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Personal Finance

Educating Students on How to Handle Debt

College finance expert Jeffrey Hanson says many don't understand the impact college loans will have on their futures.

Note: This article is part of Morningstar's October 2013 College-Savings Boot Camp special report. An earlier version of this article appeared May 21.

Recent government estimates tab the nation's student debt load at more than $1 trillion, and many students and their families face tough choices in determining how to pay for college without mortgaging their financial futures. Jeffrey Hanson is a former director of borrower education services at Access Group, a nonprofit student loan provider, and also has served as director of financial aid at Northwestern University. Today he travels the country speaking to college students about financial literacy and debt management. He recently answered our questions about the financial picture for today's college students and what it means for their futures.