Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo To Hold Discount on

Student Loan Counseling Sessions June 24th-29th

Will Lower Prices to Help People With Student Loan Debt; Only Local Program Available

Student loans are a growing financial concern for many individuals with the negative ripple effect of slowing economic growth throughout the country.

Student-loan defaults surged in the first three months of 2013, while efforts to collect bad loans are faltering, according to credit analysts and government audits. It is the latest twist in a college debt crisis that is hanging over recent graduates and dragging on the broader economy.

In June of 2012, in response to the growing need for education and assistance with student loans, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo, Inc. (CCCS Buffalo) kicked off its Student Loan Counseling Program, a service designed to assist individuals with student loans. To date, 142 people have received help from this program. Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

CCCS Buffalo knows that there are many people suffering with student loan debt, and invites the community to partake in its’ services. From June 24th through June 29th, the Student Loan Counseling Program will offer counseling sessions at a greatly reduced cost–a 50% discount. The price for a normal student loan counseling session is $50 but will be offered at a rate of $25. This will enable more people to find the help that they need.

Credit-rating firm Equifax said $3.5 billion in government and private student loans went bad in the first three months of 2013, the most since the company began keeping track. The U.S. Department of Education said 6.8 million federal student loan borrowers are now in default, representing $85 billion in debt.

In addition to loan borrowers who are in default, there are currently nearly 7 million consumers who are significantly behind on their student loan payments.

Due to the complexity of the student loan market and options available during repayment, many individuals with student loans feel overwhelmed and have no place to turn for help. CCCS Buffalo designed its program—the only in our area—to aid debt-saddled borrowers.

Consumers with student loan debt believe they have few, if any options to tackle their student loan debts.

In our Student Loan Counseling Program, Certified Financial Counselors:

• Evaluate student loan debt (current or in default)

• Explore options for student loans including deferments, forbearances, alternative repayment plans, and consolidation loans

• Assist in applying for the appropriate option

• Assist in communicating with the lender, as needed

• Review credit score, credit report and living expenses

With average student loan debt upon graduation currently standing at $25,000, many people will find relief through student loan counseling programs. It is time for the government to do their part, and fund student loan counseling.

It is time for help to come at the national level. CCCS Buffalo is now joining with the National Foundation of Credit Counseling (NFCC) to call on the Federal government for additional resources to achieve the outreach necessary to help student loan borrowers. The NFCC and CCCS Buffalo recommend that the United States Department of Education fund student loan counseling programs. Outreach and education targeted at student loan borrowers could drastically change the landscape of student debt, allowing borrowers to seek the assistance that can change their financial lives and bring their finances in focus.

Arguing that the federal government allocates funding for homeownership, foreclosure and bankruptcy counseling, the NFCC and CCCS Buffalo advocate that the government respond accordingly to the student loan crisis by funding student loan counseling programs.