Consumer Alert: Student loan scams

Posted: Updated:
EDISON -

Outside of mortgages, student loans are now the largest debt owed by most families. That has many looking for help, but it has also caused a rise in student loan scams.

Experts say calls promising help with student loan payments are rarely legitimate. 

“People should be aware of several signs of potential student loan debt relief scams,” said Adam Weslowski, of the Federal Trade Commission.

The commission recently launched a crackdown on student loan debt relief fraud.

“This is something that is a clear area of concern for the agency, so we are taking steps to aggressively enforce the law against companies that would mislead consumers,” Weslowski said.

He said consumers should abide the following advice to protect themselves: 

  • Don't trust anyone who calls claiming to be with the government 
  • Don't believe anyone who promises they can get loans forgiven
  • Apply for student loan relief
  • Never pay for relief from student loan debt; anyone who asks for money up front is breaking the law

“If you took out a loan to pay for your education, you don't have to pay a fee if you need help restructuring your debt. They offer that service free of charge,” said Melissa Companick, of the Better Business Bureau.

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