If you’re financing your education through student loans, the U.S. Department of Education wants you to beware of recent illegal practices by so-called “debt relief” companies. These disreputable organizations often make false claims and offers that sound like they’re helping you out –when they’re not! They sometimes pretend that they’re affiliated with schools or the Government and have even disguised themselves by illegally using the Department of Education’s official seal without authorization.
What they claim
· You’re eligible for loan forgiveness
· You qualify for lower monthly payments
· You can consolidate your loans and save money
· You can settle your debt and get out of default
What’s wrong with that?
You may actually be eligible for all they claim, but these companies charge fees for the services they provide. And loan assistance on your Federal student loans is always FREE to you through the Government or your loan server. More importantly only the Department of Education has the authority to consolidate, forgive or lower your federal loan payments. Why would you pay for something you could get for free when those companies aren’t even authorized to help you out?
· They charge an upfront fee
· They promise to get you immediate debt relief
· They ask for private information and passwords such as your Social Security Number or Federal Student Aid ID
· They ask you to sign a “third-party authorization” form
· They combine their own name with words like “Federal,” “Government” or “National” to mislead you into believing they’re affiliated with the U.S. Government
· They aggressively advertise their services on television, radio and social media sites
What you should do
If you’re contacted by one of these third-party debt-relief companies, do NOT give them any personal information. Hang up and consider reporting them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And if you do have questions about your loans, go to the official Federal Student Aid website.
At Career Quest Learning Centers, we know you value the investment you’ve made in your education and we do not want you to become the victim to the practices of these third-party companies and their schemes. You deserve better! If you’d like information on financial aid for any of our programs, contact a financial aid officer at 877-481-4930 or 877-365-8144 now.