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How are Student Loan Amounts Determined and Distributed?

By Tara Carter You’ve just graduated high school, and now it’s time to start thinking about college. Along with many other determining factors, cost seems to be at the top of everyone’s list when determining where they want to go to school. For many, paying for college out-of-pocket isn’t an option. So, as an alternative, Read more >

What to Do If You Lose Your Financial Aid

By Devon Delfino When you first started college, you might have assumed that your financial aid package would be solid for the next four years. But now spring has rolled around and you’ve been blindsided: You’ve learned you’ll be getting less money next year. There are five major reasons you could lose financial aid: Your parents Read more >

Help Your Child Get the Most State Dollars for College

By Kathryn Hauer, EA, CFP Learn more about Kathryn on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor If your child is heading to college, you’ve probably heard how important it is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form early. That advice is valuable when it comes to securing federal aid, but there are other key steps you can Read more >

Can’t Get Enough Financial Aid? Here’s What to Do

College acceptance letters answer one question, but replace it with another: Can you afford it? You might feel extra anxious if your family’s income doesn’t qualify you for need-based aid and you can’t cover college costs out of pocket. There’s hope yet. Even if you’re not eligible for aid based on your family’s earnings, there Read more >

Earned it: the Working Students Act.

Working your way through college is a reasonable response to paying for an education. But, it can end up costing students when it comes to federal financial aid.   Federal law sets a cap on how much students can earn before the amount of federal need-based aid they are entitled to is reduced. This cap Read more >

Why not paying isn’t really an option.

Last February, a Texas man made national headlines when he was arrested by U.S. Marshals as a result of failing to make payments on a $1,500 student loan incurred 29 years ago. While there was a little more to the story—the arrest was more about failing to honor a court summons related to the debt—the Read more >

Finding acceptance: Is your first-choice school the right choice?

Choosing the right college has always been hard. But as costs have increased and the need to borrow has grown—so much that 69% of students graduating from college in 2014 had student loans —your first-choice school may not be the best choice for your long-term financial health. When you are borrowing to attend school, the 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
2000 M Street, NW
Suite 505
Washington, DC 20036

For NFCC Media Inquiries:
Bruce McClary
Vice President of Communications