AG Stein introduces new online tool for free student loan counseling

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein is tackling an issue that isn’t typically on the agenda for offices like his.

Stein introduced a new online tool for free student loan counseling today.

The attorney general was at Shaw University where he announced the program. Triangle Family Services was also on hand to offer on-site counseling and provide budgeting recommendations for current students and graduates.

Stein said more than 60 percent of North Carolinians graduate with student loan debt.

For N.C. state junior Blaike Bibbs, the statistics are alarming and she wants to get ahead of the curve.

“It was great to hear him speak about it because sometimes you don’t really know,” she said. “I’m an independent student and so as an independent student you don’t really know the correct things to choose or whatever, so it was great to have someone speak about it from a legal perspective.”

Stein stressed the program will hopefully give current and future students more confidence to tackle college and pay for it.

“We want folks to get an education. An education is the best way to a better future, but when you make that investment just make sure it’s a smart one,” he said.

Bibbs, a junior political science major, wants to soak in all the information she can get.

“Graduation is pretty much right around the corner so I think it’s really good to inform ourselves now of potential options versus when we graduate, just being out there and not really know what’s going on,” she said.

Stein hopes he can provide more students like Bibbs with the tools to avoid bad financial decisions and scammers.

“If there are companies that are trying to trick students in saying, ‘We can help you with your debt’ and make misrepresentations, we’ll shut them down,” Stein promised.

Stein said he’s already shut down the California company “Student Loan Group,” which also operated in Charlotte.

For more information and tips from Attorney General Stein, click here.

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