Overwhelmed with student loans?
Navigating the student loan process can be difficult even for the smartest students and parents. You want to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success – not just in your career, but your finances as well.
Whether you find yourself struggling to afford your student loan debt or you are just getting started with a plan – our certified counselors can help.
Please note: We do not sell anything or provide loans. The Credit Counseling Center is a non-profit here to provide education and guidance.
Financial guidance every step of the way
Prepare & save for college
Whether you are a parent or student, you need someone you can trust to turn to for guidance.
Our counselors can help you review your financial information to identify how much you can save for college or which student loans to apply for.
Create a repayment plan
Most students who graduate have at least $25,000 in student loan debt.
We can help you identify the best way to pay your student loans back, avoid unnecessary interest, and manage your household budget so you can live your life to the fullest.
Avoid & manage delinquency
11% of new graduates default in the first 12 months and over a million student loans enter default each year.
So if you’re struggling to pay back your student loans, you’re not alone. But the longer you wait, the more you’ll owe. Contact us today to get help.
What you should know about student loans
Decoding student loans can feel overwhelming. Here’s answers to some frequently asked questions. But everyone is different and needs guidance that will help them be successful in and out of college, so don’t hesitate to contact us today.
What is a FAFSA form?
FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). Your college or university will use data from your FAFSA form to determine your federal aid eligibility. You’ll need to fill out this form before each year of college.
What should I do about my student loans if I lose my job?
If you lose your job you should do everything you can to maintain payments and avoid incurring additional interest. If that’s not possible, you may qualify for a deferment or a forbearance. With either of these options, you can temporarily suspend your payments, but you may continue to accumulate interest.
Am I eligible for student loan forgiveness?
Certain programs, fields of study, and careers can allow for student loan forgiveness. You’ll likely need to balance your salary expectations and household budget with the roles that qualify. In addition, if you qualify, you will need to apply for forgiveness. To review your eligibility and set a payment plan that makes sense for you, contact our team.
What does student loan forbearance or deferment mean?
There may be a time where you have trouble making your monthly payment on your student loan. A deferment or forbearance can help you postpone your payments. In most cases, interest will accrue during your period of deferment or forbearance. This means your balance will increase and you’ll pay more over the life of your loan.
Also, if your loan continues to be delinquent, the loan may go into default. The point when a loan is considered to be in default varies depending on the type of loan you received.
What is the difference between federal and private student loans?
Federal student loans do not require students to have a minimum or good credit score because the loans are backed by the federal government. Federal student loans also don’t need cosigners.
Students who have bad credit can still find options for student loans from private lenders or from federal student loans. Federal student loans do have borrowing limits, leaving a gap for many borrowers with an adverse credit history.
What are the options to pay for college?
This depends on your financial situation. There are a number of ways to prepare for paying for college – whether it’s setting up a savings fund, applying for scholarships or grants, receiving financial aid, or federally funded or private student loans. To identify the best options for your financial situation, contact us today.
Can I get a student loan if I don’t have a good credit score?
Depending on your family income, you may qualify for additional support. Options may also vary in terms of what you may qualify for with Federal student loans or private student loans. Contact us to review your credit score, potential loan options, and plan for your future.
When I graduate, when will I need to pay for my student loans?
Once you graduate, drop below half-time enrollment, or leave school, your federal student loan goes into repayment. However, if you have a Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, or Federal Family Education Loan, you have a six-month grace period before you are required to start making regular payments.
What is a good interest rate for student loans?
Most student loan debt comes from federal loans. Federal loans typically have an interest rate ranging from 3% to 6% percent. Private student loan interest rates, on the other hand, can range from 3% to 13% fixed and 1% to 12% variable.
Should I put money into my retirement or my kid’s college fund?
We recommend that you start your retirement fund as early as possible in your career. Once you have a sound retirement fund, then saving for your kid’s college fund might make sense.
Why? Although you want to set your children up for success, you will have less years to save for your retirement than they have to pay off their student loans.
How much should I save for my kids’ college fund?
As long as you have successfully funded your retirement fund, save as much as possible for your children’s college fund.
The amount varies with the schools they select and their cost, scholarships s/he may receive, whether they board at school or stay home, etc. As you can see, lots to think about which we are happy to provide guidance on.
Get guidance on student loans now
Our counselors are excited to help you to better understand the student loan process and help you live your life to the fullest.