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Alternatives to Student Loans

How 3 Students Got an Education on the Cheap As a high school senior, Erin Lakenen was lukewarm about college but was sure about one thing: She didn’t want student debt. Because she was undecided about a career, she viewed student loans as a risk — debt without the guarantee of a job. Instead, Lakenen Read more >

How to Get Lower Student Loan Payments

Are you having trouble paying off student loans? Are you having trouble finding work, or are rent and other expenses getting in the way? Thankfully, there are options to help you out with your finances and lower your student loan payments. For a more thorough explanation of programs available to you and help with choosing Read more >


Each year across America, teenagers and people in their early twenties head to college. In this day and age, with the rising cost of college education – many students have basically no choice but to take out student loans. According to U.S. News, the average cost of tuition for an academic at a public in-state university is more Read more >

Repayment And Forgiveness Options For Your Student Loans

Is the enthusiasm for your work is being drained by the stress of your student loan obligations? By Phil Getz, Program Manager, Navicore Solutions This post originally appeared in the Maryland Veterinarian Medical Association Newslettter, Summer 2015. *updated with latest stats 2/9/18 You followed your passion, graduated from veterinary school and are working in the field you Read more >

16 Tips From Money Experts on Keeping Student Loans Under Control

Getting a college degree can be an excellent investment in your future, but if you aren’t careful, loans you take out to obtain that degree can act as a financial drag for years after graduation. A recent U.S. Department of Education study found that 11.3% of students at postsecondary schools who were scheduled to begin paying their loans in fiscal Read more >

Students Breathe Easy on Tax Bill but Other Battles Loom

College students and people with education debt can breathe a sigh of relief, mostly: The tax bill now being sent to President Trump preserves the student loan interest deduction and does not include a provision that would have taxed graduate student tuition waivers. “I think that students and families really did dodge a bullet,” says Read more >

Ask Brianna: How Do I Afford College as an Older Student?

“Ask Brianna” is a column from NerdWallet for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. Q: I’m going to college for the first time in my late 20s after working for several years. How do I pay for it while dealing with potentially less income in the meantime? A: Making a big change like this requires Read more >

How to Get Relief From College Costs After Hurricane Harvey

If you’re caught in a natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey, figuring out how to pay tuition or make your next student loan payment probably isn’t top of mind. But if your family’s financial situation changes as the result of an emergency, you may be eligible for additional financial aid or a break in loan payments. Read more >

Ask Brianna: How Do I Help My Parents Pay Off College Debt?

“Ask Brianna” is a column on for 20-somethings or anyone else starting out. I’m here to help you manage your money, find a job and pay off student loans — all the real-world stuff no one taught us how to do in college. This week’s question: “My parents took out loans to pay for Read more >

How and When to Use Federal and Private Student Loans

College comes with a lot of new expenses that many students encounter for the first time. While your financial aid may cover tuition and books, how will you fill in the other expenses of daily life? Should you use part of your student loans for living expenses? Other options include private loans versus parent plus 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.

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, Wells Fargo and other major financial institutions. We thank all funders and partners who make this program possible. For more information, visit

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