When managing student loan debt becomes a challenge for graduates and their families, many turn to student loan counselors to help them to understand their situation and develop a plan of action.
An effective approach to student loan counseling shouldn’t just be about how much you owe and what your interest rates are. It should involve a top-to-bottom look at your individual financial situation to see how it is impacted by your student loans. From there, a student loan counselor can help you to determine the best course of action to pay down your student loans responsibly and build a better financial future.
Step 1. Analysis
The first step is an analysis to more fully understand your particular situation.
That means a review of loan-specific information such as the types of student loans, balances, interest, and repayment schedules.
That also means looking at your budget, expenses, and spending patterns. From there, student loan counselors can usually make recommendations that can improve how you utilize your income while reducing your expenses and liabilities. This allows you to free up income that can be re-directed toward paying down your loans.
Next, you and your counselor should review information that may impact eligibility for student loan programs. This can include adjusted gross income, family size, tax-filing status, and type of employment.
Step 2. Evaluation
For the next step, a student loan counselor will use the information gathered to evaluate what the best available repayment options are for you and what steps need to be taken to implement them. Your student loan counselor should communicate the specifics of each option, so you will understand both the pros and the cons, and the necessary steps to ensure continued success with the chosen solution.
Step 3. Implementation
Finally, your student loan counselor will guide you through the process of filling out the necessary paperwork to enroll in the chosen repayment option, along with assisting you in any follow up calls needed to your loan servicer.
One thing to keep in mind is that a student loan counselor is there specifically to provide counsel. While they can help guide you through the process of submitting your applications, a student loan counselor cannot offer to refinance your private student loans or offer any other financial services.
Looking for more help understanding and managing your student loans? Schedule an appointment with one of our student loan counselors today or call us at 800-920-2262.