A new program is offering guidance to company employees who are coping with how to repay high levels of student loan debt.

College Coach, a division of Bright Horizons, a provider of educational advisory services to employers, has launched the Education Loan Repayment Strategies program. The program uses workshops, individual counseling and online learning to help employees reduce the impact of educational debt on their lives. 

“Education debt can be a crushing burden for families and detrimental to their performance at work,” said College Coach general manager Patrick Donovan in a statement. “For many Americans, high educational loan balances have become a significant source of stress, delaying when they buy a home, a car, or even when they start a family. Through our new program, we can help prevent student loans from becoming an overwhelming problem, reducing stress and improving well-being, which benefits the individual, their family, and their employer.”

According to a report issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the total amount of student loan debt in the United States is now $870 billion, exceeding credit card and auto loan debt. The average education loan borrower owes $23,300, with 10 percent of borrowers owing more than $54,000. An estimated 21 percent of those borrowers are delinquent on their loans.

The first step in the Education Loan Repayment Strategies program is to help borrowers identify the ways debt is interfering with their goals, whether because of the size of the monthly payments, the total outstanding balance, or the complexity of dealing with multiple loans from various lenders. The next step is to find ways to consolidate or reduce monthly payments, simplify the administration of repayments, and ensure that the borrower is aware of all of the programs available to help them keep their payments on track.

For more information, visit www.getintocollege.com.

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