Debt

Reader Question: Who Can Really Help Us With Our Student Loan Debt?

September 9, 2016
Have you ever wondered where you can get real help with your student loan debt? Well, look no further. Here are 3 sites that can help you make sense of your student debt.
This post may contain affiliate links. See disclosure policy here.

 

This week’s reader question is one that needs to be addressed. As a borrower of student loans, I understand this reader’s frustration because I can relate to his or her experience.

The reader asked, “Who can we turn to for help when the student loan companies all give differing information? Is there an arbitrator or someone to help make sense of this mess?”

I’m sure many of you can relate to this too!

Information about student loan repayments and student loan debt, in general, is all over the place. Depending on whether you have federal or private student loans, it can be hard to understand what applies to you and what doesn’t.

Some questions you may have asked yourself at one point or another, “Am I eligible for repayment plans… What happens if I default...Will I go to jail for not paying my student loan debt...Can they garnish my wages...What if I can’t make my payment temporarily...What if I’m out on medical leave?”

I get it. The questions can be endless and it can be hard to know whether you have the right information.  So I did a little research and I’m going to share with you some great third party resources that can help you make sense of your student loans.

 

Here are three resources that will help you make sense of your student loans

 

But first, let’s do the customary thang we do each week for the reader’s question series.

Every Friday I will feature a question from one of you, my dear readers!  If you need answers, I want to do my best to provide them and I don’t want you to hesitate to reach out.

With that said, there are several ways you can ask a question.

You can leave a comment, email latoya at lifeandabudget dot com, you can use the contact tab above, AND you can also submit your question using this easy, simple Google Form.

You can’t say you didn’t know how to get in touch.😀

Without further delay, let’s get into this week’s question which simply boils down to, “Who can REALLY help us with our student loans?”

 

Have you ever wondered where you can get real help with your student loan debt? Well, look no further. Here are 3 sites that can help you make sense of your student debt.

 

 

Who Can Really Help Us With Our Student Loan Debt?

 

1) SaltMoney.org

Salt is an incredible website created by American Student Assistance, a nonprofit that has been helping students make better decisions about paying back student loan debt and paying for their education.

This website is designed for current and former students and it can also help you find scholarships and jobs. The website has features that will help you compare student loan repayment options and they also provide personalized student loan debt repayment plans.

SaltMoney.org is free to use and the information is provided from a third-party perspective. You can learn about student loans a variety of ways through their lessons, infographics, courses, e-books, tools, and articles.

Here are a few titles of the articles you can expect to read:

  • Postponing Repayment With Forbearance
  • Repaying Subsidized Stafford Loans
  • Who’s Who When Borrowing and Repaying
  • 5 Warning Signs For Student Loan Debt Relief Companies
  • Understanding Student Loan Delinquency and Default
  • How to Get Your Student Loan Payments Back on Track

To use their tools, read articles, and receive their e-books, you have to create an account. It is well worth it too as I created one for myself to see what type of information they provided their users.

If you’re interested, go to www.saltmoney.org and sign up to use this free resource.

 

Related Reading: 8 Ways To Pay Off Student Loans Faster

 

2) Studentloanhelp.org

This website is provided by the NFCC, National Foundation for Credit Counseling. They were founded in 1951 and they are another nonprofit on a mission to help improve your financial well-being.

The NFCC consists of several member agencies, located in all 50 states. Their experts answer questions regarding student loan debt repayment and student loan borrowing.

They provide student loan counseling and offer a wealth of articles and tools to answer any questions you might have.

The titles of some of the articles you can find there include the following:

  • Everything You Need to Know About Student Loan Interest Rates
  • Federal vs Private Student Loans
  • How to Prepare For Student Loan Repayment
  • Knowing How To Spot Student Loan Scams
  • Student Loan 101: Everything You Should Know About Taking Out Student Loans
  • Don’t Sweat Over Student Loan Repayment

Their student loan counseling includes an overview of your personal situation which will help them create a customized assessment and plan for you. If you’re interested in seeing how the NFCC can help you with your student loans, visit their site www.studentloanhelp.org and click get started.

 

3) StudentAid.Edu.Gov

The last site I found for you is owned by the US Department of Education (aka The Big People). This site has been a go-to resource of mine for a while now.

Usually,  if I have a question, this is a site that can answer it. From student loan debt repayment options to questions about the financial aid process — this site can help you.

I’m guessing the information that will be the most relevant to you is the portion of the website dedicated to repaying your student loans.

This site doesn’t provide articles per se, but they do have a number of pdf resources you can download.

Some of those resource guides you will find are as follows:

  • Federal Student Loans: Be a Responsible Borrower
  • Federal Student Loans: Repaying Your Loans
  • Public Student Loan Forgiveness Fact Sheet

Pretty cut and dry, ain’t it?

Other things they address on the site is how to find the best repayment plan for you, how to make a payment, what to do if you can’t afford your payments, etc.

They do have a section that says you can call or email them, so if you don’t see an answer to your question, there is a way to reach them.

 

Conclusion

In addition to these sites I’ve provided, here is one additional article I thought may be extremely helpful titled, Reduce Student Loan Debt By Paying Interest Early.

