Is This Student Loan Company Legit?

You never have to pay for legit student loan help no matter how real a company seems.

Anna HelhoskiJuly 28, 2020
Is This Student Loan Company Legit?

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Let’s say you can’t make your student loan payment and you’re looking for help. You find a company through an advertisement that says it will help you, but you’re not sure if it’s legit.

Sometimes the company is waving a red flag that is a clear marker of a scam:

  • It demands money upfront.

  • It promises immediate relief.

  • It pressures you to sign up.

Some of the companies may take your money and disappear, and many others may deliver what they promise in exchange for your money. But that’s a scam too: You never have to pay for legit student loan help.

“Regardless of whether they called themselves ‘innovative’ or a ‘tech company,’ if someone is charging you any amount of money to enroll in a federal right or protection or benefit, that is a scam,” says Seth Frotman, executive director of the Student Borrower Protection Center, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit also included in our roundup below.

Don’t be misled by an official-sounding name like "Student Advisory Board" or a .org website. Scammers change names frequently and often mimic the names of government agencies or well-established nonprofit advisors.

Your best bet is always to try to consolidate your loans, enroll in a new repayment plan or pursue forgiveness on your own. Your servicer or lender are the best first place to start. If you do need additional help, look for nonprofit groups that never charge a free for advice or assistance.

To help you navigate what’s legit and what’s not in the student loan assistance industry, here’s a roundup of the companies borrowers are searching for. We've identified legitimate companies and organizations with a history of borrower service with no strings attached.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. American Student Loan Advocates is not a nonprofit organization: It collects a fee for document preparation assistance, enrollment in an income-driven repayment plan and federal loan consolidation. Here’s information on consolidating your federal loans and enrolling in an income-driven repayment plan on your own.

Yes. CornerStone is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about CornerStone.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Doan Solutions offers assistance with getting student loan forgiveness and consolidation. There are only a few ways to get student loans forgiven and you can do it yourself. Enrollment in income-driven repayment or consolidation through the federal government does not require the assistance of a third-party company.

Yes. Edfinancial Services is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about Edfinancial Services.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Federal Document Assistance Center offers assistance with applying for federal student loan forgiveness and consolidation. There are only a few ways to get student loans forgiven and you can do it yourself. Enrollment in income-driven repayment or consolidation through the federal government does not require the assistance of a third-party company.

Yes. FedLoan Servicing is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. It is also the servicer that manages Public Service Loan Forgiveness applications. Learn more about FedLoan Servicing.

Yes. Great Lakes is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about Great Lakes.

Yes. Granite State Management & Resources Student Loan Servicing, known as GSMR, is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about GSMR.

Yes. The Institute of Student Loan Advisors offers access to free student loan advice and dispute resolution. It never charges money or requires registration to receive services.

Yes. Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about MOHELA.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. National Student Debt Forgiveness Center offers assistance with applying for federal student loan forgiveness and consolidation. There are only a few ways to get student loans forgiven and you can do it yourself. Enrollment in income-driven repayment or consolidation through the federal government does not require the assistance of a third-party company.

Yes. The National Student Legal Defense Network is a nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) nonprofit that represents students with issues such as fraud or borrower defense to repayment.

Yes. Navient is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. It also offers private student loan refinancing. However, Navient is also the subject of multiple pending lawsuits that allege it harmed student loan borrowers throughout the repayment process. Learn more about Navient.

Yes. Nelnet is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about Nelnet.

Yes. Oklahoma Student Loan Authority is a private company contracted by the federal government to service federal student loans. Learn more about OSLA.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. In October 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was granted a temporary restraining order in the Central District of California against Consumer Advocacy Center Inc., also known as Premier Student Loan Center; True Count Staffing Inc.; SL Account Management; Prime Consulting LLC; and Financial Preparation Services. The CFPB says the company charges unlawful advance fees for debt relief services.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Riverwalk Debt Solutions offers assistance with applying for federal student loan forgiveness and consolidation. There are only a few ways to get student loans forgiven and you can do it yourself. Enrollment in income-driven repayment or consolidation through the federal government does not require the assistance of a third-party company.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Summer offers a loan calculator that tells you which repayment plans you qualify for, along with assistance in applying for a new repayment plan, consolidation and forgiveness.

Instead you can use the Loan Simulator through the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site to find out what repayment plan your loans qualify for. Applying for income-driven repayment plans, federal loan consolidation and student loan forgiveness can all be done through your servicer for free. You don’t need the assistance of a third party to do so.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Student Debt Relief Group offers information on federal student loan offerings such as student loan forgiveness and federal loan consolidation.

However, it also works with a “network of private companies who can offer assistance for consolidations, reducing monthly payments, and applying for many of the forgiveness programs.” They’re open in acknowledging that the companies they work with “are private companies who, for a fee, assist borrowers with student loan solutions.”

These services are available for you to do for free and you do not need to pay any company for assistance with them. If you’re having difficulty with your lender or servicer, try these tips.

Yes. The Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project is a project of the National Consumer Law Center. It is a free resource that offers details to borrowers looking for information on their options and rights.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. The Student Loan Help Group is not a nonprofit organization: It collects a fee for document preparation and enrollment in federal student loan repayment plans. You can always do this yourself. Here’s more information on income-driven repayment options available.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. Student Loan Solutions collects a fee for document preparation assistance and submission of forms to consolidate your federal student loans. Here’s how to consolidate federal loans on your own.

Yes. The Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization started by Seth Frotman, the former top student loan official at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The organization engages in advocacy, policymaking and litigation strategy to provide relief for student loan borrowers.

You never need to pay for student loan help you can get for free. U.S. Student Loan Center offers its own student loan calculator to find out if you qualify for income-driven repayment. Instead you can use the Loan Simulator available on the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid site to find out what repayment plan your loans qualify for.

U.S. Student Loan Center also offers assistance with enrollment in an income-driven repayment plan. All federal direct loan borrowers can qualify for Revised Pay As You Earn income-driven repayment plan. You apply through your servicer and you don’t need the assistance of a third party to do so.

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