XxSpyKEx wrote:I really don't understand what the issue here is. It's not like you have throw away the $300k to pay for YLS if you're planning to do PI anyways (and, hence, qualify for PLSF). You won't spend a cent for law school that way. It's also worth mentioning that the actual amount you'll keep is $200k with NYU, not $300k, since you'll be paying NYC cost of living out of pocket if you attend NYU. I really can't think of a good reason why you would pick NYU over Yale, especially if you want to go into international law--there's like a handful of attorneys in the country who practice "international law," and don't you think your odds of joining them would be better by attending the best law school in the country rather than competing for grades at NYU for a chance at one of those positions?
I don't entirely understand how loans work. Can anyone get loans, no matter how much money you have? And doesn't PLSF only work if you commit to public service for 10 years? While I want to do public interest, I also want to dabble in other things. Also, during the 10 years before your loans are forgiven, would your credit score be negatively affected by having such significant loans?
A. Nony Mouse covered your questions regarding getting loans and PLSF better than I could have. With respect to the credit score, the student loans won't negatively impact you (oddly enough). You just need to make on-time payments, and they will actually increase your credit score. The amount of your payments have nothing to do with your credit score (AFAIK). But when you apply for things like credit cards, a mortgage, etc., most places will ask you what your monthly/yearly income is and what your monthly debt obligations are, and will reduce the amount they will let you borrow based on that information (i.e. relative to if you had no debt). However, most places will also ask you about your assets, and if you have $200k sitting around somewhere, that will vastly increase the amount of money that banks will be willing to let you borrow.
Pretty much, if $300k is nothing to your parents (which it sounds like it isn't a big deal), just take that money and roll with it. If it has some appreciable value on their overall wealth, you could always just take out student loans, and rely on COAP/PLSF. You should really look into COAP before you make a decision, though. I don't know what the terms of that is, but I recall back in 2009, they pretty much covered your entire loan repayments for people who didn't make over $60k /year, and if you made more than that, all they required was for your to pay a portion of your loan. Pretty sure COAP isn't quite as generous as that anymore, but it's probably still very generous (I would be surprised if they didn't cover your entire PAYE payments, at a minimum, on a salary under $60k, where you could just ride that out for 10 years and then do PLSF).