Student loan debt is a growing problem prompting some students to turn to companies that promise to lower monthly payments but authorities say some companies don’t deliver.
Like thousands of other college graduates, Amelia Manni began her career digging out of debt.
“Just over 100-thousand,” said Manni.
But then a company called United Advisors group offered to lower her monthly payments by hundreds of dollars.
Amelia signed the contract but $1,500 later, she got some shocking news from her student loan provider.
“They said not a single thing has gone thru and my loans were actually in deferment,” said Manni.
After calls and emails went unanswered, CBS News reporter Ryan Kath actually found people working at the company that took Manni’s money inside a southern California office building.
“You guys need to get out of here before I call the police,” said a manager at the building.
The guy in charge couldn’t get rid of the reporter fast enough.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said borrowers can negotiate lower monthly payments on their own. The government also provides free options to consolidate or lower payments on federal student loans.
“It’s something they can get for free instead of paying some shady operator to do who at the end of the day isn’t going to deliver and is only going to put them in a worse place,” said Healey.
The Attorney General’s offices helped Manni get a full refund.
“I definitely would not go through any of those companies no matter what they say to you,” said Manni.
The Federal government says warning signs a student loan debt relief company might be trying to scam you including:
Pressure to pay up-front fees
Promises of loan forgiveness
Demands of signing a “power of attorney”
Requests for personal info like your student aid pin number
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