I am very saddened by a turn of events that occurred yesterday. I received a call from a company called AP Student Loan Relief (Lying companies website) and was told a plethora of lies. Here is what went down: Somehow they got my number although I am not sure exactly how. I do have student loans so its possible they received the number from some lead list. Ok, no problem. Well as most of you know, I have worked in the student loan industry for 9 years. I may not know everything but I am definitely an expert in my field and know when something is not true.
Now, I spoke to a man named Elisha (I know that sounds like a girls name) who began to ask me general questions about my debt. I answered honestly all his questions about my balances, my lenders, my income and so forth. He asked for my social but I didn’t give it to him. I don’t just give out my social to anyone who asks and neither should you. I preceded to ask him questions about his company. He stated their company was hired by Department of Education to broker for them…hummm I doubt it [Lie # 1]. I continued on with the conversation. He said based on the information I provided I would qualify for one of the government programs. Cool. Now someone who doesn’t know their options should educate themselves on what they are and some people may need help so I wasn’t mad at what he was doing at that point other than the lie that he told about working for Dept. of Ed. Oh but then came [Lie # 2]. I explained to him that I had undergrad and grad loans and would love to do the IBR application at some point. He stated I would have to consolidate all of my loans with Department of Education to qualify. This is not true. If your loans are with Sallie Mae or Nelnet or Great Lakes you can still get IBR. The application allows for either FFELP or Direct loans. Consolidation could end up costing you more money and you don’t necessarily want to do that.
So then we get to the big kicker lie…So he started off by explaining their costs. Now I understand if a company is doing something for you there should be a cost. Especially if they are saving you money, consolidating your loans advantageously and assisting you with your accounts throughout the year. However, you should never ever lie to your potential customers. [Lie # 3] Elisha whose employee ID is 352-448-3785, stated that Dept. of Ed charges a fee of $599 to set up your IBR payment. He stated, instead, they do it in 3 payments of $266 per month. This is a Lie, Lie, Lie. There is no charge to apply for any repayment option with Dept. of Ed or any of your other lenders and you CAN do it yourself. Many times I meet with graduates who want to pay to have someone manage their account, handle their lenders and get everything back on track and for that I understand the fee. But to say if they try to do it themselves with Department of Education there is a flat charge of $599 is a bold face lie.
No one should be lied to. No one should be given false information that sways their decision one way or another. A potential client should be told upfront what all their options are, allowing them to decide for themselves.
And I have no idea how they were selected by AFSLR which only leads me to believe they are in lying cahoots together. I tried calling AFSLR but they didnt answer, there was no way to leave a message and so I emailed them in hopes to hear back so they can explain themselves. Until they do I can only fear the worse. If I get an explanation back I will update this post.
Its companies like these that cause clients to be hesitant about seeking help. You need get get help with managing your student loan debt but not from someone who lies. Its hard to know who is telling the truth and who is not but if you are ever in doubt you can call the Department of Education and ask or go to https://studentaid.ed.gov/ to get more information.
You can also contact Degrees of Success anytime to get general questions answered at no cost to you. You can reach them at (813) 528-1102 or online at www.DegreesofSuccessInfo.com.
Don’t look for help and walk away with lies. Get the right info so you can make the right decisions!