Where there are people who have any kind of debt, there are scammers lurking and waiting to trick them into buying into a plot devised to steal even more money from them. You may have heard the telemarketing calls that start out telling you you’re pre-qualified for a lower interest rate on your credit card, they want to give you a grant or scholarship, or that you can lower the payments on your “whatever” by doing x, y, and z. It almost always involves you sending them some type of illegal payment, and always results in the unlucky victims feeling fooled and frustrated.
Anyone who wants real, free advice about student loans should contact the U.S. Department of Education, or their private loan servicer. There is no information about your loans and financial status that you cannot find out for yourself by contacting the appropriate resources. Remembering certain things can keep your from making common and potentially costly mistakes, such as:
- Never Pay Anything Upfront – Many “companies” will try to convince you that they can help you drastically reduce your debt, so long as you pay a pretty hefty fee upfront. This is illegal. No reputable company will ever ask you for any fee’s in advance for information to help you reduce any student loan debt.
- No Such Thing as Fast Forgive and Forget – Loan forgiveness is a real thing, but it comes with a lot of red tape and requirements. Anyone who comes claiming they can completely forgive your student loan debt without any previous information about you is waving big red flags. Loan forgiveness takes time, and is not a once over the phone conversation.
- Fake Seals and “Official Documents” – It can be easy to be duped by fancy forms with official looking information on it claiming to be from the U.S. Department of Education or other known institutions, but often times these scammers spend quite a bit of money to make their operations look legit. If you receive any suspicious looking documents that you’re unsure of their authenticity, you can always call the U.S. Department of Education’s help or customer line to ask them to verify the document. In nearly all cases they will be able to determine the documents authenticity and save you the hassle of getting scammed
- Don’t Share Your Personal Information – Your FSA ID is the key to your student loan kingdom. By giving your FSA ID out without verifying who it is you’re giving it to, you are potentially opening up your life to identity theft, fraud, and more. Once scammers control your personably identifiable information (PII), they can do anything they want in your name including worsen your debt. Always keep your PII to yourself unless you’re 100% sure the person you are sharing it with is a trusted professional.
Student loans can be a burden, and a quick fix can give you hope that you know better than to grasp at. Don’t let the fear of your student loan debt push you to make risky decisions. There are countless professionals available by phone or online who can help you with your student loan debt.
If you have been sued for delinquency or are in need of legal advice regarding your student loans, call Church and Korhonen, PC, toll-free at 1.800.758.5611 or simply fill out the form in the sidebar to begin taking steps to a more sound financial future, greater peace of mind and a fresh start.