Student debt stacking up. Debt on student loans. (Source: Shutterstock)

According to researchers from the Education Data Initiative, student loan debt in the U.S. currently totals $1.73 trillion and is growing six times the rate of the nation’s economy. COVID-19 has only exasperated the crisis, with the total, nationwide student loan debt balance growing by 8.28% in 2020 – the biggest spike since 2013. And, the government’s emergency federal student loan payment suspension is scheduled to end on Jan. 31, 2022.

A new partnership between the Brookfield, Wis.-based core processor Fiserv and technology firm aims to chip away at the student loan debt crisis, the two entities announced last week. Fiserv will leverage’s machine-learning-driven repayment platform to allow its community financial institution clients, including credit unions, help customers and members manage their debt and strengthen their financial portfolios, according to an announcement from the companies.

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Natasha Chilingerian

Natasha Chilingerian has worked in the credit union space for over a decade. She joined CU Times as managing editor in 2015 and was promoted to executive editor in 2019. Before that, she served as a communications specialist for Xceed Financial Credit Union (now Kinecta Federal Credit Union) in Los Angeles from 2013-2015, and as a CU Times freelancer from 2011-2013. She has been a professional writer and editor for more than 17 years, specializing in news and lifestyle journalism as well as marketing copywriting for companies in the finance and technology space.

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