Last Monday (April 6, 2015), Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a lawsuit against Student Loan Processing. Allegedly, this firm had been exploiting student loan borrowers by tricking them into paying for federal loan benefits that were designed to be 100% free.
In other words, Student Loan Processing was positioning the benefits provided by the U.S. Department of Education as though they were “unique” programs that could only be obtained through their agency. Oy vey.
Interestingly enough, back in December 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had also sued Student Loan Processing for the same practices – essentially, tricking borrowers into paying upfront fees to obtain federal loan benefits.
So, what’s a borrower to make of this? And, what debt relief agencies can a borrower trust?
In My Opinion
There are certain red flags that many of these shady debt relief agencies have in common, and once you’re familiar with them, they get easier to spot.
To learn more about what the most common red flags are, you can read my 9 ways to spot – and avoid – a shady debt relief agency, over at the Deseret News. And if you need more reassurance, just email me your Q’s to info(at)student-loan-consultant.com or visit Q#1 on my FAQ page.
In my opinion, borrowers need to be very careful when going about their repayment, and ought to screen anyone they hire very carefully. Ultimately, the most telling question a borrower can ask her or himself is:
“Do I feel at ease about putting this aspect of my personal finances in this person’s or agency’s hands?”
If the answer is no, don’t settle! Keep researching until you find the right person or agency to help you have your best repayment experience.
Repaying your student debt is one of the most challenging things you can do in your life. And to top it off, this is one of the first financial steps many youngsters are taking upon graduating. Safe to say, it is a trial by fire!
This Washington law suit wasn’t the first of its kind, and it won’t be the last. The CFPB seems to be doing a good job of taking consistent action on borrowers’ behalf, with its lawsuits, consumer advisory blogs and attempts to make repayment information more available.
For starters, gather all your loan information together into one place. Tracking your loans is half the battle.
Secondly, learn what your repayment options are, for each and every single one of your loans, both private and federal, and then consider how you can piece them together to benefit your present goals and needs.
Last but not least, if you need help with this, just schedule a free consultation with me, and ask me as many questions as you like about your loans, your options and what you should do next. I’ve been working on helping student loan borrowers to manage their repayment, and would be happy to pinpoint you in the safest and best direction.
Your family members and/or significant other is certainly welcome on our call, and I look forward to being of help.
17 year student loan industry expert
Student Loan Consultant