CEFC is now searching for funding for the next stage of the program to commence on or about January 1, 2015. The plan is to add six to eight additional high quality direct financial counseling providers partnered with local legal services providers to the program and to continue monitoring and evaluating program protocol and outcomes.
CEFC’s Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling pilot program has been effective in helping financially distressed borrowers learn about their available federal loan repayment options and the eligibility requirements to enroll in a repayment program tied to the borrower’s current income. CEFC is seeking funding to expand the number of financial counseling and legal services partners providing this service to borrowers.
Expanding the outreach of the program will allow CEFC to determine the following:
- Are rates of default lower among borrowers served by CEFC-affiliated organizations than the general population of student loan borrowers?
- To what extent are the borrowers served able to find satisfactory repayment plans?
- Does the depth and extent of counseling provided (i.e., amount of time spent, or extent of communication with the counselor) have an impact on borrower outcomes?
- What motivates borrowers to remain in contact with counselors? Does borrower perception of the counselor appear to have a relationship to the number of counseling sessions?
The Student Loan Debt Repayment Counseling program assists financially distressed low- to moderate-income borrowers in making informed choices regarding the management and repayment of student loan debt. The program aims to help distressed borrowers improve their credit scores and increase their ability to access financial services and products.
To accomplish this in future efforts, CEFC will rely on lessons learned from the 2013-2014 pilot program. Expanding the program’s reach will allow CEFC to assess the program’s effectiveness on a larger scale, revise and improve program training materials and delivery, and address technology barriers in data collection, reporting, analysis, and evaluation.