London's College of Law is launching a low-interest loan scheme for Legal Practitioners Course (LPC) and Bar Vocational Course (BVC) students in tandem with NatWest bank.
The college, which trains half the profession's annual intake of barristers and solicitors, is offering fixed loans at 6.25 per cent interest or variable loans at 0.75 per cent above base rate interest, for sums up to u15,000 with a repayment time of 10 years.
College chief executive Nigel Savage says: "Students are increasingly facing debt and we have used our purchasing power to get a better deal for our students than anyone else."
Savage adds that research recently conducted on behalf of the college shows that three out of four of last year's 1,000 college students were likely to need access to loan facilities, and that 45 per cent of students contacted owed more than u5,000. A further three per cent of students owed more than u20,000.
Savage blames the mounting student debt on government cutbacks to the number of grants awarded to post-graduate law students.
See training & recruitment special report, page 26-29