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10 Nonprofit Student Loan Counseling Options for Managing Debt

At Student Loan Planner, we’re committed to helping student loan borrowers find the right path toward repayment. We know that each borrower has a unique situation and we need to look at the big picture to create a custom plan.

Aside from what we do, there are also other student loan counseling services out there. In this comprehensive guide, we’re sharing 10 nonprofit student loan counseling options and similar services that can offer free or low-cost help.

1. National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has been around since 1951. The NFCC is a financial counseling nonprofit helping Americans to get their finances in order. The organization serves a wide variety of people with their financial situations, including first-time homebuyers, veterans, people with debt, small business owners and student loan borrowers specifically.

Through its service, student loan borrowers can work with an NFCC® Certified Student Loan Counselor who’ll help review your financial situation and suggest a repayment plan that works best for you.

According to the NFCC, you get:

  • A thorough evaluation of your entire personal financial situation — not just your student loan debt.
  • An audit of your current loans and their terms.
  • Comprehensive, one-on-one guidance through all student debt repayment options.
  • A full financial game plan, including which debt repayment plans are right for you.

You can check out NFCC.org or give them a call at (877) 406-632. The NFCC isn’t accredited through the Better Business Bureau and has some negative complaints. You can get some services for free though some services might be a cost.

2. Clearpoint

Clearpoint is a nonprofit student loan counseling organization under the Money Management International umbrella that has been around since 1971. Similar to NFCC, working with a Clearpoint student loan counselor starts with evaluating your financial situation and assessing the best federal student loan repayment options and private loan repayment options.

Its nonprofit student loan counseling session offers:

  • Expert advice from a non-profit agency
  • Easy to understand explanations that help you make sense of your options
  • Information about repayment program eligibility, potentially saving you hundreds or thousands of dollars over the course of your student loan repayment

If you need support, you can call them at 1-800-675-7601 and check out the Clearpoint site. Clearpoint has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau. Budget and credit counseling is free, but student loan counseling is $99.

3. The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA)

Launched in 2017, The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA) is a nonprofit student loan counseling organization that offers “fair, free, student loan advice.” It doesn’t charge customers for its services and is supported by donations and partnerships.

The organization can help you with the next steps if you’re in default, see if you qualify for student loan forgiveness, assess the best repayment plan option for you, and whether consolidation may be a good fit.

To speak with an advisor, you can email tisla@freestudentloanadvice.org. There aren’t many reviews online, but on Facebook, TISLA received some five-star reviews.

4.  American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC)

The  American Consumer Credit Counseling (ACCC) is another nonprofit student loan counseling agency that also provides credit counseling, debt management, bankruptcy counseling and more.

According to its website, “We offer free credit/debt counseling services and a low-cost plan for managing debt, and we may be able to waive or reduce credit and debt counseling fees depending on a consumer’s state regulations or financial hardship.”

Through student loan counseling, they review your repayment options such as deferment, forbearance, student loan forgiveness and more. You can find them online, or give them a call at (800) 769-3571.

The company isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, but it doesn’t have negative reviews either. Credit counseling is free, but if you get on a debt management plan, you might pay $39 and a maintenance fee.

5. GreenPath

GreenPath is another nonprofit financial wellness organization that also offers student loan counseling. The organization has been around for more than 60 years and helps clients with bankruptcy, foreclosure, debt, and more, including student loan counseling.

Like the other nonprofit credit counseling agencies, GreenPath offers student loan counseling as part of a larger comprehensive financial assessment.

A GreenPath certified student loan counselor will:

  • Review your student loans to determine payment options based on your loan types.
  • Explore repayment options to make sure you understand the pros and cons of each.
  • Develop a customized plan to help you pay your bills and help you along your financial wellness journey.

The site says student loan counseling is free as part of their counseling service. However, it has a $200 student loan enhanced support option that is more hands-on and in-depth for borrowers who need additional help. You can visit its website or call its student loan helpline at (855) 400-3718. Greenpath has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and has 3.67 out of 5 stars for customer reviews.

6. Credit.org

If you need nonprofit student loan counseling, Credit.org is another place to look. Credit.org offers credit counseling, debt relief, housing assistance, and student loan counseling. Similar to other nonprofit credit counseling agencies, Credit.org reviews the big picture and offers guidance on the best repayment options for you.

The organization has been around since 1974. Many of its counseling services are free but student loan counseling costs may vary. Credit.org has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau and has 4.54 stars for customer reviews.

7. Student Loan Borrower Assistance

Student Loan Borrower Assistance is a resource by the National Consumer Law Center. It supports student loan borrowers helping with managing repayment, offering student loan forgiveness resources, and support for borrowers dealing with delinquency or default.

You can also get more information on bankruptcy (which is very rare for student loans but not impossible), consolidation, and student loan rehabilitation.

It has nifty self-help packets to help with a variety of situations such as applying for disability discharge or income-driven repayment, or managing collections and deferment. Resources are also available in Spanish.

Although this isn’t traditional student loan counseling, it’s a helpful resource to get information on your student loans. Check out Student Loan Borrower Assistance for more info and to get access to its free resources.

8. Loan servicer

If you need student loan counseling, one of the first places to look is your loan servicer. Your loan servicer can inform you about repayment plans, your monthly payment, and more.

If you’re unsure who your federal loan servicer is, visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). For private student loans, review your credit report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

Loan servicers are intermediaries that help you manage your student loan repayment process. We know firsthand that loan servicers sometimes aren’t the most helpful. So it’s a good idea to start there, but if you can’t find support there check out the other options on your list. Your loan servicer should offer help at no cost.

9. Adam Minsky

If you’re dealing with a complex student loan issue, such as experiencing default or some other major issue you may want to turn to a student loan lawyer. If you’re on the east coast, you can consult with Adam Minsky, a student loan lawyer who’s licensed in Massachusetts and New York.

Fill out this contact form or call Adam’s office at (617) 936-2788. Adam has many five-star reviews so you know you’re in good hands.

10. Jay Fleischman

If you’re experiencing student loan issues in California or New York, contacting Jay Fleischman at ConsumerHelpCentral.com can be a smart move. Sometimes when you have a complex student loan issue, a student loan lawyer can help.

To get support, you can call Jay’s office at (866) 787-8078 Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or make an appointment. He is highly rated and service fees may vary.

Bottom Line

If you can’t afford Student Loan Planner right now or aren’t ready to commit here are 10 other student loan counseling options ranging from free services to paid options for complex student loan issues that require legal support.

Managing student loans can be hard but using these student loan counseling support services, you can get the help you need.

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