January 20, 2015 - Many students are unaware of how indebted they currently are – but experts at colleges nationwide can help them find out.
Approximately 62 percent of student borrowers could not correctly estimate how much they owe, according to a December 2014 Brookings Institution study. That’s a big problem, since student loan payments typically are due six months after borrowers leave school—and the outcomes of loan default are dire. Consequences may include a lowered credit score, the loss of eligibility for federal student loan forgiveness, forbearance, and deferment programs, collections fees, and even wage garnishment.
“In 2015, students should make a resolution to know what they owe and avoid the future pitfalls of delinquency and default,” Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), recommends.
“Students who are already out of school and aren’t sure they can afford their payments should talk their lender about changing their repayment plan to one that makes sense with their financial circumstances,” he said. “Campus financial aid offices serve as a reliable resource for all questions related to borrowing, repayment, and financial literacy.”
NASFAA is a group of more than 20,000 professionals who help students every day to afford college and understand their commitments. Financial aid administrators can help borrowers – whether they’re still in school or have already graduated – to determine how much debt they have accrued. Financial aid administrators can suggest potential ways to mitigate future borrowing, and help students understand whether they qualify for programs like the Income-Based Repayment plan or Pay As You Earn plan. These plans can lower monthly bills to a dollar-figure that may feel more manageable.
Media: To help readers keep this resolution, set up an interview with a NASFAA policy expert or financial aid administrator in your area by contacting us at 202-785-6959 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) is a nonprofit membership organization that represents more than 20,000 financial aid professionals at nearly 3,000 colleges, universities, and career schools across the country. NASFAA member institutions serve nine out of every ten undergraduates in the U.S. Based in Washington, DC, NASFAA is the only national association with a primary focus on student aid legislation, regulatory analysis, and training for financial aid administrators. For more information, visit http://www.nasfaa.org.
Publication Date: 1/20/2015