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New site to calculate potential student loan debt

Want to calculate how much you could owe in student loans after graduating from a particular college? A new government website provides tools to help with the math.

The site, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, is still in the testing phase but already includes information from 7,500 colleges and universities.

Users can plug in details such as grant and scholarship offers to compare what they might owe after attending different schools. The site also offers information on graduation and student loan default rates.

A “military benefit calculator” function allows the nation’s more than 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to determine what they could owe after using their GI Bill benefits.

The site is the latest effort by the Obama administration to make colleges and universities more open about costs.

A separate Education Department web site, http://collegecost.ed.gov, addresses college cost, with information such as the rate of tuition increases at colleges.

U.S. student loan debt has surpassed credit card and auto-loan debt. Graduates owe on average about $25,000.

http://www.consumerfinance.gov/payingforcollege/costcomparison

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