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How well you manage your student loans and other personal finances will impact how quickly you achieve your financial goals.
Handling your student loans responsibly will build a solid financial foundation and positively influence your future consumer purchases such as buying an automobile, buying a house, and obtaining credit cards.
Terms to Know
Contains a list of important student loan terms that you should know. Keep a copy on hand while reviewing your loan documents to make sure you fully understand what you've agreed to and what your responsibilities are.
Repayment Plan Comparison Chart
Is an easy-to-scan table comparing the features of current direct loan and FFELP repayment plans and options. Use it to get a high level overview of your loan options so you can decide which one makes the most sense for you.
Sample Standard Repayment Plans
Is a handy chart showing you how much you could expect to pay monthly and in total for a range of loan amounts, based on interest rate. You can use it to help you decide if the standard repayment plan would work for you.
Provides a list of circumstances under which you may or may not be entitled to apply for repayment consideration, deferment, forbearance or even possible discharge of the debt. Be sure to consult this document if you’re about to experience a significant life-changing event.
Is a great way to track your monthly and periodic expenses and find potential money-saving adjustments.
Annual Credit Report – Every consumer is entitled to a free annual copy of their credit report from each of the major credit reporting bureaus. Your credit report is a great way to find out who holds your student loans.
National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) – Use this website to access a history of your federal student loan and grant information from a central database for federal student aid.
Federal Loan Repayment Plans – This website provides information and resources on all federal student loan repayment plans, including forms to apply for a loan.
Student Aid on the Web – This online portal offers information about federal student aid for higher education at various stages.
Federal Direct Loan Program – This is the homepage for the U.S. Department of Education Direct Loan Program that provides important information, calculators, and tools to manage federal student loans.
Money Management International – This site offers advice on financial education, budgeting, and formulating a spending plan.
Tax Benefits for Education – Learn directly from the Internal Revenue Service about tax advantages in the form of credits and deductions related to higher education. Review your options carefully or seek the advice or a tax preparer as some of these benefits may be applicable to the student or parent, but usually not for both during the same tax year.
Federal Student Loan Ombudsman – The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – The CFPB is the federal agency that holds primary responsibility for regulating consumer protection with regards to financial products and services in the United States. This site includes information and resources about applying for financial aid as well as obtaining and repaying student loans.
Private Student Loan Ombudsman – This is the CFPB student loan assistance page. Based on complaints, comments, and other input, the CFPB Private Student Loan Ombudsman explains how some borrowers face obstacles when repaying their private student loans.
The National Council of Higher Education Resources (NCHER) is the nation’s oldest and largest higher education finance trade association. NCHER’s membership includes state, nonprofit, and for-profit higher education service organizations, including lenders, servicers, guaranty agencies, collection agencies, financial literacy providers, and schools, interested and involved in increasing college access and success. It assists its members in shaping policies governing federal and private student loan and state grant programs on behalf of students, parents, borrowers, and families.
Since 2007, the Homeownership Preservation Foundation (HPF) has served as a trusted, neutral source of information for more than eight million homeowners. They are partnered with, and endorsed by, numerous major government agencies, including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury.
The mission of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market in order to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes; utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; and build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.
The Council on Accreditation (COA) is an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. Their mission is to partner with human service organizations worldwide to improve service delivery outcomes by developing, applying, and promoting accreditation standards.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), founded in 1951, is the nation’s largest and longest-serving nonprofit financial counseling organization. The NFCC’s mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.