Federal Laws on Student Loan Debt
Federal laws are continually changing to make higher education more affordable for students and help them manage their student loan debt. The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) works to oversee student borrowers and loan servicers to ensure the loan repayment process is fair. The DOE offers a wide range of provisions such as loans, grants, work-study programs, simplified access to federal student aid, program integrity and federal need analysis.
If you’re struggling to repay your student loans, credit counseling can help you better understand your options. A credit counselor will work with you to review your financial situation and recommend a course of action. Credit counseling looks at your student loans as well as other debt, including mortgage, car loan and credit cards.
Credit counselors work to fully explain and walk you through topics that you may not know about or fully understand. This review can help you to better understand how to make payments, strategies to reduce total interest paid, repayment plan options, loan rehabilitation programs and student loan consolidation. Fully understanding these programs can help you see what makes the most sense for you.
Many universities, military bases, credit unions and housing authorities operate credit counseling programs. Though many of these are nonprofit, that doesn’t guarantee that services are free. A reputable credit counseling agency should send you free information about itself and the services it provides without requiring you to provide information about your situation. Credit counseling can help you to develop a long-term plan to manage your money and get out of debt.
Tip: Some lenders such as Navy Federal also offer personal finance counseling services free of charge to their members.
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