A new program is now available to help Minnesota student loan borrowers struggling to manage their debt get back on track. The Student Loan Counseling Grant aims to help students avoid defaulting on their loans and improve their credit scores while still repaying student loans.
"Minnesota's new loan counseling effort will connect students with expert advice to help them learn how to make more informed financial decisions and avoid defaulting on their debt," said Lt. Governor Tina Smith. "Minnesota college graduates leave school with an average of $31,579 in debt, making it difficult for them to buy homes or cars, pursue their dream job, or start businesses. We can't build an economy that works for everyone, everywhere in Minnesota, if we don't make higher education more affordable."
The two-year loan counseling program was passed by the state legislature with bipartisan support and signed into law by Governor Dayton last year. OHE is managing the program, which began with a competitive grant process to choose the counseling agent. LSS Financial Counseling, a program of Lutheran Social Service of MN with a proven record of counseling distressed borrowers, was awarded the grant.
The program aims to help borrowers who have missed a payment or two on their student loans rehabilitate both their loans and their credit. There is no charge to borrowers who are counseled through this service, which is delivered via one-on-one counseling either in person, over the phone, or via Skype to borrowers throughout the state.
"This free counseling program was designed to not only help avoid defaults, but can also get borrowers connected to potential loan forgiveness and repayment options." said Larry Pogemiller, commissioner of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE). "I would encourage anyone having difficulty making their payments to consider this program."
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact LSS Financial Counseling at 1.888.577.2227 or ConquerYourDebt.org.