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Baby steps: improving the college financing experience

From student borrowers to politicians and the schools themselves, the debates on what’s broken within the higher education system and how to fix it rage on. In the meantime, two recent tweaks were made that should help current and, especially, future students and their parents, make more informed college financing decisions.   Improving the application Read more >

How Student Debt Impacts Home Buying

A recent survey confirmed what many suspect: some young adults have postponed home buying due to their student loans. This echoes a commonly held belief that if you have student loans you can’t get a mortgage. But these two activities aren’t mutually exclusive. Here’s what you need to know about how your student debt Read more >

Marrying into student debt.

Making a commitment to love and cherish someone until “death do you part” is intimidating enough, but with each person bringing their financial history into the marriage, it can add an extra level of complexity. Love me, love my debt. With roughly 40 million Americans owing $1.3 trillion in student debt, the chances of at Read more >

Courting the student debt vote.

With the sheer number of voters now impacted by student debt—40 million, representing $1.3 trillion in outstanding loans—it’s easy to see why it has emerged as a primary campaign issue after decades of registering fleeting mentions. Though student debt impacts every generation, it’s regarded as the primary “pocketbook” issue for Millennials. Individuals in this age Read more >

Pay less later by doing more now.

When it comes to student debt, the longer it takes to repay your loans, the more expensive your education becomes. While repayment of your unsubsidized debt is deferred until you are out of school, the interest “meter” starts running as soon as each loan is disbursed. When you graduate, if you are like most students, Read more >

Know whose advice you’re taking.

Let’s face it: The sheer numbers and dollars associated with student loans attract the attention of everyone from legitimately concerned financial professionals—like our agency members—to the moderately unscrupulous and outright scam artists. Whether you are a recent graduate still enjoying your six-month grace period on repayment, an enrolled student or a borrower struggling to make Read more >

Delayed, not canceled.

It’s easy to focus on the headline numbers summing up student debt: $1.2 trillion in student loan debt is outstanding. 40 million Americans currently have student loans. 52 percent of young consumers (20–29) have student debt. 64 percent of college students use student loans. $29,000 is the average outstanding balance. It’s hard to read these numbers and not conclude Read more >

Student loans: more may not be the PLUS you think.

Part of being a parent is wanting to protect your children from things that might harm them, including a heavy student debt burden. This is why many parents turn to the federal parent Direct PLUS Loan Program. These loans put the burden of payment squarely on the parent.   PLUS borrowing has grown from a Read more >

Who is the NFCC?

Founded in 1951, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®) is the nation's first and largest nonprofit dedicated to improving people's financial well-being.

NFCC members help millions of consumers like you through community-based offices located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Each NFCC member agency has earned our seal by adhering to high standards and ethical practices designed to help you achieve financial stability.

Member agencies are able to offer their services for nominal fees based on their current funding status. Funding for operations and services comes from an ever-changing combination of federal, state and local government grants, as well as donations from financial industry participants and private donors.

For more on the NFCC, visit

Thank you to our funders.

The Sharpen Your Financial Focus program is an initiative of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) in partnership with a broad cross-section of supporters. Together, we are committed to increasing the financial well-being of Americans. This initiative is partially funded by Bank of America, Chase, Synchrony Financial, Wells Fargo and other major financial institutions. We thank all funders and partners who make this program possible. For more information, visit

National Foundation for Credit Counseling
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Washington, DC 20036

For NFCC Media Inquiries:
Bruce McClary
Vice President of Communications