"There's nothing a company can do for you that you can't do for yourself, for free."
That advice from Lisa Lake, a consumer education specialist with the Federal Trade Commission, comes in the wake of two lawsuits against companies who claimed to be able to help reduce student debt for victims. These companies, Student Advocates Team and Manhattan Beach Venture, ran illegal debt relief schemes that charged people $1300 to $1800 to arrange high-interest loans while promising that the debts would be permantently reduced or forgiven.
You don't have to pay for help with your student loans:
If you are a federal borrower, start with studentaid.gov/repay. If you are a private borrower, talk with your loan servicer.
Never pay an up-front fee for help with your debts. It's illegal.
Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness. These promises are always false.
A Dept. of Education seal doesn't mean a company is legitimate. Scammers often use official-looking names and logos to support their lies about having special access to federal programs.
Don't share your FSA ID with anyone. Scammers can use it to gain access to your account and take control.
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