What To Do If You Think You’ve Been Scammed
Two big red flags that a company is a scam are:
Thankfully, if think you’ve already fallen victim for Premier Student Loan Center or another questionable company, there are a few steps you can take.
- Report the possible fraud to the three major credit bureausEquifax, Experian and TransUnionand ask for a freeze on your credit report. This protects you against fraud destroying your credit.
- Did you give out your FSA ID? The Office of the Inspector General can instruct you on next steps.
- File a complaint against the business with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or by phone at 85-411-2372.
To make sure you’re safe from fraud in the future, check out our tips to avoiding student loan scams.
Need help keeping current on your student loans? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Lower Student Loan Payments.
Seeing That There Is A Mountain Of Student Loan Debt Saddling Recent And Older Graduates There Have Been Many Programs Made Available To Help Those Struggling With Student Loan Debt
Income Based Repayment Plan
Income Contingent Repayment
If your payments are not large enough to cover the interest that has accumulated on your loans, the unpaid amount will be capitalized once each year. However, capitalization will not exceed 10 percent of the original amount you owed when you entered repayment. Interest will continue to accumulate but will no longer be capitalized. The maximum repayment period is 25 years. If you havent fully repaid your loans after 25 years under this plan, the unpaid portion will be discharged. You may, however, have to pay taxes on the amount that is discharged.
Pay As You Earn
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Well pull your information on your federal student loans.
Were looking for the total amount due, the interest rates, and the status of your federal student loans.
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If eligible for a lower monthly payment, we will file the documentation and guarantee that you are accepted into the new program.
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There Is A New Sheriff In Town
Theres no such thing as Good Cop Vs. Bad Cop, there is just Cop. Good companies should be front and centre, Those companies easily identified among the crowd of internet noise and pseudo-credibility. Those Businesses walk in the grey area or outright break the rules to make their million-dollar prize are in for a rude awakening.
NSLA will sift the wheat and the chaff so you know who the good guys are. We will work with state and federal agencies to identify and weed out the bad actors that seek only to enrich themselves at your expense. NSLA will work diligently to identify potential risks and alert the consumers to bad practices while showcasing the companies that truly have your best interests at heart.
The better companies should be easy to find and connect with. NSLA is paving the way for you. Bad actors, beware. Were watching.
In fact, NSLA guarantees every customer full satisfaction and if unhappy, we make sure full refunds are received for any company we have audited- thats right-
A 100% Guarantee.
Charging Upfront Fees For Free Programs
Scammers often attempt to charge for programs that all borrowers can access for free, including preparing the paperwork. Loan forgiveness or discharge , loan consolidation, student loan forbearance and deferment are all free programs provided by your servicer. If a company is asking you to pay large amounts of money upfront, it is likely a scam and should be reported. Do not give any money or personal information to the company. Contact your loan servicer to determine what options are available to you. You can find out who your servicer is by logging in to your Federal Student Aid account or calling 1-800-433-3243.
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Need To Report A Scam
If you know of a scam and would like to make a report, you can contact the Attorney Generals Consumer Protection team by filing a complaint online or by calling 877-765-8388.
The opportunity for debt forgiveness is also an opportunity for scammers to try and gain access to your personal and financial information, said Nessel. It is important to remember that the federal government will not proactively email or text you to take advantage of this program. Residents should rely on legitimate sources for information and not fall for messages that create a sense of urgency or demand financial information.
Is There Any Company You Can Trust To Help You
Even though Ive said countless times you can do it for free at StudentAid.gov, there are still people whove asked me thats great Robert, but I still want to pay someone to help me who can I trust? Thats a fair question, so who can you trust?
Next, call your student loan servicing company. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but 80% of issues and concerns can be resolved by simply calling your loan servicer. These free options are usually your best bet for help with student loans.
If you’re still not quite sure where to start or what to do, consider using talking to a financial planner that specializes in student loan debt. A real financial planner with have a CFP or similar designation, AND they will have a fiduciary duty to you. We recommend the Student Loan Planner. Check out our Student Loan Planner review here.
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Is Premier Student Loan Legit
It’s not illegal for a company to charge a fee to help you with student loans. But the truth is that you don’t need to pay for help.
In fact, the services the company offerssuch as lowering your monthly payment, helping you through the consolidation process or even seeing if you qualify for loan forgivenessare things you can do for free, often with a quick phone call.
Instead of paying a third-party company to help you sort out your student loan debt issues, you can work directly with your loan servicer free of charge.
Plus, the Better Business Bureau website shows nearly 80 complaints filed against this company. The grievances include these claims from customers:
- They were no longer able to reach the company to ask questions after they agreed to pay fees.
- Representatives of the company asked for a borrower’s FSA ID and then changed the password on their FSA accounts without permission.
- Fees and payments made to Premier Student Loan Center were never applied toward student loan balances.
- Many borrowers said they thought the company was a scam and were looking for ways to get their money back.
- Warn, “Please do not fall for this scam!”
- Report being harassed by phone despite being on the national Do Not Call list.
- Say they were rushed through the process.
- Were misled into believing the fees they paid the company would be applied toward their student loans.
Asking For Personal Information Via Email Or Over The Phone
Scammers often ask for personal information like your full Social Security number, bank account number, FSA ID or studentaid.gov password. Do not give any personal information to an unverified company over the phone. If you suspect the caller may be a scammer, hang up and contact your servicer directly to determine if there are any actions required for your loan. If you have provided your personal information to a scammer, we have listed some tips for avoiding scams below.
What To Do If You’ve Been Contacted By A Scammer
If you’ve gotten a suspicious phone call, voicemail or even a letter that you think is a scam, you don’t necessarily have to take immediate action if you didn’t respond or give out any personal information.
