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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 >

Where the Money Is: Scam-Spotting

It’s hard enough to finance school, get through it and then manage your debt load once you leave. But, unfortunately, there is one more thing you may have to deal with: being targeted for student loan-related scams. To help you spot trouble before it finds you, here are five tips for keeping your information safe Read more >

NY hearts NY student borrowers: more states showing their love for education.

While the public debate rages on regarding the economic impact of the U.S.’s ballooning student loan debt—and what to do about it—many states already have relief programs in place. And, more are being added to ease the situation locally. For instance, the state of New York, recently announced a new program called, “Get on Your Read more >

The Sandwich Generation—with extra helping of debt on the side

While public concern is focused on the amount of student debt plaguing Millennials, there is another generation facing an even bigger battle: the Sandwich Generation. These are the borrowers who find themselves caught between caring for their own children—many nearing or now college age—while also facing responsibility for their ailing parents. And if that weren’t Read more >

Make good choices: the pros and cons of income-based repayment plans

Thanks to changes in recent years, the U.S. Department of Education now offers all student loan borrowers budget-friendly repayment options tied to their take-home pay. But, that affordability does have a cost. The lower monthly payments result from the extension of the repayment period. This means you trade reduced financial stress today for a higher Read more >

What’s next? Looking to 2016.

With some 40 million Americans impacted—nearly all of them of voting age—student loan debt emerged as a key political campaign issue in 2015. Most of the presidential candidates now have proposals offering varying degrees of relief to address it. As Election Day nears, and voters continue to press the issue, the potential for substantial change 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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For NFCC Media Inquiries:
Bruce McClary
Vice President of Communications