who is a 1L at washu law had to wait about a month for scholarship info :/
[] trox99
I’m ED and word on the street was that we would get them back today
fingers crossed!
What is the timeline to submit apps early/in cycle for Duke?
[] trox99
Hopefully guess we shall see, thank you
if anyone needs ideas for hobbies to work on while handling this cycle, i am in the process of writing a freaking dnd campaign
i'm in the same boat -- i'm trying to start running more and playing the new starfield game
@EmptyGoat: have you played Baldur's gate 3 at all?
@ClerkHopeful: I have not! I’m waiting for it to come out on Xbox! Have you?
does having a MA increase your chances in admissions?
[] WhisperingWillingBoar
Popcornlover81 - Almost not at all, but no one can really say for sure.
along the same vein, I understand admissions are hyperfocused on LSAT scores, but about gpa - would it make a diff that my GPA was higher in grad school (MA) vs. my undergrad GPA?
[] trox99
No not really
[] trox99
Undergrad GPA is what gets reported for their stats
Ok, that makes sense
Hey, so my CAS transcript evaluation shows my GPA as Superior (because Im a foreign applicant). Does anybody know what superior means in GPA terms? Like a 3.9 or 4?
[] trox99
I’m not sure if you can really put a number on an international GPA
[] trox99
I think it basically means you are effectively a median GPA candidate since you don’t hurt their stats.
[] trox99
In other words, there becomes a ton of emphasis on the LSAT, so you better be above median
But i have heard that the CAS evaluation for international transcripts is categorised into 3: Superior, above average and below average.
So, considering it is superior it would be some kind of a boost right. Cus atm I'm a super splitter.
@trox99 doesn’t know anything more then the rest of us. Contact the admissions office and ask lol
@EmptyGoat: I have been wanting to get into dnd for years at this point
[] trox99
Just from the research I’ve done and things I’ve read… of course I could be wrong🤷🏼‍♂️
[] trox99
Superior is obviously the best but I still think that the LSAT is far more important and is going to be what ultimately gets you either accepted or denied
[] ararara
Happy Saturday LSD! Hope everyone is healthy and killing it out there!
[] ararara
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