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Modifying student loans without getting scammed

Fake promises cost students millions
Posted at 6:00 AM, Jul 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 10:23:23-04

A lot of students are getting a break from school, and if you're a family with a college-age student, you may be financially preparing for the fall.

This is a warning for you from a major student loan servicer.

On its front webpage, Cornerstone says someone is "posing as a legitimate loan servicer and offering paid repayment services."

But it's not legit. The big giveaway? One word: "paid"!

Kelsey Sheehy with says it is illegal to charge you up front to lower or settle your debt before that work is done.

The government has been cracking down on fake loan servicers. They say servicers have taken more than $100 million from people, charging up to $1,000 up front and promising loan forgiveness or modifications that they can't make happen.

Sheehy says there are legitimate businesses that offer to help but she says they can't do anything you can't do on your own for free.

These are some signs of a possible student loan scam:

  • Upfront fees or "membership costs"
  • Promised loan forgiveness
  • Wanting your FSA password
  • Promoting a "relationship" with the Department of Education

You can work out loan repayment or consolidation through legitimate loan servicers at the government's student loan website.

Loan forgiveness is possible but rare. It depends on your public service job, disability or closure of your school.

Click here for more on student loan scams.