On January 19th, the U.S. Department of Education announced that it is extending the deadline to consolidate federal student loans to receive the full benefit of the current IDR Adjustment. The deadline had been December 31, 2023. The new deadline is April 30, 2024.
What does this mean for federal student loan holders? If you have older loans that were issued through the Federal Family Education Loan program (usually abbreviated “FFELP” on your studentaid.gov dashboard), you must consolidate those loans to receive full retroactive credit for all payments made to date. There’s also a benefit for all loan holders who took out federal loans several years apart. By consolidating before the April 30th deadline, your new consolidation loan will be credited with the payment count of the loan you included with the highest number of payments. (For example, if you consolidate two loans, one with 104 payments, and a second loan with just 55 payments, the resulting consolidation loan will be credited with 104 payments.) Please, do not miss this opportunity!
What is important to note: You can receive retroactive credit for all past payments, even if you have the “wrong” type of loans or paid through an ineligible repayment plan. This applies to everyone with federal student loans, including Parent PLUS loan holders.
If you’re not certain what that could mean for you and the loans you’re carrying, contact Cambridge Credit Counseling today at (888) 254-9136. Tell them you are a PEF member. They will help you to better understand how this impacts your loan situation and provide the guidance you need to take advantage of this consolidation opportunity.
Address Your Student Loan Debt
Going to college is challenging enough, but repaying the resulting student loan debt can be even more daunting. Nonprofit student loan counseling may be a solution for you. Student loan counseling typically begins with a thorough evaluation of your overall financial picture. The evaluation allows a counselor to have a better understanding of your individual circumstances to make the best recommendations. The counselor will go over monthly income and expenses and pull a credit report for a list of debts, including all student loans. The counselor can then help you develop a repayment strategy that makes the most sense.
Recent college grads and those struggling with repayment can benefit. Anyone who has questions about their student loan repayment, or is struggling to afford their current payment plan and needs help navigating their options, can gain guidance from a well-versed student loan counselor.
Among the nearly 45 million Americans with student loans in repayment, 2.1 million borrowers are more than 90 days delinquent in paying that debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The New York Federal Reserve data shows that 4.8 million student loan borrowers are in default, proving this is a widespread problem.
Student Loan Counseling Through Cambridge Credit Counseling
The PEF Membership Benefits Program makes a student loan counseling benefit available through Cambridge Credit Counseling. The counseling benefit is designed to provide a better understanding of student loan repayment options and/or debt consolidation opportunities. Student loan counseling can help ensure that borrowers are aware of all their federal student loan options, before they’ve borrowed or while they’re still in repayment. Cambridge has been assisting consumers with eliminating debt for more than 25 years and their organization features more than 50 nationally certified counselors who will work with you to determine the most appropriate course of action for your specific debt situation.
Cambridge Credit Counseling believes that assisting you with financial challenges goes far beyond simply helping you with your student loan debt. You will have access to a wide variety of services including debt management, foreclosure intervention, rental counseling, first-time homebuyer courses, bankruptcy counseling, and reverse mortgage counseling.
- Financial education resources and credit counseling services are always free
- You save 20% on the student loan document preparation services
Student loan counseling can help ensure that you are aware of all your federal student loan options, before you borrow or while you’re in repayment. The services provided by Cambridge include:
- Free counseling to help you effectively manage your loans
- Free live webinars and seminars with extensive Q&A
- Information about all federal repayment plans and public service loan forgiveness
Active, dues-paying PEF members and retirees, and family members.
Access to an online student solutions portal (a one-time fee of $21.95) that can help explain the various repayment options for paying down student debt including:
- Reduced monthly payments
- Income-based repayment plans
- Student loan debt consolidation, cancellation, and forgiveness
- Loan rehabilitation, even after years of non-payment
- Public service loan forgiveness for qualified teachers, state workers, and non-profit employees
This portal will help you make decisions in your best interest. You will also receive a customized report from Cambridge.
Assistance in preparing student loan documents. ( a one-time fee of $195 fee)
Cambridge prefers that you learn how to manage your loans independently, but this service is available for those in need. A Cambridge certified counselor will complete the necessary paperwork on your behalf in order to carry out the chosen repayment plan. This fee is payable in five monthly installments of $39 upon the completion of the paperwork.
An annual review/recertification of your student loan situation. (a one-time fee of $49)
Cambridge will remind you to submit your re-certification paperwork and assist in determining any changes to your repayment structure.
How to Contact Cambridge Credit Counseling
To contact a Cambridge Credit Counseling student loan counselor, you can:
- Call (888) 254-9136 or
- Visit the Cambridge Credit Counseling Student Debt Solution web page. Scroll to the base of their page and complete the short inquiry form and a representative will contact you.
For debt-related questions or issues.
About Cambridge Credit Counseling
Cambridge has been helping people achieve financial freedom for 25 years. They offer a suite of services to help with nearly every source of consumer debt. They believe that assisting consumers with financial challenges goes far beyond simply getting them out of debt. Their holistic approach gives people access to a wide variety of services, including debt management, student loan counseling, foreclosure intervention, rental counseling, first-time homebuyer courses, bankruptcy counseling, and reverse mortgage counseling. Cambridge is licensed or approved to conduct business in every state and they have more than 50 nationally certified counselors on staff, most of whom are cross-certified to provide assistance in several areas to meet the needs of consumers. Cambridge is committed to providing the highest level of quality in all aspects of every service they provide and they are committed to helping individuals and families resolve their financial challenges.