DEAR HARRY: I just read an article that said that the average debt of graduating college students is $26,500. Don't you believe it! Everyone I know who has tuition debt is well above that. My loans are $32,000, and my interest is sky-high. I'm interested in refinancing, but I'm having a lot of problems. Unfortunately, my entry-level job is not enough to get me a decent refinancing. I have tried every way known to man. Don't they realize that I'm a good candidate because I am up-to-date in my payments even with a high rate? What's a better record than that? Even a 1 percent drop would save me about $30 a month. Please give me direction, Harry.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: I hope I can. The one most often missed is your present lender. If you have contacted them, try again with the chief loan honcho. Then try your local credit unions. Many are looking for people like you with good records on relatively small loans. Some will grant you a mix of lower rates and longer payout periods. Unfortunately, credit unions are harder to find than banks. In my drive home from town, I pass seven banks, but only one credit union. Use the Internet in your search, and consult with at least two. Incidentally, some medical- and law-school grads are in for more than $100,000 that has to be paid back.