The White House Blog

What Can Students Do to Protect Themselves?

Ed. note: This post was originally published on the website of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as part of a series for National Consumer Protection Week

Americans owe more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt. That’s more than we owe on credit cards, more than we owe on car loans – and it’s still growing.

So, if you’re going to invest in a college degree, we want you to be able to choose the best deal for your situation. Students are overwhelmed with options and aren’t sure how to compare them. In the absence of apples-to-apples comparisons, they’re left to their own devices when making a choice that will have significant consequences for their financial future.

Here is the suite of tools we’ve developed to help you along the way:

Paying for College

From start to finish, we can help you make informed financial decisions about paying for college.

Repay student debt

While we can’t give you advice for your exact situation, we can point you in the right direction.

Choose a loan

Three steps that can help you get the right loan for you.

Submit a complaint about a student loan or a bank account or service

We’ll forward your issue to the company, give you a tracking number, and keep you updated on the status of your complaint. Even if you have federal loans, we can help make sure you get to the right place to submit a complaint.

Managing your college money

Choosing your first bank account is an important decision. Unlike that first school ID photo, your first banking relationship could last long after you graduate. Making a smart decision now will mean fewer surprise fees that can add up later.

Compare financial aid and college cost

We’re building a tool that will let you compare financial aid offers so you can see how all those numbers impact your payments down the road.