New Tool Helps Students Manage Loan Debt

The Department of Education launched a new tool this week that helps students with financial management basics including information about current loan debt and estimates for student loan debt levels after graduation.

A picture of the new website.

The Department of Education launched a new tool this week that helps students with financial management basics.

The new tool—the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool—has five interactive tutorials that are tailored for each student after they sign in and access their individual loan history. The five tutorials are:

    1. Understand Your Loans
    2. Manage Your Spending
    3. Plan to Repay
    4. Avoid Default
    5. Make Finances a Priority

The Counseling Tool is part of a larger effort by the Obama Administration to make it easier for students and their families to understand the cost of college. In the coming weeks the Administration will also launch its model financial aid shopping sheet, and encourage colleges to adopt the sheet to ensure prospective students understand the cost of college before their first semester.

Click here to visit the Financial Awareness Counseling Tool, and visit for more information.


  1. students loans should be restricted to courses of 5 and 6 credits that causes problems to studens and risk to lose thousands of dollars in this particula situacion.
    many students are repeating over and over class then they get into a vicous circle of economic situation, academic, metal health, due the privaty universities in Puerto RIco are letting student jump courses that are requisite to take another course:
    if you have d grade in algebra you can’t jump to precalculus of 5 credits because you will fail the next course, Plese Department of Education put more limit the the federal grant pell and loans to avoid universitys getting rich , this situacion can cause crisis in the vault of the Department of Education,. In puerto rico the fraud in pell grand is horrible, institutes universities are in suspicious ways taking advantage in this situations.


      DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION please stop loans and federal pell grant to courses of 5 and 6 credits that cause students to repeat courses again wasting a lot of thousands of dollars about this situation.
      example of the ridiculous courses:
      precalculos of 5 credits = fail, education compromise, waste of money
      adult care nurse = fail, education compromise, money wasted
      the fat that are practically 2 courses inside one course of 5 – 6 credit *** without notification that indicate that students have options to take the courses separately in the curriculums in Puerto Rico ,example like the inter american university .

      • many students have the situation in the inter american university there were giving whole loand ammout for a specific balance .
        example if you have a balance of 500.00
        they don’t give you the load of 500.00 it was of the whole ammout of 1500.00 dollars.
        student did not have more option to take the 1,500.00

  2. The best way to limit student loan indebtedness is to borrow only for direct cost (tuition, books and fees), borrow only for fields with true earnings potential, not borrow for “living expenses” and to go full time, not take the bare minimum class load. When you hear of Culinary Arts students, Sociology or English Majors with $100,000+ in student loans, the first question you should ask is “What did you do with all the money?,” because it did not all go to the school. The second question you should ask is “How long did it take you to complete your degree (or degrees)?” When borrowing for extended periods, taking the bare minimum class load with breaks along the way, interest builds, fees are added, so of course the debt load is more that someone who goes full time and finishes in 4 years or less. Many students today are extending their periods of non-repayment through prolonged enrollment while borrowing heavily for living expenses (which usually have nothing to do with their enrollment), pursuing 2nd and third degrees, hardship forbearances and deferments, all of which adds more debt, interest and fees.

    Schools and the Department of Education need to limit borrowing to direct cost only for part time and online enrollment (where indirect costs related to enrollment should be nil), for second degrees when there is already heavy unrepaid debt from the first, and for fields where the known earnings potential is low. If not, every student with excessive debts will either default or will be on the income based repayment (IBR) plan, which means the loans will not be fully repaid and taxpayers will eat the difference.

  3. I’ve been paying a student loan since like 1999. My loan was sold multiple times and I don’t know if interest was added each time it was sold. I don’t know if how much I’ve paid on it and frankly I don’t think College Assist knows exactly either. I stopped paying cause I couldn’t afford to pay and take care of my growing family so my loan went into default. College Assist threw my loans to the wolves at Wyhdahm Collections and I had to pay almost $1000 to stop garnishment just this month. Now that collection agency is making me pay $360 a month on this loan. I know attorneys with 10 times more loans that I and don’t pat that much monthly on their loans. I went to a for profit college which was my first mistake.

    • You have a right to ask Windham Collections for a *fair and reasonable* amount to pay to get out of default. If $360 is too much, provide them with your paystubs, expenses etc. and calmly, no matter what they say, demand a *fair and reasonable payment.*

      This is the law, and the Department of Ed should be making sure that these collection agencies are obeying it instead of harrassing and intimidating people, and that student loan borrowers know their rights.

    • Before, many banks giving crazy loans, then they sell your loan to another bank and again sold again to other bank horrible situation.
      Now the Department of Education control directly the loans thanks all members and Obama.

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