Student Loan Counseling Interviews

For most American students, borrowing is the primary option to pay for higher education. Colleges and Universities have partnered with lenders to develop a debt management and counseling program to help students understand their credit situation. Federal loan regulations now require borrowers to complete an entrance counseling interview prior to receiving a federal student loan, and an exit counseling interview after the borrower graduates or withdraws from the school.

Student Loan Entrance Counseling

The department of education provides student loan entrance counseling at StudentLoans.gov. This online program guides the student through a series of informational pages and provides worksheets and other interactive aids to help students understand their debt.

After completing the online session, a record of the student's participation is forwarded to the school. Some schools may require a third-party entrance counseling, so check with the school's financial aid office to ensure the correct counseling session is completed.

Learn more about the student loan entrance counseling interview.

Student Loan Exit Counseling

Like the entrance counseling interview, the online exit counseling interview allows the borrower to become informed prior to student loan repayment. Because exit counseling requires the school to collect the borrowers address and reference information, borrowers must be prepared with this information and must provide this information in the online exit session.

Learn more about the student loan exit counseling interview.

Other Loan Counseling Tools

In July 2012, the Department of Education launched a new student loan-counseling tool. This Financial Awareness Counseling provides borrowers a better way to understand and manage student loan repayment and finances. The tool works in conjunction with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), pulling in a borrower's loan information automatically.

The tool also allows borrowers to input loans manually, including any alternative student loans. It works well for current students as well because it calculates budgets based on other expenses such as tuition, housing, and books. Find out more at StudentLoans.gov

Students should be aware that the Financial Awareness Counseling is NOT the same as Direct Loan Entrance Counseling, and can not replace entrance counseling.