When you are facing student loan debt of any kind, it is understandable that you will latch onto any concept of assistance. Let’s face it, paying down student loan debt can feel like an unending process where progress is impossible. The more desperate you become and the harder it is to pay your bills, the more you seek out help.
We are passionate about helping borrowers pay back their loans in a realistic manner. We offer student loan repayment benefits that companies can implement into their existing benefits package. This allows employers to assist their employees in a practical way while ensuring those with student loan debt have hope for a debt-free future.
Unfortunately, not every company out there claiming to offer student loan repayment benefits is legit. In fact, there are scams on the market that pull people in with the promise of lowered payments or even total forgiveness of debt. Many of these claims are founded in absolute dishonesty.
While this is a disheartening reality, the truth is that you can protect yourself against these kinds of scams. If you are assessing a student loan program, make sure you think clearly and spend time looking into the legitimacy of any claims.
Check out these top tips to avoid student loan scams and reach out anytime to learn more about how your employer can offer student loan repayment benefits through our unique platform.
Understanding The Difference Between Scam, Unnecessary, And True Service
Let’s start with the difference between an actual scam, an unnecessary service, and a truly valuable assistance program.
A scam is something where you pay money and what you were promised never occurs. This could be a promise of student loan consolidation or lower monthly payments. The underlying theme of a true scam is that you gave money or personal information away and never received what you were promised in return. This is similar to any other type of scam, from robocalls that seek your social security number to promises of free cruises that require a down payment you never see again.
In some situations, you pay money for a service and you do, technically, receive the service. However, the scam here is that what you paid for is available for free.
For example, did you know that if you want to lower your monthly payments due to a lack of income, you can go directly to StudentAid.gov and find options for income-based repayments? Similarly, if you want to consolidate two loans, you can call your loan provider for free information.
These scams do indeed deliver a service for a fee, but the service they offer is actually unnecessary and therefore a scam itself.
A True Service
Companies can provide true assistance in repaying your student loans. A common example of this would be when your employer opts into a student loan contribution program. As part of your employment contract, you are offered a monthly payment on your student loans. This is an actual valuable service and may come with other perks, such as an easy dashboard that allows you to automatically make payments or access to professional student-loan debt advisors. This is the type of service we provide at IonTuition through employers.
Common Red Flags Of Student Loan Repayment Scams
We are frustrated by companies scamming student loan borrowers. We offer our services through employers as a component of a financial wellness package, at no cost to the end user. We work with employers to communicate our service to their employees. The biggest red flag is if a company contacts you out of the blue. Keep a lookout for additional red flags.
Telling You To Not Make Payments
Failing to make student loan payments can hurt you drastically. From expensive fees to damaged credit scores, it is never wise to simply stop making student loan payments. If you find yourself in a scenario where you cannot afford your payments, talk to your student loan provider. Be hesitant about a company that tells you to cease making payments.
Making Payments “For You”
If a business asks you to funnel money through them and in exchange they will make your payments on time, be wary. In most cases, these companies are simply latching onto your money and neglecting to make your payment. Ask yourself why this would be the most effective method for payment? Are they somehow getting you a “better deal”? Again, reach out to your student loan provider. Odds are good, they are not approving this company’s “lowered payment”.
Calling You About An Issue
When you reach out to a company for help, you have a chance to research them and find out who they are. When a company calls you out of the blue, think twice—particularly if they are claiming there is some serious issue that needs to be resolved. A common tactic of scams, in general, is to call and add in a fear tactic. Perhaps you are on the brink of being put into deferment—even though you know you have been making payments. Maybe you are suddenly on bad terms with your loan company—unbeknownst to you until this call.
The reality is that no one is going to reach out to you over the phone to tell you about a serious issue. From government agencies to loan companies, there are policies that must be followed and you will never receive a threatening call from a legitimate agency.
Incredible And Contradictory Claims
Another clear indication that you are facing a scam is when the company provides incredible or contradictory claims. For example, if your loan company has told you that you are not eligible for a student loan forgiveness program but a random third party tells you that through their incredible connections you are indeed eligible, it is a good sign you are being scammed. Similarly, any claims that are beyond belief, such as random forgiveness of major debt, should be eyed warily. If something seems far too good to be true, it probably is.
Here at IonTution, we want you to find help through legitimate student loan repayment benefits. Rather than jumping on a bandwagon of incredible claims and costly services, talk to your employer about how they can utilize our program to provide you with student loan assistance.