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Mixing Up These Student Loan Terms Could Cost You

If you have student debt, you don’t have to go looking for confusing jargon — it’s built right into the system. Take student loan refinance and student loan consolidation. These terms are often used interchangeably, since both let you bundle several loans into one. But the similarities stop there. That’s because federal consolidation and refinancing, Read more >

Does Student Debt Affect Your Chances at Homeownership?

By Jennifer Riner of Zillow Zillow recently determined first-time home buyers are renting longer than ever, up 6 years compared to 4.4 years in the late 1980s. And, the typical first-time home buyer is now 33 years old compared to 30 years old just a few decades ago. This delay in buying homes between Gen X Read more >

This Student Loan Tip Saves You Money Year After Year

You don’t usually think of your student loan lender as a source to save you money. But by signing up for automatic payments today, you could land a discount and put money back in your pocket. If you sign up for auto-debit, which most federal and private student-loan lenders offer, you’ll get a 0.25 percentage Read more >

How Marriage Affects Student Loan Repayment

Most student loan payment plans are based upon income. In an “income driven payment plan,” the size of your monthly payment depends directly upon the amount of income that you legally report. If you get married before fully paying off an income driven student loan, the income of both you and your spouse may be Read more >

How Student Loans Affect your Tax Return

Your tax return can be a highlight of your fiscal year, especially if you have debts like student loans hanging over your head. However, you may need to employ a bit of financial savvy in order to keep whatever return you are due. As a matter of fact, a student loan may even be advantageous Read more >

How to Pay Off Private Student Loan Debt in Six Steps

If you or someone you know is considering their options on how to best repay their student debt, you are not alone. Nearly 70% of bachelor’s degree students graduate with student debt. Roughly 40 million Americans currently owe student loans.  It has become increasingly difficult to pay for education without taking on debt. Many people Read more >

Special Student Loan Options Available for Members of the Military

Like so many other former college students, some military members are facing the issue of student loan debt.  Military members have served our nation and as a result are entitled to some special student loan benefits and options from the United States Department of Education and the Department of Defense (DOD). The Department of Education’s Read more >

How the New Administration Will Affect Student Loans

By Majel Hein, Program Director of Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of La Crosse Author Joyce Meyer says that, “Change is always tough. Even for those who see themselves as agents of change, the process of starting a new thing can cause times of disorientation, uncertainty and insecurity.” Change is inevitable in every aspect of life.  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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