FTC continues to crack down on student loan scams
Federal Trade Commission
A lot of us have student loans – and some of us have trouble paying them every month. Some companies claim to resolve that issue by saying they can help you pay them down quicker, cheaper or get them forgiven altogether. Be cautious – some of these companies are running scams.
Here are some tips to avoid student loan repayment scams:
- Never pay an upfront fee. It’s illegal for companies to charge you in advance before helping you to reduce or get rid of your student loan debt. Companies that make you pay upfront might give you no help and not give your money back.
- Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness. Before they know your situation, scammers might say they can quickly get rid of your loans through a loan forgiveness program. But they can’t.
- A Department of Education seal doesn’t mean it’s legit.Scammers use official-looking names and logos and say they have special access to certain federal programs. They don’t.
- Don’t share your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID with anyone. Scammers could use it to take control of your personal financial aid information on U.S. Department of Education websites.
Last month, the FTC announced a lawsuit against American Financial Benefits Center (AFBC), Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC), AmeriTech Financial, and Brandon Demond Frere as part of its crackdown against unlawful student loan debt relief practices, Operation Game of Loans. The FTC alleges that the companies charged illegal, upfront fees and failed to deliver on their promises to enroll people into a government program that they claimed would permanently lower monthly loan payments or result in total loan forgiveness.