With nearly two-thirds of college students in Maine staring at a student loan bill each month and with them owing on average $30,098, the seventh highest in the country, Maine is trying to educate borrowers on the impact student loan debt can have. It’s also trying to give borrowers ways to reduce their monthly bills.
Earlier this week the Finance Authority of Maine rolled out a new online tool designed to help residents of Maine understand the costs associated with student loans and to offer up ways to reduce the monthly payments. Maine is working with six local lenders to provide borrowers to the new website, dubbed The Loan For Me, refinancing and consolidation options. In addition to providing the ability to refinance student loans, Maine is educating potential refinancers on the steps they need to take beforehand and what they should look for in a lender. There’s also a link to each lender and what they offer in terms of refinancing.
Maine is also using the new tool to educate consumers about the dangers associated with taking on student loan debt and the difference between private lenders and federal student loans. After all many borrowers take out loans and forget about it until after graduation. They have no idea how much they owe, the interest rate attached to the loan and are often shocked when the first bill comes. In the case of private loans, borrowers often face a gap in tuition and will turn to the private market for help. Just like with the refinancing arm of the website, the Finance Authority of Maine teamed up with local private lenders to provide Maine residents with options.
“Student loan consolidation is a great option to consider for anyone who borrowed when student loan rates were higher than current rates,” said Kyle Casburn, President/CEO of Seaboard FCU, which was is one of Maine’s partners in the new initiative. “Student debt is a growing problem, and we are committed to introducing solutions and alternatives to help Maine students.”
The move on the part of Maine comes at a time when student loan debt is a huge problem, impacting all aspects of a borrowers life. The less student loan debt someone has upon graduation the better for the individual and the country at large. The Loan For Me web based tool was announced in August with the authority saying in a press release that student loan consolidation can often result in a single monthly payment for borrowers at a reduced cost.
Author: Andrew Rombach
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