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CFPB unveils new financial aid comparison tool

Consumer Reports News: April 12, 2012 02:08 PM

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has launched the next phase of its Know Before You Owe student loan project by releasing the Financial Aid Comparison Shopper, an interactive, online tool you can use to help plan for college costs.

The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper can help students make apples to apples comparisons of financial aid offers and pick the one that works best for them, said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.

Student loan debt has crossed the $1 trillion mark and tuition continues to climb. Now more than ever, students and their families need to know before they owe.

The Financial Aid Comparison Shopper has more than 7,500 schools and institutions in its database, including vocational schools and community, state, and private colleges.

To help defray the cost of higher education, you can also find ways to avoid borrowing.

The amount of student debt owed by Americans exceeded outstanding credit-card debt for the first time in 2010, and some economists fear that lingering student debt will force many young adults to delay or defer important milestones, such as marriage and starting a family, which can impede a full economic recovery.

So for those of you on the other side of a college education and plenty of student debt to prove it, what's the best strategy for digging out of the hole? See our student debt report for more.

Still in beta, the financial aid comparison tool can be found here.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Financial Aid Comparison Shopper [CFPB]
Paying for College [CFPB]

Maggie Shader

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