The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it is suing Student Loan Processing.US alleging it illegally marketed student loan debt relief services and in a separate action closed College Education Services for illegally marketing student loan debt relief services.   According to CFPB Director Richard Cordray, “Student loans are already a significant debt for many Americans…College Educations Services and Student Loan Processing.US added to that hardship by taking advantage of troubled borrowers and failing to describe their services honestly.”   College Education Services targeted students through ads and its websites CollegeDefaultedStudentLoan.com and HelpStudentLoanDefault.com where it falsely promised lower payments in return for advance payments that ranged between $195 and $2,500 although federal law requires that payments for such debt settlements not be paid for in advance.  Student Loan Processing US. charged its customers 1% of the loan balance or $250 in advance for its debt settlement services and falsely represented that it was affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.  With Americans owing more than a trillion dollars in student loans, it is no surprise that scammers see this as a great opportunity to take advantage of desperate people.  I have warned you many times in the past about various student loan scammers.

TIPS

Two important things to remember are not to pay advance fees and not to provide your Federal Student Aid PIN to debt settlement companies.  Legitimate companies do not need your Federal Student Aid PIN to help you.  It is also important to note that help with student loans is available for free.  The best place to go if you are having difficulty with a student loan is directly to the servicer of the loan.  You can also find helpful information at StudentLoanBorrowerAssistance.org which is a website maintained by the National Consumer Law Center.  The United States Department of Education also has a lot of helpful information about student loan consolidation and other things you can do to reduce your payments at https://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/consolidation.   You can also check out their Income-Based Repayment program and their Pay As You Earn program which are available at no cost to the borrower. The Department of Education also has a toll-free number where you can get helpful loan information at 1-800-4-FEDAID.