Great article by student loan guru and fellow NACA member Josh Cohen:
Long story short: as with the Foreclosure Rescue Scams and Debt Settlement Scams, the student debt crisis has generated a new breed of scumbag: Student Loan Assistance outfits.
Like their ancestors in the debt settlement and loan mod scams, the student loan assistance scams do several things that are evil:
1. They lie. You cannot change the interest rate on a student loan, no matter how hard you try.
2. They charge very high fees for doing nothing. For the hundreds or thousands of dollars they charge you, they don’t do anything for you but push you into consolidation – an option that you have anyway, and you can read about ad nauseum at www.studentaid.ed.gov.
3. They break the law. Particularly the CROA, when they claim to be able to help your credit.
If you’re having trouble with student loans, do your research first. Consolidation is nearly always available, but it isn’t always your best option. There are better ways to deal with your student loan debt, like IBR and ICR.
One of these days, I’ll write an article about just how screwed up the Department of Education is – they’re almost as bad as Capital One. Really. Obama should really be ashamed. Democrats claim to be out there to help the people, but good old Dept. of Ed. is hounding struggling students with debt collectors and charging gigantic and unearned fees and just all-round screwing people over. He doesn’t even have to actually change anything – the minute he proposes some student loan relief bill, House Republicans will kill the bill (however reasonable and helpful it may be) and blast him for being a Communist anyway, so why doesn’t he at least give it a shot? This is one I’ll never figure out.
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