BPP Law School has thrown a vital lifeline to aspiring lawyers struggling to find funding to pay for their postgraduate studies.
The institution has this week launched a new loan for students to cover fees for the full-time Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC).
The new five-year fixed interest loan rolled out in partnership with Investec will allow would-be lawyers to borrow a maximum of £25,000 to cover all or part of the course fees, plus living expenses of up to 20 per cent of the course cost.
Chief executive and dean of BPP Law School Peter Crisp said: “BPP is committed to supporting students as much as we can, and in addition to our scholarship programme, we are always looking for ways in which we can help train our future lawyers.”
But the ‘Law Loan” as it has been named carries interest fixed at 9.5 per cent or an annual percentage rate of 9.9 per cent making the product much more expensive than many of personal loans on offer from high street lenders as well as HSBC’s dedicated bar loan, which was reinstated by the lender in May 2011 following a review.
HSBC decided to hike the interest rate by a whopping 6 per cent, setting it at 7 per cent above its base rate of 0.5, as revealed by Lawyer2B.com (read more).
Other features of the BPP/Investec loan include an 18-month repayment holiday from the start date of the loan. This could also prove problematic for GDL students who would potentially have to start repaying the loan before completing all of their studies.
The launch of the loan follows NatWest Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland’s decision to withdrawing their dedicated LPC and GDL Professional Trainee Loan Scheme earlier this year, as exclusively reported on Lawyer2B.com (read full story).