SCAM ALERT: Student Loan Scam Gets An ‘F’ From The Federal Trade Commission
By Alesha Hernandez, Consumer Education Specialist // May 27, 2017
ABOVE VIDEO: Student debt relief scams on the rise
The costs of student loans and fees can be overwhelming.
You might see online ads that promise to help lower your payments or get your loans forgiven. But be wary of companies that make those promises, and never pay an upfront fee.
Today, the FTC announced it had filed charges against Strategic Student Solutions, Student Relief Center, and related companies for lying to consumers about providing student loan debt relief and charging illegal upfront fees.
According to the FTC’s complaint, Strategic Student Solutions promised consumers loan forgiveness or payment reduction and credit repair services, but they didn’t deliver. They told consumers that their monthly fees would be put toward their student loans. They also charged consumers illegal upfront fees of up to $1,200.
Consumers found out later that they had not been enrolled in forgiveness or repayment programs, that none of their payments had been put towards their student loans, and their credit had not been repaired.
In fact, consumers often ended up farther behind on their payments than when they first signed up for the companies’ services.
If you have paid money to Strategic Student Solutions or Student Relief Center, contact your loan servicer immediately. Depending on the type of loans you have, you may want to discuss a repayment plan or other options for your situation.
Remember, you do not have to pay for help with your student loans. Never pay an upfront fee for the promise of debt relief. Learn how to spot a debt relief scheme.
To report a student loan debt relief scam, file a complaint with:
· the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint
· the CFPB at consumerfinance.gov/complaint