As part of the Obama administration’s agenda to produce college more affordable, the U. Ersus. Department of Education’s Office associated with Federal Student Aid (FSA) will be announcing today an outreach campaign to groups of federal student loan debtors to make sure they know and understand all their repayment options. This past weekend break, FSA began contacting groups of debtors via e-mail to ensure they are enrolled in the best available repayment plan.
This new outreach augments the day-to-day communications provided by borrowers’ student loan servicers. FSA’s campaign will be aimed at reducing borrower delinquency and default, and improving awareness of income-driven repayment plans. Income-driven repayment programs allow borrowers to repay their student debt on a sliding scale that adjusts their payments based on their particular income and family size.
“Reaching out to borrowers to ensure that they have the information they need to manage their particular student loan debt is an important part of the administration’s proposals to improve college value and affordability, ” U. S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan mentioned in a press release issued earlier this particular month. “Thanks to this outreach, coupled with ongoing outreach provided by student loan servicers, borrowers have the opportunity to learn more about their particular options to lower monthly loan obligations and stay on track of their student loans. ”
The outreach will target federal student loan debtors who can benefit the most from an income-driven repayment plan. Approximately a few. 5 million borrowers will be contacted from now until mid-December. Contingency with this outreach, FSA will carry out a social media campaign on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter geared toward current college grads and borrowers. The campaign will focus on loan pay back options, common mistakes and general student loan advice.
The outreach campaign will target debtors whose grace periods will end soon, borrowers who have fallen behind on their student loan payments, borrowers with higher-than-average debts, and borrowers within deferment or forbearance because of economic hardship or unemployment.
Borrowers who are contacted via e-mail will be prompted to access resources made to educate them on repayment options, apply for an income-driven repayment plan, or contact their federal student loan servicer for additional information.
In addition to contacting groups of borrowers, FSA will soon launch a “one-stop shop” financial aid toolkit aimed at guidance counselors and other advisers who help students through the process of selecting and financing their higher education, like personnel or volunteers at community-based businesses. The toolkit will include resources covering the entire financial aid lifecycle, from applying for financial aid to repaying loans. The toolkit will also offer professional advancement information such as training opportunities and resources for self-instruction. More information regarding the toolkit will be provided closer to the launch date later this year.
The outreach this fall builds on ongoing efforts by administration to improve college affordability. Because of President Obama and Secretary Duncan’s leadership, Congress ended student loan financial aid for private financial institutions and banks and shifted billions in cost savings back to students; capped loan repayments at 10 percent of monthly earnings for many borrowers who are trying to sensibly manage their federal student loan financial debt; and worked with Congress to keep student loan rates from doubling this year — saving typical undergraduates more than $1, 500 for this year’s loans.
Additionally , borrowers can use existing resources, like the Department’s online IBR calculator and repayment calculator, to find out how best to pay back their student loans.
As part of the administration’s general agenda to address rising college expenses and make college more affordable for United states families, the Department announced last week that it will host four open public forums across the country to gather public insight about its proposals. More information regarding the forums and the administration’s plans can be found here.