Student Loan Consolidation - Action Line

  
     
Dear Action Line, I currently have a student loan. Last week I received a call out of the blue from a man that told me he could get rid of my student loan. My payments are about $100 per month and he told me I am paying too much. He said all I need to do is start sending him $39.95 per month and stop making the payments and he could get rid of my loan. This sounds like a scam to me. What do you think?
August 03, 2017

Dear Reader,

Whether you are looking for a new loan or thinking of consolidating old loans or trying to get rid of student loans, it is crucial that you know who you are doing business with. You also need to get information in writing on the terms of the loan. There are good companies out there that can provide the service but there are many that are only interested in taking your hard earned dollars and ruining your credit. So here are some tips for you:

The Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Education offer these tips to help you recognize deceptive private student loan practices.

  • Some private lenders and their marketers use names, seals, logos, or other representations similar to those of government agencies to create the false or misleading impression that they are part of or affiliated with the federal government and its student loan programs. ED does not send advertisements or mailers, or otherwise solicit consumers to borrow money. If you receive a student loan solicitation, it is not from ED.
  • Don’t let promotions or incentives like gift cards, credit cards or sweepstakes divert you from assessing whether the key terms of the loan are reasonable.
  • Don’t give out personal information on the phone, through the mail, or over the Internet unless you know with whom you are dealing. Private student lenders typically ask for your student account number—often your Social Security number or Personal Identification Number—saying they need it to help determine your eligibility. However, because scam artists who purport to be private student lenders can misuse this information, it is critical to provide it or other personal information only if you have confidence in the private student lender with whom you are dealing.

BBB recommends that you investigate the company by checking them out at bbb.org. You can find out how long they have been in business, you can look at complaint detail if there have been complaints. You may also find customer reviews; they may be positive, negative or neutral. You can find out how long they have been in business, whether they are an accredited business or not as well as how they are rated. Get all promised in writing. Search on the internet, you may find additional info there. The information at BBB is free and it help you make a wise financial decision. 

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Central California & Inland Empire Counties which was founded in 1950 and serves Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Tulare, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.