“You absolutely do not have to do anything, if you didn’t give them any information, you should be OK,” said Haile.
You can, however, report it. One option is to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission notifying it of the potential scam. Another is to call your state attorney general.
Last, you may also want to check your credit score out of an abundance of caution, said Evans.
Why Do Student Loan Scams Exist
Paying off student loan debt is a major concern for most college graduates, no matter how much debt they have after finishing school.
Like for any pain point consumers have, there are legitimate businesses that provide relief and illegitimate operations that seek to take advantage of borrowers looking for a solution.
And because the student loan debt relief industry isnt highly regulated, student loan scammers have an open door through which to prey on unknowing borrowers.
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Encouraging You To Cut Off Communications With Your Loan Servicer
This is warning sign that this company is not working in your best interest. As a student loan borrower, it’s important for you to maintain communication with your servicer. If someone urges you to make payments to their company instead of your loan servicer or to stop communicating with your loan servicer, do not give them any information. Do not stop making payments to your servicer.
What To Do If You’re A Victim
If you’ve fallen victim to a scam and given away important financial information, you need to act immediately to protect yourself from further damage.
If you provided a scammer with credit card or bank account information, call your bank and card company right away to close your accounts or stop payments.
You should also call your student loan servicer, especially if you provided information such as your federal student aid ID, so they can monitor your account.
You may also want to check your credit report to ensure there’s no suspicious activity, said Evans.
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Help For Student Loan Relief Is Free
You may have seen Google or social media ads making outrageous claims of providing immediate relief from student loan debt. Generally, these private companies offer help with consolidating loans and other basic student loan services.
For federal student loans, most of these advertised services are things you can actually do for free. The Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer can help you with a variety of tasks, including:
- Consolidating your federal student loans
- Lowering your monthly student loan payments
- Applying for student loan forgiveness programs
- Getting your loans out of default
- Applying for forbearance or deferment
Although you can do many of these tasks yourself, some people arent aware of this or think its more difficult than it is. Forms can also seem confusing to fill out. With so many options to consider, some borrowers cant tell the difference between real student loan repayment strategies and scams.
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Consumer Alert: Student Loan Scams
You recently graduated from college and now you need to figure out how to pay off your student loans. You start to see ads on the internet that say Obama Wants to Forgive Your Student Loans! or Get Rid of Student Loan Debt NOW! You click on one of the ads and go to a website for a company that says it can help with your student loan debt. When you call the company, a representative promises to lower your monthly payments by hundreds of dollars for an upfront fee of only $800. What should you do?
Repaying your student loans can be an overwhelming, complicated, and intimidating experience. As many former students find themselves struggling with rising debt, there has been an increase in student loan debt relief scams. Many of these scams take advantage of consumers by offering bogus services and charging high fees for loan consolidations that can be obtained for free through federal government programs. Scammers will target borrowers through online ads, social media, phone calls, and even mail sent to your home.
Warning Signs Of Student Loan Scams
Some companies simply charge you high fees for services you can do yourself, while others will steal your information.
The defendants falsely claimed to lower interest rates and improve borrowers credit scores. The company also said the U.S. Department of Education would become the borrowers new loan servicer and charged fees before providing services.
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Six Signs Of A Student Loan Scam
Student loan scams have become much more common over the past few years. Federal and state consumer protection agencies are starting to take action against these scams.There are several types of student loan scams. Some occur when you are initially borrowing a student loan. Others occur when you are repaying your student loans. Often, student loan scams charge a fee to obtain a student loan, consolidate or refinance federal and/or private student loans, reduce the monthly loan payment, reduce the interest rate, apply for loan forgiveness, end wage garnishment or get student loans out of default.Such services are available for free on the federal governments student loans website. They are easy to do on your own, without paid assistance.Beware of these six warning signs of a student loan scam:
The Company Promises Immediate Loan Forgiveness
Be wary of companies that claim to help you get loan forgiveness. There are legitimate government programs, such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, that can reduce or eliminate federal student loans after a certain amount of time. However, only some individuals qualify for the programs.
For instance, borrowers must work full-time for the government or a 501 nonprofit organization and make full monthly payments for at least 10 years before earning forgiveness through PSLF. Borrowers on income-driven repayment plans can get their remaining loans forgiven after they make payments for 20 or 25 years, depending on the plan.
What to do instead: Use Federal Student Aids Repayment Estimator to see your monthly payment and projected loan forgiveness on various plans based on your income and family size.
If you work in public service, make sure you understand the details of Public Service Loan Forgiveness. If you decide to pursue it, begin by submitting a PSLF employment certification form to confirm your employment qualifies.
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Companies Demanding Upfront Costs
If you receive a phone call or email demanding that you have to make a specific payment upfront, especially if its a significant amount of money, its likely a scam. This type of scheme relies on a scare tactic to intimidate targets, with the malicious party hoping the victim will panic and expose their personal information to make a payment because they think they are behind on a payment or not aware of how loan payments work.
If you make your loan payments on time, or if you have a pause on your payments, there is no reason you would have to make an upfront payment. Furthermore, a federal loan lender would put you on a monthly payment plan rather than ask you to pay up front, so thats another key giveaway.
Is Premier Student Loan Center A Scam
Have you recently been contacted by Premier Student Loan Center? If so, you should know that online reviews suggest that Premier Student Loan Center is not a reputable company.
This is a company that bills itself as a solution to your student loan debt problems. They say they can lower your student loan payments and generally help you with student loan servicesfor a fee. These promises can sound enticing. After all, many borrowers struggle not only understanding student loan concepts like interest capitalization, but also with basic services like managing monthly payments.
You should know, however, that you don’t need to pay for help with your student loans. So if you have been contacted by Premier Student Loan Center, here’s what you need to know.