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Student Loan Debt Counseling and Advice

Limited Time Offer: Get student loan counseling for free so you can master your student debt!


Learn more now.


NFCC student loan counseling services are available through our member agencies. When you talk to a nonprofit NFCC Certified Student Loan Counselor about your options, you get a one-on-one, comprehensive review of your finances and a repayment plan that works best for your situation.


Now, through March 31, 2019, your student loan counseling (a $200 value) is free*!


Click here to schedule an appointment with an NFCC certified credit counselor
*At participating member agencies. Clicking the button above will help you connect with a participating member agency.


Specifically, student loan debt counseling will help you understand:

  • The pros and cons of the programs available to you.
  • Strategies to reduce the amount of interest paid over the life of the loan.
  • Steps to take to ensure timely repayment.
  • What you can do if you have trouble making your payments.
  • Options for keeping repayment affordable.
  • Loan rehabilitation programs.
  • Student loan debt consolidation choices.
  • How to identify potential options toward cancellation and forgiveness.



Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Dr. Brady J. Deaton
Former Chancellor; University of Missouri
Member; NFCC Board of Trustees

What is student loan default?

Default occurs if you fail to make payments within 270 days of the payment due date. Once a student loan goes into “default” status the full balance of the loan becomes due immediately. Furthermore, you will be ineligible to obtain student aid should you wish to continue your education.

Defaulting on your student loans can be quite costly. Collection fees can be added to the loan balance resulting in significantly higher costs. There are options for getting out of loan default without having to repay the full balance of the loan. 

What happens if I default on my student loans?

Defaulting has severe and long-lasting consequences, including but not limited to:

 • Suspension or non-renewal of Professional Licenses.
• Litigation and judgment costs.
• The entire unpaid balance of your loan and any interest is immediately due and payable.
• You’ll lose eligibility for postponement options and repayment plans.
• You’ll lose eligibility for additional federal student aid.
• The loan will be reported as delinquent to credit bureaus and will damage your credit rating.

Additional steps may be taken against you, including…

• Federal and state tax offset
• Wage garnishment applicable by the law of your State
• Referral to the Department of Justice
• Negative credit history

Will my student loans be forgiven in bankruptcy?

It is possible to get your loan discharged in a bankruptcy although it is very difficult. All student loans can be discharged, but only if the borrower can prove undue hardship. The NFCC does not provide legal advice. For additional questions you should consult a bankruptcy attorney.

What is Income-Based Repayment?

Income-Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment option for Federal student loans. In order to qualify for an IBR program, your income must be below a certain level, or you must work for a government agency or in a public interest role. Under an IBR program, your monthly payments will be reduced to a certain percentage of your disposable income. So long as you make on-time payments for the entire term of the program (often 10 to 15 years or more), your loan will be considered current, and the outstanding balance will be forgiven at the end of the period.

Is Income-Based Repayment right for me?

Because IBR programs offer lower monthly payments with the forgiveness of the remainder of the loan balance at the expiration of the program, they can be an attractive option for many borrowers. Before you sign up for an IBR program, however, you should consider whether IBR is right for you.

 Because the monthly payments under an IBR program may not be enough to cover the interest that is accruing on your loan every month, your loan balance may continue to grow despite the fact that you are making regular payments. While the loan balance will be forgiven at the expiration of the IBR program term (often 10 to 15 years), if your income rises above the maximum allowed for IBR programs, or if you make a career change that prevents you from continuing to participate in the IBR program, you will then be faced with a higher loan balance, and higher monthly payments. An NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor can work through your budget with you and help you identify an optimal repayment strategy, whether it includes IBR or not.

What is Deferment and Forbearance?

Deferment and Forbearance are options for borrowers who are seriously struggling with their student loans. These options allow borrowers to make substantially reduced payments, or even $0 payments, for a period of time until their financial hardship passes. These are temporary programs, however, and therefore not a permanent solution. Each loan has a maximum allowable period of deferments and forbearances, and once these have been exhausted, the borrower must return to making regular monthly payments. In addition, your loans may continue to accrue interest during a deferment or forbearance. Therefore, deferment and forbearance options should only be used during periods of true emergency, and are not a permanent solution to your student loan debt.

Why should I work with an NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselor? Can’t my loan servicer help me with my repayment?

Your loan servicer can place you on different repayment plans, and will answer questions regarding your loans. However, a servicer may not take the time to walk through all of the implications for each repayment option, and even then will often only do so if you know the right questions to ask. Ultimately, the servicer’s job is to handle each caller as quickly and efficiently as possible, and that does not always allow for the most thorough consideration of your unique circumstance and repayment needs.

NFCC Certified Consumer Credit Counselors are focused on finding you the most affordable and appropriate solutions to all of your financial needs, including your student loans. They will take the time to work through your entire budget, and establishing repayment plans that work for you.

Student Loan Repayment Assistance

Dr. Brady J. Deaton
Former Chancellor; University of Missouri
Member; NFCC Board of Trustees

Get Student Debt Answers Now at NFCC’s StudentLoanHelp.org

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