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Beshear: Don't pay up front for student loan debt relief
Scammers are offering the already free service for a fee.
By Crystal Staley/Kenneth Mansfield
Frankfort, KY - - Attorney General Andy Beshear has issued a scam alert to warn former and current college students about companies offering student loan debt relief for a fee.
The third-party companies behind the calls claim to offer document preparation services and pretend they can help you qualify for a loan forgiveness program - but they may want upfront fees and personal and financial information.
Beshear's office and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) say it is illegal for companies to charge upfront fees before providing debt relief services.
Kentuckians in Allen, Breckinridge, Clark, Daviess, Fayette, Jefferson, Kenton, Mason and Warren counties have recently reported receiving strange calls and voicemails from a woman claiming she needs to discuss new federal student loan repayment options. Many getting the calls say they don't even have student loans, but were provided a callback phone number and reference number.
"Far too many Kentuckians already struggle to repay student loans and I don't want them to get tricked by con artists and fall further into debt," Beshear said. "The truth is, there are no services these fraudsters can offer that you cannot do on your own for free."
According to the FTC and the Office of the Attorney General, some companies that promise debt relief are scams. To spot them follow these tips:
Students having problems with their student loan servicer or a debt collector, should contact the Student Loan Ombudsman of the U.S. Department of Education at 877-557-2575.
Since taking office, Beshear and his team have worked to protect students from predatory for-profit colleges and lenders.
Last week, Beshear's Office of Consumer Protection secured $2.2 million in debt relief for former Kentucky ITT Tech students pressured by deceptive lending practices.
To date, nearly 8,000 Kentucky students have received more than $8 million in student loan debt relief or restitution from for-profit colleges Beshear has held accountable.
This story was posted on 2019-06-23 09:19:05
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