WASHINGTON (3/31/15)--The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has acquired the Student Loan Alliance (SLA).
SLA was formed in 2012 by seven current NFCC member agencies as a joint venture to build a national platform for student loan counseling. The agencies include ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, Consumer Credit Counseling Service of San Francisco, GreenPath Debt Solutions, Money Management International, Navicore Solutions, Springboard Nonprofit Consumer Credit Management and Take Charge America.
The venture produced an online portal for consumer access to services and the framework for a more comprehensive counseling experience.
Student loan debt recently surpassed credit card debt at $1.3 trillion, and is now second only to mortgages in terms of total consumer debt. Among the 43 million total federal student borrowers, 7.3 million are at least 90 days delinquent on their loans, 5 million are in default and millions more are in negatively amortizing income-driven repayment plans.
"The need for a high quality, comprehensive and consumer-driven program to assist student loan borrowers is urgent," said Susan C. Keating, NFCC president. "Student Loan Alliance resources will help our member agencies fill that need for consumers in every state."
In the fall, the NFCC will launch a network of certified student loan counselors. All participating counselors will be required to complete specialized training that covers the complete inventory of student loan programs associated with repayment, forbearance or other forgiveness options.
In addition to the training requirement, counselors will have to successfully complete an additional round of examination to earn special certification.