Financial Awareness Counseling

What is financial awareness counseling?

Financial awareness counseling is a government service that helps student borrowers understand financial literacy and their federal loan obligations. Borrowers must do financial awareness counseling in one session, and, on average, it takes 30 minutes to complete.

What do you need to complete financial awareness counseling?

Financial aid counseling is completed through an online, interactive platform called Financial Awareness Counseling Tool (FACT). The FACT is available to all federal student loan borrowers via

To complete financial awareness counseling, you will need the following:

  • Your FSA ID
  • Details on income, financial aid, and living expenses
  • Social security number, date of birth, driver’s license
  • The full name, phone number, and addresses (different addresses than your own) of two personal references that you’ve known for at least three years.

What topics are covered in financial aid counseling?

Financial aid counseling covers credit and identity protection, educational tax benefits, loan consolidation, forgiveness, deferments, forbearance, and responsible spending.

Financial awareness counseling is also broken down into five categories:

  1. Understanding your loan - This section allows borrowers to view their current federal student loan debt through the national student loan data system.
  2. Managing your budget - This portion provides a tool to compare your income to living expenses.
  3. Repayment plans - This segment offers borrowers a budgeting tool to compare their estimated income to their living expenses post-graduation. The grouping also provides calculations for interest and monthly payments.
  4. Avoiding default - This grouping assists borrowers in understanding their options to avoid going into default.
  5. Making finances a priority - This final category benefits borrowers with tips and tricks to develop a future financial plan.

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