Maine graduates facing student loan debt have a new online tool at their disposal that can help them figure out how to manage student loans and secure lower monthly payments, according to a press release from the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME).

In partnership with a network of local lenders, FAME recently launched The Loan for ME. The site aims to help residents understand the consequences of taking on a federal student loan, private student loan, as well as how to refinance or consolidate their loans. Almost two-thirds of Maine college students graduate with student loan debt, with the average debt amount at $30,908.

Designed to be the state’s Student Loan Resource, the site’s free tools assist individuals looking to refinance or consolidate student loan debt, as well as help educate families on the intricacies of taking on a loan before they even start the process.  Some of the features available include informational videos, tips to help you select a lender, things to consider when refinancing or consolidating a student loan, access to six local lenders with online applications, and support from FAME Student Loan Specialists.

Federal Loan Debt on the Decline for Private School Graduates

Since the site launched last June, the tools have already helped nearly 1,000 residents become more informed borrowers to help minimize their student loan debt and lower their overall costs of borrowing.  In fact, one Maine resident who recently used the site was able to cut the interest rate on her student loan from roughly 8.8% to approximately 4.75%, lower her monthly payments by almost $400 and remove her parents as co-signors.

“The Loan For ME can now help people with existing student loan debt explore ways to lower monthly payments and have more dollars in their pockets to help build their lives,” says Martha Johnston, Director of Education at FAME .

In addition to tackling student loan debt, the site also includes tips on such financial education as credit cards, identity theft and investing.