We’re the Federal Trade Commission here to talk about student loan debt relief scams. We’ve got Federal Student Aid and The Institute of Student Loan Advisors with us. Ask Us Anything.
We’re the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency here to talk about student loan repayment scams. Today we’re joined by Michelle Grajales, a staff attorney specializing in debt relief from our Bureau of Consumer Protection.
We’ll also have questions answered by Colleen Campbell, a program manager, and Travis Sturlaugson, a management and program analyst, who both specialize in federal student loan programs, repayment, and servicing from the Policy Implementation and Oversight directorate at Federal Student Aid (FSA). Last but not least, we’ll have Betsy Mayotte, President at The Institute of Student Loan Advisors (TISLA), a non-profit that provides free advice on managing your student loans. Betsy has worked in the student loan industry doing compliance and advocacy work for over 20 years.
We’re excited to be here. In the last five years, the FTC has shut down more than 15 of these scam companies and gotten nearly $300 million in monetary judgments.
We know there has been a lot of talk lately about student loan debt forgiveness. There are legitimate ways to get your loans forgiven or lower your monthly payments, but there are also a lot of scammers out there that leave people in even more debt. The biggest thing to know is this: there’s nothing a company can do for you that you can’t do for yourself for free.
If you have federal loans, you can learn more about your options at StudentAid.gov/repay or by contacting federal student loan servicer. If you have private loans, contact your loan servicer directly. If you don’t know who your private student loan servicer is, look at a recent billing statement.
We’ll be taking your questions on May 19 from 1-2pm EST.
EDIT: Thanks for all of the great questions. That's a wrap! For more information please visit ftc.gov/studentloans and studentaid.gov