Get Back on Track
Having trouble paying your student loans or understanding your options? We're here to help.
Without a plan, it can take years or decades to repay student loans and the interest accrued.
Whether you are in school right now, in the process of paying your loans off, or helping someone else with their student loans, we are here to guide you through the options and help you develop a payment action plan.
Relief from loan payments on federal student loans due to the pandemic — also known as a forbearance — began with the passage of the federal CARES Act in March 2020. Forbearance was later extended through September 30, 2021. This means that these borrowers can temporarily stop making student loan payments if they choose. This is a good time to evaluate your options and make a plan before your student loan payments are due again.
How an LSS financial counselor can assist
Our trusted nonprofit financial counselors can assist in two ways: by providing free expert advice for loan repayment and making sure you are aware of available resources to help ease the burden. We can help with federal, state or private student loans.
LSS financial counselors will:
- Explore repayment options for all student loans and your potential solutions.
- Determine your eligibility for federal repayment options.
- Support you with a holistic approach and in creating a budget to cover monthly expenses, including loan payments.
- Work with you to contact private lenders to determine possible repayment solutions.
- Help you come up with a plan to avoid default and the related consequences.
- Assist you in bringing your loans current if you’ve fallen behind on payments or are in default.
- Create an individualized action plan to help you regain control of your finances.
Get started today!
Student loan counseling is free and confidential. Choose the best option for you:
Phone or In Person Appointment
Schedule a phone appointment at a time convenient for you or an office appointment at one of our Minnesota or Wisconsin locations.
Please note: to limit the spread of the coronavirus, we are currently offering phone appointments only. We will reintroduce in-person appointments at a later date.
What do I need for counseling?
In order for your financial counseling session to be most productive, it is helpful to have the following information available:
- Your monthly income
- Typical monthly expenses
- Statements from your creditors.
- Any other information you believe would be helpful in understanding your financial situation.
Don't have everything? Don't worry. Call us and we help guide you through the process.
What people say about this service
"The prospect of contacting someone for help and acknowledging my problem was scary, daunting and intimidating. I thought the process would be lengthy and complicated; I thought I’d be condemned and shamed. But from my very first meeting with my financial counselor and each one after that, I was treated with respect. He didn’t come down from an ivory tower to tell me what to do and talk down to me. He was just another member of the community who had answers and tools. He was there to assist me, not fix me.
"In just two weeks after that first meeting, I was firmly on the road to a future free of student loan debt. Instead of facing payments well into retirement, I can now erase my debt within 10 years – something I believed would never happen."
- Chris H., Minneapolis
"I just wanted to thank you for your assistance with my student loans. A few years ago, one of your counselors helped me refinance my student loans and get into an affordable payment plan. This year during my automatic annual recalculation, my student loan payment went up from $500 to $1,000 a month -- an amount that would have been impossible for me to afford.
"The same counselor assisted me again. She provide me information on how to request an immediate recalculation, including how to submit it and what documentation I needed to include. I just received my recalculation, and my payment is back down to an affordable amount.
"Sincere thanks to her and your program for helping me relieve my financial stress and allowing me to develop a plan to continue managing my student loans!"
- Chris from Hibbing
“I had planned to be veterinarian and attended vet school for one year. Unfortunately, I had to drop out for personal reasons and was left with $100,000 in student loan from just that one year. Fortunately, I heard about LSS Financial Counseling and got connected with one of your counselors. He got me signed up for an income-based payment plan to lower my monthly payment from almost $300 to $40. He also signed me up for Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which will be huge. By the time I’ve gone through the program I will have paid $5,000 on the loans – and the rest will be forgiven. There was no other way I could pay that off.
“Working with LSS Financial Counseling was a life-changing experience for me. My counselor made me feel less shameful and alone about my debt and made me feel it was manageable – something I could get control over. I feel ready for the future and more confident and comfortable with my finances.”
Additional student loan resources
Student Loan Help During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES, suspends payments for all federally held student loans until Sept. 30, 2020.
New Federal Relief for Student Loan Borrowers: What Does It Mean for You?
In the wake of COVID-19, the federal response to help borrowers with student loans has been swift and sweeping.
6 Things Every Person Should Know About Student Loans
Settling into a routine that demands balancing classes, studying, working part-time and having some fun will not only be a challenge, but will also take some time. While in college, don't put your student loans on auto-pilot.
Should I Consolidate My Student Loans?
Before consolidating any loans, review the pros and cons.
What You Should Know About Student Loans
Our past Program Director, Darryl Dahlheimer, shares his insight on how to pick the best student loan and offers an overview of different types available and common red flags. (Featured on Mint.com)