American Consumer Credit Counseling guides clients on best practices to pay off student debt
Boston, MA – December 14, 2021
With federal student loan repayments expected to resume February 1, 2022, many Americans are looking to rearrange their budgets to accommodate these payments. National nonprofit American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) shares best practices on how to pay off student debt.
The coronavirus relief bill, known as the CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. This Act has helped federal student loan payers by pausing student loan payments, setting the interest rate at 0 percent, and not collecting student loans in default.
“There are many different methods to tackle student loans and reduce total balances,” said Allen Amadin, President and CEO of American Consumer Credit Counseling. “Being fully prepared and informed will help you pay off your student loan debt effectively.”
According to Forbes, it is important for consumers to consider whether their loans are federal or private. Each of these types of loans have different limitations. Minimizing compounding interest costs is also part of the main goal when it comes to repayment.
According to the Federal Loan Portfolio, there are around 43.2 million people with student debt totaling more than $1.59 trillion outstanding. Around 35 million Americans qualify for student debt relief under the CARES Act.
ACCC gives consumers tips on how to handle their student loan debt:
- Plan, budget, and paydown: When starting to repay your student loans, planning is important. Having a clear budget will help make solid decisions regarding how you choose to pay down your student loans. Some debt repayment methods include the debt avalanche and debt snowball methods.
- Consider refinancing or consolidating your loans: Consider refinancing if you can get a lower interest rate. This could potentially save you thousands of dollars. However, you could lose some perks of federal student loans, such as access to loan forgiveness if you work in public service or for a nonprofit. You can also consolidate your debt, but again, you should consider what federal protections you might lose.
- Postpone payments: This is a last resort in case the monthly payments are not feasible. If you qualify to postpone payments, you can stop making payments for up to three years. During this time, no interest accrues on federally subsidized loans. However, it does accrue on unsubsidized loans, adding up to the amount due. Working with your student loan entity to postpone payments allows college graduates to not face any fees or fines.
- Check eligibility for student loan forgiveness: If you work in public service such as a nonprofit or are a teacher, you may qualify for loan forgiveness. Moreover, through an Income-Driven-Repayment, Forbes explains that “you can get student loan forgiveness after 20 years (undergraduate student loans) to 25 years (graduate student loans).”
Each person’s situation is different when paying off student loans, but these options can help guide consumers through the process of getting rid of that debt to keep moving forward and achieving bigger financial goals.
About American Consumer Credit Counseling
American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is a nonprofit credit counseling 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowering consumers to achieve financial management through credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, and financial education concerning debt solutions. To help consumers reach their goal of debt relief, ACCC provides a range of free consumer personal finance resources on a variety of topics including budgeting, credit and debt management, student loan assistance, youth and money, homeownership, identity theft, senior living, and retirement. Consumers can use ACCC’s worksheets, videos, calculators, and blog articles to make the best possible decisions regarding their financial future. ACCC holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®). For more information or to access free financial education resources, log on to ConsumerCredit.com or visit http://www.consumercredit.com/financial-education.aspx