[ Member Benefits ]

Assistance with credit & debt management available


he pause on student loan payments at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic helped to serve as a financial stimulus for many Americans. Consumers were able to use these additional funds to help meet other expenses such as mortgage/rent, car payments, utility bills, insurance premiums and credit card balances.

illustration of man and woman rejoicing with a flying money bag in front of a house
With the end of the student loan forbearance, though, there is a great unknown as we head toward the end of 2023 — are family budgets actually in good shape? During the pandemic (and especially over the past 18 months), consumers began putting more of their expenses on credit cards as the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in an effort to control inflation.

Over that time period, credit card balances have increased roughly 17 percent while the average interest rate is now at 22 percent, putting a terrible strain on family budgets. Meanwhile, default rates on many types of loans are rising again and beginning to top pre-pandemic levels — resulting in a perfect storm of sorts.

Union members do not have to face this uncertainty on their own. NYSUT Member Benefits has partnered with Cambridge Credit Counseling to assist NYSUT members with better understanding debt consolidation and student loan repayment options.

Through this partnership, members have the opportunity to pay down their debt in a way that can actually result in significant savings without damaging their credit, which can occur when settling accounts or taking out additional loans. Instead of paying interest rates over 25 percent, Cambridge’s clients have paid down their accounts at an average rate of just 8 percent — creating room in their budgets to meet other expenses.

NYSUT members are eligible to receive a free, no-obligation debt consultation with one of Cambridge’s certified counselors. Through this confidential consultation, Cambridge’s counselors can assist with better understanding your unique situation and financial goals; identifying, categorizing, and thoroughly reviewing all of your income and expenses; creating or revising a budget; and offering unbiased recommendations to achieve that budget.

NYSUT Member Benefits
With Cambridge’s assistance, NYSUT members may be able to consolidate their credit card bills into one simple monthly payment. This can help members to become debt-free in a fraction of the time that it would take on their own.

You can speak with a Cambridge certified counselor toll-free by calling 888-254-0398; the counselor is available to explain your options and help you determine a strategy that makes sense for your situation.

Cambridge also serves as the provider of NYSUT’s Student Loan Workshops; since 2018, more than 7,500 NYSUT members have attended these no-cost workshops presented by a Cambridge certified counselor.

Learn more about credit counseling, debt management, and student loan options — along with information about the dozens of other programs and services endorsed by Member Benefits — by visiting memberbenefits.nysut.org or calling 800-626-8101.

For information about contractual endorsement arrangements with providers of endorsed programs, please contact NYSUT Member Benefits.