I believe these websites will truly be a starting point for someone who is confused by the conflicting information provided by multiple student loan providers. If you truly want to defeat your student loan debt, educating yourself on the process is essential!

You’ve already taken the first step by reaching out in search of additional advice. Now that I’ve given you a starting point, I encourage you to dig deeply into the resources provided and seek the answers that apply to your personal situation.

Student loans are a total pain in the ass — I get that. But with a lot of tenacity, a little extra money, and the belief you can become debt free , you’ll eventually get rid of those pesky suckers. I’ll be rooting for you and I hope you’ll root for me too!

 

Related Reading: How to Create a Plan of Attack on Student Loan Interest

 

Did I miss any sites or resources? If you know of any additional third-party resources to help us make sense of these student loans, please share in the comments!

 

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Latoya Scott
Writer/Creator
Latoya Scott is a personal finance writer and blogger for hire who loves talking about budgets and money. Her mission is to help women create better finances so they can live a carefree lifestyle.

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  • Tia @ financiallyfitandfab September 9, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Thanks so much for sharing all these resources! Student loan debt can be extremely overwhelming. Research is definitely key to make sure that you are making the right decisions!
    Tia @ financiallyfitandfab recently posted…Balance Transfer: The Best Way to Pay Off High-Interest DebtMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 9, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Tanay Michele September 9, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    These are great resources. Thankfully I haven’t acquired student loan debt but having a plan on how to tackle it is always helpful.

  • Latoya @ Life and a Budget September 9, 2016 at 1:20 pm

    You’re welcome!

  • Donna Shana September 9, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    Great post. I know I am just about to start replaying and I need a reduction. I’m going to see if I can manage that somehow.
    Donna Shana recently posted…#AroundAtlanta: Top 4 Events This WeekendMy Profile

  • Tata September 9, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    These are some awesome resources, it can be hard sifting through the scams and bull to find legitimate sources so I really appreciate this.

    • Latoya Scott September 9, 2016 at 10:20 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • jehava September 9, 2016 at 11:22 pm

    Really great resource here considering 90% of America has student loans! Great site!
    jehava recently posted…Meal Plans {Week of 8/29}My Profile

  • Ty September 10, 2016 at 2:11 am

    Great post. I wish there was a site that would get rid of your student loan debt. Now that would be nice!
    Ty recently posted…Back-to-School Scheduling Tips for Busy ParentsMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:11 am

      Girl! I would invest in a website like that!

  • Mimi Green September 12, 2016 at 12:58 am

    All my life I’ve consistently heard nightmare after nightmare regarding student loans. I’ve never had any so I have no personal experience but I know plenty of people that do. This is a great ready and resource to share.
    Mimi Green recently posted…MimiCuteLips Fall FavoritesMy Profile

  • Jennifer September 12, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Over the past few months, I’ve been thinking a lot about paying off my student loans. They’ve been a real pain and it feels like I’ll always have a loan payment. My husband and I want to buy a house in a couple of years, so I’d really like to work on my debt. Your sources are very helpful. I didn’t know about these resources at all.

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:05 am

      Hi, Jennifer! I’m glad they helped!

  • VeePeeJay (Vashti) September 12, 2016 at 2:23 am

    These are great resources that will help so many people. I see so many people (just on FB) who are plagued by student debt that a plan to tackle it is always great. Thankfully I don’t have any student loan debt and I count my blessings every day.
    VeePeeJay (Vashti) recently posted…I Went Parasailing & I Didn’t Die. Three Things I Learned from Conquering My FearMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:09 am

      Winning! Yes, I’m trying to get there to that promised land!

  • Tomiko September 12, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I’m waiting on a miracle to happen with my loans!! I wouldn’t suggest anyone get a forbearance unless it’s necessary.. I put it off so long and the interest grew bigger than the loan
    Tomiko recently posted…Underground Ziplining at the Louisville Mega CavernMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:08 am

      Same here, Tomiko! That interest is a killer and I’ll be so happy when they are gone. I’m probably going to throw a party, lol!

  • Artney September 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    Thank you for providing such great info! I’ll have to pin this so I can keep it on hand. Ready to pay mine completely OFF!
    Artney recently posted…Buffalo Chicken Dip featuring Sartori Cheese!My Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 12:05 am

      I know what you mean!

  • Arnitris Strong September 13, 2016 at 8:54 am

    I am saving this article for future reference. Thank you so much for sharing the list.

    • Latoya Scott September 13, 2016 at 3:48 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Antoinette September 13, 2016 at 11:01 pm

    This information came at the perfect time. I am currently working on scholarship applications for my son who’s a senior in high school. I will be sure to avoid the same student loan pitfalls that I experienced myself.

  • Kiwi September 14, 2016 at 4:54 am

    Girl great post and a tally of resources for us all that is struggling to repay back these loans. I am still waiting on a forgiveness program…sheesh why isnt our student loans free? Education should of never been this expensive.
    Kiwi recently posted…How To Nourish Your Travel Wanderlust DesiresMy Profile

    • Latoya Scott September 14, 2016 at 11:49 pm

      I hear you on that one!

  • Morgan September 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    These resources sounds great! Getting your student loans forgiven can be a long process, but it ends up saving you so much money that it’s worth it. Thanks so much for sharing all the helpful information and tips!

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