Informed or Overwhelmed? A Legislative History of Student Loan Counseling with a Literature Review on the Efficacy of Loan Counseling

This report (the first in a series of five) explores congressional efforts to mitigate that risk and encourage informed borrowing by enacting statutes related to student loan counseling. After introducing the relevant contemporary policy context, it examines how federal rules governing student loan counseling evolved over time to embrace online counseling while expanding the list of specifically mandated topics. It also reviews literature relevant to financial counseling to outline the key considerations for effective student loan counseling. Considering the counseling statutes in light of these principles, the report suggests that mandated counseling efforts suffer from overly prescriptive legislation that does not properly account for borrower’s needs and circumstances.


Kasey Klepfer, With Chris Fernandez, Carla Fletcher, and Jeff Webster

Release Date

February 2015


Klepfer, K., Fernandez, C., Fletcher, C., & Jeff, W. (2015). Informed or Overwhelmed? A legislative history of student loan counseling with a literature review on the efficacy of loan counseling. TG Research. Retrieved from: