Government launches programs to help loan debt

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan speaks to the delegates on the second night of the 2012 Democratic National Convention at Time Warner Cable Arena, Wednesday, September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C.

In an effort to help graduating students better understand their loan debt and stay on track for repayment, the U.S. Department of Education launched two new features on its website: A complete counseling webpage and a new repayment estimator that lets borrowers compare what their monthly payment amounts would likely be across the seven repayment plan options.

The new tools are part of the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to make college costs more transparent and to help students make informed decisions.

“With college graduation around the corner, thousands of students will soon start to repay their loans, and we want to help them select the repayment plan that makes sense for them,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said in a press release. “These tools give students the information they need to understand how to better manage their student loan obligations. Our goal is to make the entire challenge of college costs much less daunting, and these tools are additional steps in that direction.”

Last July, the DOE unveiled its Financial Awareness Counseling Tool, an interactive loan-counseling tool that covers topics ranging from managing a budget to avoiding default. The new DOE complete counseling webpage combines multiple resources, including FACT, into one comprehensive site.

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