I receive many, many emails with the following question:
“How can I know if it’s safe for me to work with any student loan debt relief agency?”
And my answer is always the same:
No debt relief agency is truly recommendable, in my opinion. Debt relief agencies all offer the same services, as though they were “unique” programs that could only be obtained through their agency.
For example, things like:
- federal student loan consolidation
- access to Obama’s student loan forgiveness programs
- lower monthly student loan payments
- a year of forbearance (also rendered as, “$0.00 payment for 12 months.”)
In truth, any company that wants to charge you to consolidate your student loan, or enroll in repayment assistance programs, is not recommendable, or ethical, in my opinion.
Consolidation, and all the other government repayment assistance programs, are available for you for free, anytime you need them, at studentloans.gov
Many debt relief agencies strategically re-sell government repayment assistance programs as though they were the ones offering the programs. But in reality, all they’re doing is inputting your info on studentloans.gov (the only place you could ever consolidate your loans and/or enroll in government repayment assistance programs) and taking the credit for doing that.
Most borrowers have no idea that these programs are 100% free, and many debt relief agencies have taken full advantage of this. Unfortunately, there are thousands of borrowers who fall prey to their false claims, every day.
Q: So, if many debt relief agencies can’t be trusted, who should I trust?
I recommend you trust your own research. Put in the work and get educated on your student loans, so that you understand each of them (not easy but possible!) and get acquainted with each of your loan types, your repayment assistance options for each one and then, chart out a repayment-plan-of-attack, from there.
Also, know that there are student loan consultants and experts out there, sprinkled across the U.S. These are people (like myself) who have worked inside the student loan industry, and are now offering educational seminars, webinars, help with your repayment plan of attack, and even free consultations.
If you do choose to work with a student loan advisor, student loan expert or student loan consultant, make sure they:
- Do not pressure you into working with them
- Are up front about all their fees
- Have experience working IN the student loan industry (i.e. worked for private and federal lenders during their career trajectory)
- Share helpful information about your repayment options
- Can educate you about how your student loan repayment can be woven into your financial portfolio and life circumstances
- Are available and easy to reach/communicate with
Most importantly, make sure you feel more at ease after speaking with them. If you feel like you can breathe better, and have the sense of being more in control of your loans after speaking with them, that’s a great indicator.
I offer just this form of service, so if you’re looking for guidance and support with your debt repayment (all of it, both private and federal), please feel free to schedule a free consultation with me by clicking here. You can learn more about my background on Linked in.
If my services are the right fit for you, I hope to help you transform your debt repayment from a headache, back into the positive investment that it was intended to be.
Student Loan Consultant