Smart Loan Borrowing
This clock reports an estimate of current student loan debt outstanding, including both federal and private student loans. Want to see this amount reduce? Check out the resources below on Smart Borrowing?
Check out this video on 'Responsible Borrowing'
Important Links and Apps
- Federal Student Loans - Helpful repayment, calculators, Obtain information on deferments, forbearance, loan forgiveness, etc., Request Income Driven Repayment Plans
- National Student Loan Data System - Your official borrowing history and totals at all institutions, Check your loan history for accuracy, Obtain your loan servicer's contact information
- FinAid - One of the most comprehensive source of student financial aid information, advice and tools
- ionTuition - Free App for USF Students, monitor your student borrowing, research your career field, create a budget, run calculator to review your payment options
Student Loan Debt Relief
Beware of companies that specialize in student loan debt relief. These companies charge large up-front or monthly fees for federal student aid services offered by the Department of Education and its student loan services for free. Such services include:
- Consolidating federal student loans;
- Changing repayment plans;
- Resolving defaults;
- Filing requests for borrower defense loan cancellation; and
- Other benefits and services that students are entitled to receive at no charge
In December 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a consumer advisory (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/consumer-advisory-student-loan-debt-relief-companies-may-cost-you-thousands-of-dollars-and-drive-you-further-into-debt/) concerning third-party debt relief companies that schools may wish to use in informing students about these companies.
The advisory includes four warning signs of third-party debt relief companies that student loan borrowers should avoid, including:
- Pressure to pay high up-front fees;
- Promises of immediate loan forgiveness or debt cancellation;
- Demands that you sign a "third party authorization"; or
- Request for a student's Federal Student Aid PIN or FSA ID
The above information is from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid Electronic Announcement, March 30, 2016.