Show them the money

Embarking on a career in law can be expensive, so how can students fund their education? Laura Manning examines the options

THE STATS FOR 2012

Tuition fees range from £6,000 to £9,000 GDL fees can reach up to £9,400 LPC fees range from £7,900 to £13,550 BPTC fees range from £11,600 to £16,540

BANK LOAN

Career development loan Currently offered by Barclays Bank and the Cooperative Bank, a Career Development Loan (CDL) is a potential source of funding for the LPC and BPTC. However, CDLs are no longer available for GDL students.

The Government subsidises CDLs, and therefore you have a repayment holiday for the duration of the course plus one month after. Also, the Young People’s Learning Agency foots the bill for interest accrued throughout your course and a month after.

It is possible to borrow between £300 and £10,000 and repay it over a period of up to five years. This entitles you to cover 80 per cent of course fees, with the remainder for expenses. However, those hoping to undertake the LPC in
London will need at least £4,000 extra to cover course fees, not to mention living expenses.

Graduate loan
Most high street banks offer graduate loans, which may be the solution for covering maintenance costs. But getting more than one loan to cover mounting costs may not be the most sensible decision, with the legal market still fragile.

BPP Law School loan
The new five-year fixed interest loan in partnership with Investec allows 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. The law loan carries interest fixed at 9.5 per cent or an annual percentage rate of 9.9 per cent.

HSBC bar loan
HSBC reinstated its bar loan last year, but has hiked its interest rate by 6 per cent, setting it at 7 per cent above its base rate of 0.5 per cent.

Get out of the Big Smoke
Looking to study outside London can make a huge difference to your bank account, with LPC fees as low as £7,900 with the National Centre for Legal Training (NCLT) in association with the University of the West of England. The Bristol Institute of Legal Practice (BiLP) charges only £9,900 and Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) requires as low as £8,800, while London fees can cost up to £13,550.

STUDENT LOAN
The student loan is the main method people use to fund undergraduate study, which is effectively borrowing money from the UK government.

The tuition fee loan is non-means-tested to meet the cost of fees. Meanwhile, the maintenance loan comprises a nonmeans tested portion, which all students who are eligible for the loan can receive; a means tested portion that
depends on household income; and a provision for extra weeks’ study, which is also means tested. Maximum entitlement is affected by place of residence.

Repayments for both loans are based on how much you earn, not how much you borrowed. You will pay 9 per cent of anything you earn over the threshold of £21,000 per year. Divide that figure by 12 and round down to the nearest pound.