STUDENT LOAN DEBT BORROWERS WHO PARTICIPATED IN CEFC COUNSELING
A few of the written comments submitted by CEFC Student Loan Debt Repayment program participants during the pilot phase:
- "The student loan world is confusing and misleading. Having someone carefully look at what would be the best repayment option for you is INCREDIBLY helpful and likely saved me thousands of dollars!”
- “[CEFC-trained counselor] has made me feel so much better about my financial situation. She has given me some hope as well as excellent direction. Since meeting with her, I have submitted to the Department of Education asking for forgiveness of my loans. This process is underway, I have heard from them and it seems favorable, that perhaps some of the loans will be forgiven. I am on permanent disability, with my fixed income it is impossible for me to pay even the minimal payment, which would be well more than half of my monthly income.”
- “The counseling was instrumental in me taking hold of my finances, straightening out some credit reporting that had my student loans double counted, as the government loan was still reporting despite having been sold to another agency; and making me feel like my life was manageable, despite still having a large student loan debt. I am very grateful for this service. I was really in crisis when I got in touch…”
PARTICIPATING STUDENT LOAN REPAYMENT COUNSELORS
“I am a certified financial counselor who has participated in the student loan borrower pilot project since it began in 2013. As a newcomer to student loan issues, programs, and shortcomings, I found our initial training to be very informative and helpful. As a result of the CEFC trainings and program protocol, our organization was able to give our clients a wonderful opportunity to address their student loans and their overall financial stability more comprehensively and successfully.”
--Barbara Miller, Student Loan Repayment Counselor
PARTICIPATING PROGRAM DIRECTOR
“It’s perilous for families and communities to underestimate the student loan debt crisis. The pilot program of Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling, with CEFC providing training and research support, has shown that borrowers and their co-signers can find real solutions when given expert assessment and coaching on options.
“In our experience with the first 200 graduates we served in this pilot, almost every one made a journey from feeling overwhelmed and not even sure what they owed or to which entity – to coming up with a realistic game-plan to repay all their debt. Often they needed support and coaching to add income and reduce expenses so money could be directed at rehabilitating long-deferred or defaulted loans; always they needed help organizing the debts and navigating which repayment options would fit their individual financial circumstances.
“These clients have been thrilled to get honest, impartial repayment counseling with an action plan where they are able to make all their payments and avoid garnishment and family stress related to collections.”
--Darryl Dahlheimer, Program Director, LSS Financial Counseling – Conquer Your Debt, Minneapolis, Minnesota
PROFESSIONAL FINANCIAL ADVISOR
“Student loan debt has become an increasing challenge for many consumers when it comes to building assets and saving for their retirement. We find that the major hurdle for these consumers is not disqualification for assistance, but rather, knowing it exists. Furthermore, even those who are aware of the various programs available to them have difficulty understanding the process and selecting which program makes most sense for their individual situation.
“Fortunately, CEFC’s Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling program provides invaluable guidance, direction and assistance in navigating through the various federal loan repayment options. Student loan debt has become a major component of household debt for the average family and programs like CEFC’s help borrowers - who often feel helpless - get a handle on the situation and move forward with their lives.”
--Ryan J. Grashow, Investment Officer