Scam of the day – June 27, 2014 – Student loan scams

For many college students, graduation day is the culmination of years of hard work.  It is a day to look back and see all that they have accomplished.  However, it is also a time to look forward to a future of paying off expensive student loans.  Most government and private students loans give students a six month grace period before they have to start repaying the loans, however once loan repayments begin, it can be a crushing burden for many new graduates.  Scam artists, the only criminals whom we refer to as artists, see new graduates as new victims as they contact them with a number of different loan scams that all share one important aspect.  The graduate gets no debt relief and loses money to the scammer in the process.  The most prevalent student loan scam is a loan consolidation scam by which the scammer tells the graduate that he can consolidate numerous student loans into one loan that is more affordable.  Usually, they require an advance fee before they start the process.  The fee goes by many different names including processing fee, administrative fee and consolidation fee, however, whatever you call it, it is a scam.  Legitimate lenders do not charge advance fees so if you are approached by someone who offers to assist with consolidating or finding you a lower interest loan and they ask for an advance fee, it is a scam.

TIPS

Federal student loans can be consolidated by you at no cost by going to the Federal Student Aid website www.loanconsolidation.ed.gov.  For other assistance you can go to the Federal Student Aid website that deals with federal student loan servicing at https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/understand/servicers.  For private loans, you should go directly to your lender for assistance.  Don’t waste money on “help” that will only cost you more money.

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