Clearpoint recently launched a new student loan counseling service for consumers. We are really excited about the opportunity to help people ease their student loan burden through various programs and budgeting strategies. What we have learned so far is that many people don’t understand the programs they might qualify for and don’t know that they could make their student loan repayment much easier. Many people also don’t know that a student loan counselor can help with other financial issues, such as credit card debt and general budget concerns. So, we decided to put together a list of the top 5 signs that you need student loan counseling. If you fit one of these categories, give us a call at 1-800-675-7601 or visit this page to learn more about student loan counseling.
1. You’re unemployed
It’s hard to pay your student loans when you don’t have an income. Luckily, if you are unemployed and owe federal loans, you might have more options than you realize. For instance, you may be able to put your loans in deferment, with payments and interest frozen for up to three years. Even for private loans, you might be able to communicate with your specific lender and work out some personalized arrangements.
By talking to a student loan counselor, you can learn more about student loan programs for the unemployed along with some other valuable financial information. Your counselor can make suggestions about how you might make some extra income, and he or she can give you resources to help find employment in your area.
2. You missed a payment
Oops, you missed a student loan payment. It’s certainly not a good thing, but it’s not the end of the world either. If you missed a payment, it’s a sign that your student loan debt is too much for you to handle in your current financial situation.
Luckily, a missed payment won’t be reported to the credit bureaus for 90 days. And from there, it won’t go into default until 270 days. So, you have some breathing room. Talking to a student loan counselor will help make sense of your options. You can learn about numerous repayment plans that will bring you lower monthly payments, potentially saving you thousands of dollars and protecting your credit score from damage.
3. You have credit card debt, too
It’s going to be tough to pay off your student loans if you have credit card debt breathing down your neck at the same time. And if you want to pay off debt efficiently you need to prioritize your credit cards, because they will likely have higher interest rates.
When you talk to a student loan counselor, he or she can help with your credit cards too. Your counselor will review your entire financial situation, help you develop a budget, and evaluate if you are a candidate for a debt management program. If so you could get benefits like lower interest rates and waived fees that will help you pay off your student loans more quickly.
4. You have private student loans
As you might already know, there aren’t a lot of options available for private student loans. They don’t have income-based repayment and other favorable programs like federal student loans offer. But, that doesn’t mean that student loan counseling can’t help.
By going through a student loan counseling session, you will learn how to free up more money in your budget by making smarter financial decisions and by enrolling your federal student loans in a repayment program. Both of these strategies will give you more to put toward the high-interest, dangerous private loans.
5. You are a teacher or public service worker
There are quite a few occupations that qualify for various student loan forgiveness programs. If you are a teacher, volunteer for a qualified agency like the Peace Corps, or work in sectors such as law enforcement and public health, your student loan counselor might be able to point you in the direction of a student loan forgiveness program.
Do you fit one of these categories?
If you fall into one of these categories, it may be a good idea to sign up for student loan counseling. Your counselor will provide a thorough budget review and show you the options available for your student loans. Going through this process could help you avoid default and damage to your credit score, and it can help you achieve a more comfortable lifestyle with lower monthly payments. You can get started today or call 1-800-675-7601.
Have you ever received student loan counseling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.