American Student Assistance is a nonprofit organization based in Boston, whose mission is to help college students and alumni successfully manage higher education debt by giving them money smarts they can use for a lifetime.
ASA has long been a champion for giving borrowers more proactive and unbiased information throughout the student loan process. Student loan debt in America has grown 511 percent since 1999, and has eclipsed credit card debt as the largest consumer debt. Additionally, a recent study showed that, over a five year period, only 37 percent of federal student loan borrowers were able to make monthly payments on time. Many student loan borrowers today are making career choices based on outstanding debt owed, delaying other life decisions like marriage, children and purchasing a home, or ruining their credit because they can’t keep up with payment. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
ASA works to make students and alumni more aware of all their options, from minimizing their college debt at the outset to taking advantage of the many repayment remedies available to borrowers who fall on hard times. Starting while students are enrolled in college, we teach financial education tools and debt management basics students can use while in college and in the years ahead. Once students leave school, ASA uses the student loan experience to continue to teach financial competencies and teach borrowers how to best manage their debt. ASA’s print, web, email and social media communications for borrowers, combined with personalized “one borrower at a time” phone and in-person counseling, help prevent repayment problems before they start. We see an average decline in delinquency rate of approximately 50 percent when we engage borrowers and walk them through the process of choosing the best repayment plan for their situation.
The goal at ASA is to enable financial savviness in young adults so they can make smart, educated and confident decisions about their financial lives now and in the future.
“New Englanders care passionately about higher education,” says Paul Combe, ASA president and CEO. “Federal policy that impacts how Americans pay for college is of tremendous importance to this region. Being a member of the New England Council helps American Student Assistance amplify our voice, as well as the voices of the students and families we serve, on Capitol Hill and in the community.”
For more information, visit www.asa.org.