In 2018 I first told you about the FTC suing American Financial Benefits Center, Financial Benefits Center, AmeriTech Financial and Brandon Demond Frere for illegal student loan debt relief practices.  Specifically, these defendants charged illegal up-front $800 fees and additional excessive fees falsely claiming that they could permanently reduce the monthly debt payments to a fixed low amount or even total loan forgiveness.  In 2020 Frere and his companies settled the civil charges with the FTC.  Pursuant to the settlement Frere is banned from providing debt relief services.  Frere has already in July of 2020 been sentenced to 42 months in prison on criminal charges related to his debt relief scams.  Now three years later, the FTC is sending refunds to thousands of the victims of this scam.  Most people will receive a check from the FTC.  Others, for whom the FTC doesn’t have an address will receive a PayPal payment.  For more information about the refund program go to the middle of the first page of the Scamicide website and click on the icon for “FTC Refunds.”


The old adage still is true.  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.  Many of these student loan debt relief scammers promise quick loan forgiveness, which is unrealistic.  In addition, you should never pay any upfront fees for student loan debt relief assistance.  Those fees are illegal and are a sure indication that you are being scammed.  Also, remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.”  Don’t trust scammers merely because they use names that sound like they are affiliated with the government.

For information you can trust about federal student loan repayment option, go to .  There you can learn about loan deferments, forbearance, repayment and loan forgiveness programs and there is never an application fee.  If you owe private student loans, contact your loan servicer directly.  You can also look into student loan refinancing rather than consolidating the loans.  Refinancing student loans can result in a lower interest rate.  For more information about student loans go to  Here is a link to a calculator that can help you determine whether you will save more by consolidating or refinancing student loans.

Here also is a link to an FTC video that explains student loan scams and what you can do to protect yourself.

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