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For Millions of College Graduates, Student Loan Debt is Suffocating
By Andi Cwieka

What do 43.3 million Americans have in common?

No, not a shared love for pizza or a head of brown hair. It’s a more somber statistic.

43.3 million Americans are weighed down by student loan debt, adding up to more than $1 trillion. In fact, the average 2014 graduate has $33,000 in student loan debt, according to the Association for Student Loan Relief. Seventy-one percent of 2012 graduates had debt, according to the Institute for College Access and Success. Graduates fork over an average of $350 every month just to pay off their loans, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Andy Josuweit was one of these graduates saddled with student loan debt. He was juggling 16 student loans totaling $74,000.

“It was the bottom of the recession, I was unemployed, and my student loan payments were unbearable,” Josuweit said. “I quickly realized no one was going to help.”

Instead of letting himself continue to become another statistic, Josuweit took matters into his own hands in 2012 and created Student Loan Hero, a comprehensive, unbiased organization to help students solve their financial problems.

“We believe every student loan borrower is in a different financial situation and no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution is possible,” the organization says on their site. “Our goal is to help student loan borrowers conquer their student loans and make smarter financial decisions.”

Students and graduates can sign up for free and have access to the full array of Student Loan Hero’s services – from personalized repayment plans to loan calculators.

Let’s take a deeper look at the unique features Student Loan Hero offers:

  • Student Loan Dashboard: this tool helps you get organized by syncing and storing all of your private and federal student loan information in one easy-to-read place
  • Repayment Plan Builder: use our customized builder to craft a personalized plan that fits your financial situation
  • Summaries and Action List: you can get an in-depth summary of all your student loans, as well as clear-cut next steps to work toward paying off your debt
  • Calculators: with a free Student Loan Hero account, you get access to their world-class calculators that can crunch all of the confusing numbers on your students loans
  • Resources: Student Loan Hero has also compiled an extensive archive of must-read information on how to lower loan payments, pay off loans faster, what to do if you’re struggling to pay, and even a comprehensive glossary of financial terms.

Currently, Student Loan Hero is helping more than 100,000 borrowers manage and eliminate more than $2 billion in student loan debt. The site also helps guide students through refinancing their loans, applying for credit cards, comparing investment tools and building credit.

If you’re looking for quick money tips and useful financial reads, Student Loan Hero has an acclaimed blog as well. With everything from how to make up to $50 per hour with a side hustle to the best ways to pay off credit card debt, Student Loan Hero’s team of money-smart writers has you covered.

Whether you’re just starting college or about to embark on your post-graduation career, being financial literate is paramount in today’s economy. Student Loan Hero is here for every student’s financial woes, even if you’re not in debt.

“I started Student Loan Hero in 2012 because you shouldn't need a finance degree to understand your student loans,” Josuweit said on his site. “Since then, we've been lucky enough to help over 100,000 people better understand and eliminate over $2 billion dollars of student loan debt!”

For help with your financial goals, check out Student Loan Hero’s free resources to help you get on the right track.