Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is now the second highest consumer debt category. It is behind only mortgage debt – and higher than both credit cards and auto loans. The price of education has increased faster than both inflation and wage growth. New Jersey ranks ninth in student loan debt. Nearly two-thirds of students in the Garden State have student loans with the average borrower carrying more than $30,000 in debt.

Even older borrowers are feeling the weight of student loan debt. According to the Government Accountability Office, borrowers age 65 and older are defaulting at higher rates than their younger counterparts and more than 80 percent of the debt borne by older consumers was for their own education rather than for a child.

— NEWSLETTER

Keep informed, about federal and New Jersey developments. Read and share our latest issue of Student Loan Borrower Digest (click here).

— SHARE YOUR STORY

The trend does not have to continue. By sharing your personal story, you can help to influence public policy and shape legislation around the student loan debt crisis.

It’s important for student loan borrowers to know that they are not alone. Sharing a story about your personal experiences with student loans (payments, threats from a lender or servicer) can be utilized to advocate on your behalf to municipal, state, and federal officials. Share your story with NJ Citizen Action (click here).

— NEW JERSEY LEGISLATION – PROPOSED OFFICE OF STUDENT LOAN OMBUDSMAN

NJ Citizen Action supports legislation to establish an office of a state Student Loan Ombudsman to monitor student loan servicing. NJCA supports legislation that would overhaul and reform the State Higher Education Student Assistance Authority to ensure that the agency ends practices that are counter to its mission and mandate to assist students in obtaining a higher education and succeeding in the workforce. Additionally, NJ Citizen Action will advocate for legislation to keep state and federal tax payer money out of the pockets of predatory for-profit colleges.

— FILE A COMPLAINT

Do you have a problem with your student loan servicer? Here’s where you can file a complaint: Federal, or State of New Jersey…

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)

CFPB helps consumers connect with financial companies to get direct responses about problems with student loans and other financial products and services. Over 97 percent of consumers receive timely responses. File a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (click here).

Department of Education

The Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group of the U.S. Department of Education is dedicated to helping resolve disputes related to Direct Loans, Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program loans, Guaranteed Student Loans, and Perkins Loans. The Ombudsman Group is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your federal student loans. File a complaint with the Department of Education (click here).

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA)

DCA investigates consumer complaints and answers hundreds of consumer questions every day. If DCA cannot help, they will provide you with the contact information for a State or Federal agency that can help. File a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (click here).

— STUDENT LOAN RESOURCES

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) provides tools for students and parents…

CFPB puts together tools and resources to help you make the best decisions for you. Resources include student financial guides, comparing financial aid offers, and tips on repaying student debt. Paying for College (click here).

CFPB provides resources to increase financial literacy and assist parents in fostering sustainable money habits among children. Resources are tailored to three different age groups: 3–5, 6–12, and 13–21. These proactive tools can assist future student loan borrowers in making smart decisions. Resources for Parents and Caregivers (click here).

According to the CFPB, the number of people 60 and older with student loans quadrupled between 2005 and 2015 from 700,000 to 2.8 million individuals. As a result, CFPB provides resources to aging adults regarding protecting one’s savings and assets. Resources for Older Adults and their Families (click here).