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New Jersey students and parents can plan for future college loan

Burlington County high school students making final decisions about where to go to college now have a new tool to help them decide. If determining student loan debt and payment plans is part of your criteria, a new government website will help you with your calculations. As we mentioned in our blog last month, student loans are currently not allowed to be included in personal bankruptcy filings. Student loan debt currently exceeds credit card for the first time in history and seeking debt relief while trying to secure gainful employment is a real concern for graduates and their parents.

While still in the testing phase, the new site hosted by the U.S. government’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau already contains tuition information from 7,500 universities and colleges. It’s called Paying for College and is a cost comparison worksheet. You can plug in different schools, different grants and scholarships, and GI Bill benefits you may get from different schools and compare them. The website even gives you estimates on textbooks and your monthly student loan payment for 10 years after graduation. You can even get information on student loan default and graduation rates for each school.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau developed the site as a way to make universities sand colleges more open about tuition, student fees and other costs. The bureau says that students don’t always have the ability to realize the long-term impact of student loan debt. According the U.S. government, student loan debt now exceeds credit cards and auto loans to the tune of $1 trillion. The average graduate carries a student loan of about $25,000.

Source: phillyburbs.com, “New site to calculate potential student loan debt,” April 11, 2012

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