This past May, Attorney General Madigan of Illinois filed a hefty lawsuit against the following 5 student loan debt relief agencies:
- Consumer Financial Resources LLC, operating as Student Loan Resolve (based in Texas)
- Federal Student Loan Alliance (based in California)
- Interactiv Education LLC, operating as Direct Student Aid (based in Florida)
- Student Consulting Group Inc., a.k.a. University of One and Help Assist Me Default Resolution Services (based in Georgia)
- Nationwide Student Aid LLC (based in Chicago)
The Attorney General alleged that the scam operators charged borrowers hundreds and thousands of dollars in upfront fees, while falsely promising that they would relieve borrowers’ debt burdens, or have them forgiven, under programs endorsed by President Obama’s administration.
Attorney General Madigan has been working to enforce consumer protection violations in the higher education field, and is even leading a multi-state investigation into the student loan provider Sallie Mae, now Navient.
Note: If you follow student loan news as closely as I do, you’ll remember that back in July 2014, Madigan also filed lawsuits against 2 other student loan debt relief agencies. You can click to read about the one concerning the above 5 here , and click to read about the other 2 here.
Student Loan Consultant Says
The good news is: any lawsuit aimed at digging out shady debt relief agencies is a very good thing.
Actions like these (the Corinithian lawsuit, the Washington Attorney General lawsuit and the CFPB’s December 2014 lawsuit) are bringing much-needed attention, and helpful action, to the student loan crisis.
Another piece of good news is: the tell-tale signs of shady debt relief agencies are very recognizable.
Some of their most infamous red flags are:
- Pricey upfront fees
- pushy sales tactics
- positioning federal repayment assistance as something only their agency offers
- sales reps without credentials, references or experience in the student loan industry
To learn more tell-tale signs that will help you spot a shady debt relief agency a mile away, click here.
And if you’re wondering: “How can I know if it’s safe to work with ANY debt relief agency?” please click here.
Student Loan Debt Management
If you could use some help with your student debt repayment, there are many good things you can do to help yourself:
- Peruse through the videos on the U.S. Department of Education’s YouTube page by clicking here. The videos were made recently, and are visually and conceptually easy to follow.
- Stop by the U.S. Department of Education’s “How to Repay Your Federal Student Loans” page by clicking here. There, you’ll find a slew of free repayment assistance options, which you can apply for, anytime, at studentloans.gov
- Call your lenders to find out what your options are for repayment assistance.
- Consider that private student loan lenders aren’t as generous with their repayment assistance, so make these a priority. Call these lenders as well, and see what can be done to lower your payments, delay them or even target certain ones, if possible.
- Once you have some idea of what your repayment options are for each of your loans, see how you can apply them in a way that works for your budget and upcoming plans.
And if all of this seems like too much (!), and you’d prefer to have someone who’s been working in the student loan industry for many years to help you through this, I’d be glad to offer you a free consultation (which you can schedule by clicking here).
During our chat, we can get clear on your loan balances, best repayment options and how to arrange these in a way that work in your favor.
I look forward to being of help, and hope you have found this blog helpful.
Student Loan Consutlant