Help Available for Federal and Private Student Loans

By: Colin Mayfield Email
By: Colin Mayfield Email

Student debt can crush the American dream. A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the total debt amount from students borrowing has passed $1.1 trillion. Part of the money loaned to students comes from federal loans, but there is something you can do about working to unload the burden of those loans.

The college or university you attended has a financial aid office that’s there to help work you through the loans you've accrued. Staff like May Lee, director of Financial Aid at North Central Technical College can show you how and where to find your federal loans.

She can also help find the best payment option depending on where you are in life.

Lee told us, “Loans can be consolidated at so students can use it to their resource but if they need help with debt calculators, yes, we are here to help.”

The site walks you through information on your loans awarded by the government and the best ways to pay them. You can see how much money you've borrowed and from what government source, all in one place so you can keep track.

Unlike most federal loans, private loans can have higher interest rates and can have dangerously high repayment penalties.

Maureen Jorgensen, at Peoples State Bank can work with graduates to see where they are at to build a savings plan in conjunction with a repayment plan.

She can look at private loans to find the term, interest rate, and what your repayment agreement is. They can also work with the loan lender that fits the graduates’ current lifestyle.

Jorgensen said, “We look at the whole financial picture because they we’ll take in to consideration of other debt that you have, what types of income, and look at your savings.”

She says the best advice is to go to a bank that you trust and feel most comfortable with, explaining your current financial state.

They’ll help you work through the loan terminology and do an analysis to find the most logical repayment plan based on the terms of your loan. The bank you choose to work with doesn't have to be the lender you received the private loan from.

They key is understanding your financial landscape and what you've borrowed to invest in your future.

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