Here are a few tips from the FTC on how California consumers with student loan debt can protect themselves against student loan scams.

Unfortunately, student loan repayment scams are on the rise in California and throughout the country. In fact, scammers have ripped off so many consumers that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has intervened. Through an initiative the organization calls “Game of Loans,” the FTC is cracking down on fraudsters looking to defraud individuals with student loan debts. Also, in an attempt to educate consumers in California about the dangers of student loan scams, the FTC has offered some tips. Finally, all California consumers with past-due student loans should know their rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This way, they can protect themselves against abusive debt collectors.

FTC Tips to Help California Consumers Protect Themselves Against Student Loan Scams

Fraudsters are very much aware of the fact that a lot of California consumers are struggling with student debt. So, they are taking advantage of the situation. They contact indebted individuals and offer them better and cheaper ways to pay off student loans. Some scammers even claim that they can get loans completely forgiven – for a fee.

Sadly, when consumers in California fall for student loan repayment scams, none of the money they pay in goes toward paying down their debts. Of course, most of the fraudsters who run these scams pitch programs that seem legitimate. This is why they are so successful. Yet, by following these tips from the FTC, California consumers can learn how to avoid scammers out to prey on their panic.

Run from “companies” that charge upfront fees.

Typically, legitimate companies don’t charge consumers in California upfront for student loan debt assistance. Actually, it is illegal for these companies to ask for payment before performing agreed-upon services. Therefore, you shouldn’t trust your student loan issues to any company that demands immediate payment. Instead, just assume it’s a scam and look elsewhere for assistance.

Don’t believe anyone who promises quick student loan forgiveness.

If any so-called “student loan professional” promises to get your student loan debts forgiven with little or no knowledge of your situation, they are lying to you. California consumers with student loan debts can sometimes get partial or full forgiveness, but they must go through the proper channels. Unfortunately, the process involves a lot more than simply answering an ad found online.

Don’t let a Department of Education seal fool you.

In order to fool as many indebted California residents as possible, most scammers go out of their way to make their “companies” seem legitimate. Sadly, it is fairly easy to snip an image of a Department of Education seal from a government website and throw it up on a bogus page. So, regardless of how official a website may seem at first glance, always do your research before signing up for services.

Avoid sharing your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID with third parties.

If a California consumer allows this number to fall into the hands of an identity thief, they can use it to swipe your financial aid information from U.S. Department of Education websites. So, you should keep this number safe at all times. Then, if someone touting themselves as a “student loan professional” presses to reveal your ID, this is likely a sign that you’re dealing with a scammer.

Why California Consumers with Past-Due Student Loan Debt Should Understand their Rights Under the FDCPA

When consumers in California receive letters and phone calls from debt collectors about past-due student loans, they should know that these agents are not legally permitted to use certain tactics. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors must treat consumers with respect. They may not use harsh language with you, threaten you with aggressive actions, or discuss your debt with third parties. Debt collection agents are also prohibited from calling at all hours of the night and morning.

In addition, if you ask a debt collector to stop calling – in writing – they must comply. If, however, they fail to do so, or if they commit any of the FDCPA violations mentioned above, you can make them stop. Also, you don’t have to deal with debt collector harassment on your own. Just contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in California, and we’ll immediately intervene on your behalf. You’ll get immediate access to an experienced FDCPA attorney who will end the harassment. Then, if we file a successful action against an FDCPA violating debt collector, you may receive payment for damages.

How to Stop Debt Collector Harassment in California

Don’t put up with abusive debt collectors. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been ending debt collector harassment and cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in cases that are settled. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.

Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (855) 956-2089 or sending him a message through our contact page.

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