It is no secret that the cost of college has exploded over the past few decades. The result is many college graduates are leaving school with huge amounts of debt. It is not unusual for a graduate to have $30,000 in loans, and many others, like those in graduate degree programs, can easily run up debt loads well over $100,000.
New graduates usually get a six month grace period to find work before federal loans become due (private loans can have different terms) but it can be hard for someone making a beginner's salary to make ends meet and pay on the loans.
That's why the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo runs a special student loan counseling program to help.
"We were finding a lot of graduates who were struggling and we had nowhere to send them," explained Noelle Carter, president and chief administrative officer for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo.
The program will look at the amount of student loans that a person has and determine affordable ways to make the monthly payments through possible consolidation and forgiveness options. It cost $75 for a two hour session with a Consumer Credit counselor who will do all the necessary paperwork.
Noelle Carter warns those who are having a hard time now with student loans to not let them fall 'past-due' because the hit on your credit report could make it harder to find a solution. In addition, Carter warns there are 'for-profit' companies that advertise the same types of service to students but with fees that can be much higher.
"We've seen clients come into our office who were almost going to utilize a company that was going to charge them $600," said Carter.
You can schedule appointments with Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Buffalo by calling (716) 712-2060.
Wednesday morning on Eyewitness News at 6 a.m. reporter Ed Reilly takes a closer look at the program and how it can make the difference in paying your student loan payments on-time and with less stress on your finances.