Student Debt Resources

As you complete your last stages of post-secondary education, it should be a time to celebrate this great achievement. Unfortunately, for many people across the country it is a time of worry because of increased unemployment and student loans.

If you are struggling with student loans, below are some options that can help with repayment, consolidation, planning, and/or postponement.

If you have a Massachusetts-based-loan, such as the Massachusetts No Interest Loan through the non-profit Massachusetts Higher Education Authority (MEFA), you can find more information on repayment by visiting the Attorney General’s website.

You can get guidance on your Federal Students Loans by contacting American Student Assistance, a Massachusetts based non-profit with a mission “To empower students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their college loan debt.”

Below are a range of federal sites and national non-profit organizations and groups that have guides for students with Federal or Private Loans. However, you should first find out whether your loans are Federal or Private by checking this guide   “Federal Versus Private Loans” developed by the U.S Department of Education.

 Federal Student Aid: Repay Your Loans: Federal Student Aid is a taxpayer supported program of the U.S.   Department of Education. The following links will guide you on information on repaying Federal Student Loans:

  • Understanding Repayment: This page is a guide to learning the how, when, to whom to repay your loans.
  • Loan Consolidation: This page will guide you through the different options of consolidating your Federal Student Loans.
  • Deferment and Forbearance: Can’t pay your loans at the moment? Learn how to temporarily postpone or reduce payments on your Federal Student Loans.
  • Forgiveness, Cancellation or Discharge: See if you qualify for forgiveness, cancellation or discharge of your Federal Student Loans.
  • Understanding Defaults: Make sure you know what it means to get into default and the consequences of doing so.
  • Resolving a Dispute: Is there information about your account that you and your loan servicer disagree on? This guide will help you go through what you need to resolve disputes related to your Federal Student Loans.

Federal Direct Loan Consolidation Calculator: Want to know what it would look like to consolidate your Federal Student Loans? This calculator, built by the U.S. Department of Education, will help determine monthly payments, number of months for completion of principal balance, interest amount and if you’re eligible for income based re-payment.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Repayment Guide: This Federal and Non-Federal Student Loan Repayment Guide walks you through question and answers about your loans and offers some tips and suggestions on repayment of them.

National College Finance Center: Need more information ways to finance your college education? This non-profit organization’s mission is to guide students and families to resources that will help pay for college the smartest way possible, as well as provide information and advice on repaying students loans.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PDF): Have you be working in a public service career since you graduated from college? If so, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your federal student loans after 10 years of full-time employment at a public service or non-profit agency. Check out the fact sheet provided with how you can be eligible for forgiveness of your Federal Student Loans.

Federal Student Loan Repayment Plan (PDF): If you currently have limited income and student loans, you may qualify for the new federal government Income-Based Repayment (IBR) program, a new payment option for federal student loans that can help you keep your loan payments affordable with payment caps. Payment is based on your income and family size.

Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project: Want to know your rights as a borrower of Federal or Private student loans? This site created by the National Consumer Law Center is filled with information for borrowers and their families on their student loans.

Also, if you have an interest in the national discussions on Higher Education and Student Debt, below is a sample of relevant articles:

“Debt Crunch” by Commonwealth Magazine

For-profit colleges and the CWU Client Experience

NPR’s Planet Money: “What America Owes In Student Loans”

Wall Street Journal article on student loan default rates: “A Degree Drawn in Red Ink”

Student Debt Crisis.Org: Hub of information for issues surrounding Student Loan Debt

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