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Squeezed out of the loan game (access required)

It looks like the lender who provided me with the financial opportunity to complete law school has been squeezed out of the game. Access Group Inc. said last month it would no longer lend to new students and is laying off most of its staff, according to the National Law Journal. In its early years, Access provided student loans to 75-to-80 percent of law students, and recently was still providing approximately $850 million in loans to 25,000-to-30,000 law students. But Access -- as well as numerous other student loan lenders -- have fallen victim to the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, which made the U.S. Department of Education the sole provider of federally-guaranteed student loans. In 2006, the government created Graduate PLUS loans, which allow students to borrow the full amount of the costs of their graduate education with federally-guaranteed loans. With the ever-tightening restrictions in private lending after 2008, this provides only one outlet for post-baccalaureate students to pursue graduate school using student loans to fund their education. Doesn't seem like too big of a deal, right? After all, it's not like the government is eliminating the ability to borrow any money for graduate school. However, when reviewing my own, very lengthy Access account statement, I noticed that the interest rate on my Graduate PLUS loans is the worst out of all the different loan types (Subsidized Stafford, Unsubsidized Stafford, and Private) that I used.


  1. Alisa Bralove-Scherr

    I didn’t specifically plan on a career in public service, but now that I have one, I’m disappointed that I don’t qualify for loan forgiveness. Unfortunately, the state’s lrap sees my position as administrative in nature, even though I am directly assisting low-income people on a daily basis. The part that really hurts is that if I had a higher-paying job in my organization, I probably would have qualifed.

    The president’s plan won’t help me either, because I graduated from law school in 2003.

  2. talking to these darn collectors!