Expert tips for managing student loan debt

Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, has tips on how to handle your debt without destroying your financial future.
3:44 | 08/11/20

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Transcript for Expert tips for managing student loan debt
@drjashton. By now, most of us are familiar with the cares act, legislation passed in March that provided among other things financial relief to federal student loan borrowers during the pandemic, and while that relief was set to expire at the end of next month, over the weekend president trump extended it until the end of the year. Joining us now is executive director of the student borrower center, Seth frotman. If you can, put this into perspective, how bad is the student debt crisis right now and who is getting hit the hardest? Thank you so much for having me on, Amy. There's a student debt crisis in this country. There's now more than $1.7 trillion in student loan debt. That equates to nearly 45 million Americans getting a student loan bill each and every month and rightfully we hear about people struggling to, you know, pay their mortgage or make a rent payment, but equally as important is, there are millions of people with student loans who are really struggling when those bills become due. And what we have seen unfortunately is the same communities who have been hit so hard by the coronavirus economic fallout, are the same ones who are baring the brunt of the student debt crisis. We see now that African-American borrowers are five-times more likely to default on their loans and similarly disturbing statistics across the latinx communities. There are millions of borrowers are really struggling and they need long-term meaningful relief. Yeah, and speaking of short-term versus long term, we know with president trump's executive order there are some short-term relief, three months' relief, but what about long term, what options do people have with that? Yes, so it's a great question, and we heard about the president's proposal, unfortunately, I think there's more questions than answers and there's a lot of confusion. But what it appears to be if you're one of those borrowers who got some help under the cares act there will be enhanced protections for you throughout the end of the year, but this leaves significant gaps for millions of borrowers who have been left out of what Washington has done, but perhaps more importantly, this really -- this merely kicks the can down the road. Millions and millions of student loan borrowers have been hurting, they were hurting before the coronavirus and they're certainly hurting after this, and what they need is real meaningful relief so they could have a much more whole some economic and financial life. Seth, so, if people are going to do one thing to address their student loan debt, what would you suggest they do? What is your number one tip? So it's important for people to reach out to their student loan company, to figure out what options they have in the short term and the long term. And I know that oftentimes you feel like you're getting the runaround but it's important to call, figure out what your options are, make sure they have the right address on file for you, and make sure you're checking your electronic inbox. If you feel like you're getting bad information, there are places to file complaints with the consumer financial protection bureau. Most importantly know, you're not alone, that there are millions of people like you who are struggling, who are worried, when that student loan bill comes due, but now is the time to take action and there are steps and programs available to help. Seth, I know so many people were taking notes, thank you for joining us. We appreciate your time today. Thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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