Picture this: You are worried and tensed about securing a student loan for fulfilling your higher education dreams. Suddenly you receive a call or a text or an email from an unknown person stating that they work with the Department of Education and they can help you in acquiring a loan. Out of desperation, you sign up for this and then you are asked to submit your personal details and pay a small processing fee. Sounds great, right? However, you don’t just randomly happen to stumble upon a pot of gold. This was a typical example of how a student loan scam works. There are way too many fraudsters out there who are exploiting the needs of innocent students and robbing them of the hard-earned green. In this article, we will see the most common ways to spot student loan scams in order to avoid falling for such traps.
Student loans can be complicated, especially when there are so many options for financial aid and technical repayment terms. Almost all the students take some kind of loan to study further and this is why a good percentage of these students end up as victims of frauds and other scams. If you are also a student who is looking out for the best student loan options then read this guide till the end to be familiar with student loan scam red flags. Alternatively, you could also fill up this form
Before we tread ahead, let us understand the type of student loan scams that exist. Broadly speaking there are two types of scams: first is the scam that helps you in acquiring student loans and second is the one that assures to help you to pay off your student loan as quickly as possible. These two types are different but the ways to spot both the student loan scams are more or less the same so continue reading.
Surefire Ways To Spot A Student Loan Scam
Here are 5 proven and effective ways to spot student loan scams.
1. Check Whether You Are Asked An Advanced Upfront Fee
A deal wherein you are promised a large sum of money in the form of loans on the condition of paying a transaction/processing fee is most likely an advanced fee scam. You may be even told that this is a refundable fee in case you are sceptical at the beginning. No matter how much the company claims it to be a standard procedure, do not trust them. This is definitely a fraudulent company and in no way is the process a standard procedure. Forget about getting the money refunded.
This is one of the most common student loan scams. In the majority of cases, the company is often quite believable, and the request doesn’t seem unreasonable. If you haven’t heard the name of the company before then do a little research. Make sure they have a legitimate street address, website and contact number. Search for reviews for this company.
Recommended Read: How To Get An Education Loan Without Collateral
2. The Company Is Ready To Offer Loan Immediately
The companies that guarantee you a loan amount will be transferred to your universities or your personal bank account within a few hours are definitely scams. Processing of loans takes time and the banks do a proper document evaluation before they grant you loans. Anything that seems too good to be true may not be anywhere near ‘good’. If a company is also keen for you to make the payment immediately, then halt a second and think thoroughly.
3. Charging Consolidation Fee For Loan Consolidation
Most students consider consolidating their loans into one single ‘big’ loan. This makes it easier to manage your loan and you might even get access to longer repayment terms. If you are also looking to get this done, beware of certain firms.
The fraudulent firms tend to charge a consolidation fee, which according to their claims will cover the cost of processing and administration, but in reality, these costs actually do nothing. They often target private student loan holders because federal student loan holders can consolidate their student loans for free. Looking out for such companies is one of the best ways to spot student loan scams.
Also Read: How to Refinance Federal Student Loans
4. Elimination of Your Student Loan Debt Entirely
Some loan companies may promise to eliminate your student loan entirely but please know that there is no such thing as fast loan forgiveness. There are several federal student loan forgiveness programs and if you are keen on knowing these reliable methods then you can read this blog as well: The Complete List of Student Loan Forgiveness Programmes.
So, if you are promised to be saved of your debt in any way apart from the programs listed in the blog then that’s a red flag right there.
Read More: Important Tips For Dealing With Debt
5. You Are Asked To Share Personal or Sensitive Information
Some companies may ask you to provide Federal Student Aid IDs or Social Security numbers. These data give businesses the ability to sign in to your account and make decisions on your behalf. Legitimate sources of student loan help, such as NFCC-affiliated nonprofit credit counseling agencies, never ask for such information.
Additionally, some debt relief companies may ask you to sign the power of attorney agreements. This would allow the businesses to communicate with your loan servicer in your name. Note that you’re not obligated to sign such documents; in fact, doing so may cause you to lose access to your student loan account. Looking out for such companies is one of the ways to spot student loan scams.
Hope you are now aware of the methods on how to avoid student loan scams and the ways to spot student loan scams. Good luck and remember UniCreds is always there to help you figure out student loans. We are one of the most trusted brands in the domain of studying abroad student loans.
Thank you for reading this blog ‘Top 5 Effective Ways to Spot Student Loan Scams’. If you enjoyed reading this blog and would like to continue reading more about loan frauds and scams then do check out our following blogs.