Legal Fee Financing FAQs
Q: Is there a limit to the amount that can be financed through GLF?
A: Yes. That amount is currently set at $10,000.
Q: Is there a minimum amount in order to finance through GLF?
A: Yes. That amount is currently set at $500.
Q: Is there an application fee?
A: No. Although setting up new accounts is expensive for GLF due to fees it must pay to the credit bureaus, ACH processer, software vendors, etc., we assume those costs and that risk. In fact, the only fee you will ever be charged in addition to your principal and interest payment is a late fee if payment is late.
Q: What is the term of the loan?
A: The term is set by the lawyer and client when the account is established. The minimum term is 6 months and the maximum is 36 months. Use our loan calculator on the application to determine the appropriate term based upon the payment that the client can afford.
Q: What is the payment schedule?
A: The normal schedule is monthly payments, with the first payment due 30 days after the Loan Agreement is signed. However, GLF wants to accommodate the clients as much as possible, so bi-weekly payments are also available.
Q: Do I have to have a co-signer?
A: No. If your credit and income are strong and stable enough, you can usually qualify on your own. The exceptions would be those cases in which your income or credit are threatened by the legal action, i.e. bankruptcy, divorce, criminal case, etc. A responsible co-signer is always a good idea and will improve your chances for acceptance. “Responsible” is generally someone with a good credit score, a source of adequate income, and who does not live in your household. Parents, grandparents, other relatives, friends, bosses, etc. all could qualify. A spouse or significant other living with you is usually not a good co-signer because he or she shares your household budget.
Q: What is the interest rate?
A: The current rate is fixed at 17.99%. This rate was set to comply with consumer laws in all jurisdictions. It also reflects the risk associated with unsecured debt while not being too burdensome on a lawyer’s client. GLF retains the right to adjust the rate to comply with the law of any particular jurisdiction.
Q: Must I make a down payment to the lawyer?
A: The amount of your fee and how it is paid is strictly between you and the lawyer. Most lawyers may well require a down payment in addition to your loan through GLF. GLF does not get involved in those decisions - it is the business of the lawyer and his or her client.
Q: Can I pay off my loan early?
A: Of course. A client can pay his or her account in full at any time without penalty.
Q: Can I make payments directly to the lawyer?
A: No. GLF is the creditor and the only entity that can accept payments on an account.
Q: How can I pay my payments?
A: As part of your loan agreement, you will be required to provide bank account information and agree to have your payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account through Automated Clearing House (ACH) withdrawal or debit card. If you know you will not have the funds available when a payment is coming due, you may pay online or by phone using a credit or debit card.
Q: Can I open a revolving line of credit?
A: No. We have considered this and believe for many reasons it would not be a good idea. However, a client can have as many term accounts as he or she has cases or legal matters that need legal work, provided that this does not create an unreasonable debt burden.
Q: How is an account opened?
A: You can only open an account through a participating lawyer. We have designed the process to be very simple and take less than five minutes. Completing the application and loan agreement in the attorney’s office is the best method, but the client can complete it at home or work and save it. The attorney would have to submit the application using his or her account number before it would be considered.
Q: Do you check credit history and report the accounts to the credit bureau?
A: Yes. We check your credit history when you apply and retain the right to do so periodically as long as your account remains open. We also report your account history monthly to one or more of the major credit bureaus.
Q: If I am late with a payment, will my co-signers’ credit record be adversely affected?
A: Possibly. All signers of the loan are equally responsible for paying it. Any account that is 30 or more days past due will have a negative report made to the credit bureau(s) that will reflect on the credit histories of all signers on the loan. However, the co-signer(s) will have notice that the primary borrower has missed a payment. If we attempt to draft the primary borrower’s account and it does not go through due to insufficient funds or any other reason, we will attempt to debit the payment from a co-signer’s bank account. We will give the co-signer notice before we do this.
Q: Are the transactions safe and secure, and is the personal information of the attorney and client protected?
A: Absolutely! Our online financial transactions are guaranteed safe and secure, and our servers and data storage are as well. And remember, our entire program is designed to help build a good relationship between attorney and client. We do not ask for any personal information from the attorney except for account information so that we can deposit the attorney’s money. We ask for minimal information from the clients, and we guarantee to keep it secure. A client’s lawyer may have access to the client’s credit score (although some credit bureaus prohibit this), and the lawyer will have access to a client's account for as long as the account is open.