Do you want to get relief from student loan debt? You don't have to be plundering with clippers.

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You got the degree – or not – and now you have as much debt as you are looking for to reduce student loan payments.

You are the artist's dream. You are so strict on debt relief that you believe is promoters who promise the loan quick forgiveness – seriously.

But instead of renegotiating payment plans, the cloud pocket charges for their false services were collected.

The Federal Trade Commission recently filed a law against a debt settlement company that the agency said it had made more than $ 23 million from thousands of borrowers by taking unlawful advance fees and falsely saying that they could make their loan payments. lowered.

A federal court in California agreed with the FTC complaint and closed the operation temporarily, using a number of trade names, including Federal Group of Federal, Federal Mission Hills and the Student Loan Group.

On the Hills Hills website, consumers are now given a message that a receiver has accepted the company. Borrowers are asked to contact their student loan provider immediately to determine the status of their loans.

Looking at the FTC's complaint, I saw that he described a scheme that was too familiar. A company says that it can reduce human debt because of its negotiating capacity. But it doesn't do anything, or, at least, it provides services that the borrower can get for free through the Department of Education.

Government agencies and consumer advocates try to warn people about this type of scam, often expressing, “If it's too good to be true, it's probably.” T

Here's the problem with this advice: If you are drowning in debt, you want to believe that there is a savior.

So, like a surgeon who opens a patient during an operation, I look at how debt debt scams get student loan work often.

The claimsThree ways come on the deception.

● You are registered in a plan that claims to reduce your monthly payments to a much lower amount or that your loan balances are mitigated in whole or in part.

● You have promised to apply some of your monthly payments to your loans. In the recent BTI case, one person was told that $ 10 of the monthly payment of $ 51.67 was a management fee and that the remainder of the money would be used to repay the student loans.

● The company requires that it takes responsibility for servicing your student loans. But the FTC said that this is often a trick to get borrowers to disclose their federal financial assistance username and password. When you get access, your contact information may be changed so that the company can intercept communications from your lender. It may take months or years before you discover that your student loans are not being paid.

The fees: The company will ask for debt settlement on one or more initial payments to start your case (there is more to see how this is illegal). For example, in a recent complaint made by the BTI, the agency alleged that the debt settlement companies had charged 1 to 3 “front” fees which could run between $ 100 and $ 500. But then consumers hit a monthly payment in another amount that would be between $ 50 and $ 200. In total, some of the borrowers paid up to $ 7,000 for debt settlement services that they never received, d & # 39; claimed the BTI.

The deception: Maybe a single payment is made on your student loan and that is stopped there. Alternatively, the company – without your information – deferred or prevented you, increasing the amount due. The company can arrange lower monthly payment debt to you through one of the income-based repayment plans of the federal government. But this is done through your income and falsified information.

If you are looking for help from a debt settlement company, there are three signs here probably running a scam.

● The company requires you to pay before services, which are illegal under the Telemarketing Sales Rule. A debt settlement company cannot collect any fees from you before your debts are settled or otherwise settled.

Do not pay for what you can get cheap. Go StudentAid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans , on the same site as the debt relief companies, to apply for a applicable register based on income or forgiveness.

● The company has a seal or logo that makes it apparently affiliated to the government.

● You are required to provide your Federal Student Assistance Identity – known as the “FSA ID” – that is the username and password you use to log on to the DOE student assistance websites. Do not give this information to anyone.

The FTC has set up a dedicated website for information about student loans, including a section on debt relief scams. Go ftc.gov/studentloans.

I know that you need a break from pushing out your student loans. But if you register with a sham company, you get more pain than relief.

Readers can write to Michelle Singletary at The Washington Post, 1301 K St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or michelle.singletary@washpost.com. To read the Colors of Silver earlier, go to http://wapo.st/michelle-singletary.

. (tagsToTranslate) silver color (t) student loan scams (t) student loan debt (t) Direct Federal Group (t) Federal Hills Mission (t) Student Loan Group (t) FTC and student loans

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