Advertiser Disclosure

Borrower Beware: University of One

Loans, Student Loans

This company is on the NerdWallet Student Loan Watch List. The list flags student-loan businesses and individuals hit by enforcement actions, court judgments or liens, or bad ratings from the Better Business Bureau. Learn more in Who Gets Listed. Have you dealt with this business, or encountered a suspicious student-loan company that NerdWallet public interest reporters should investigate? Let us know at watchlist@nerdwallet.com.

University of One was barred from doing student loan relief business in Illinois and was ordered in 2016 to pay a $10,000 civil penalty.

The Illinois attorney general sued the company in 2015, accusing it of charging upfront fees between $350 and $1,200 to student-loan borrowers who sought help lowering their monthly payments or getting out of default. The company would then complete an application for federal borrower assistance that is available free to consumers from the U.S. Department of Education, the lawsuit said.

Advertisements for the company also erroneously claimed it could erase student-loan debt by enrolling borrowers in forgiveness programs, the state alleged. “Default is Bad,” read one such advertisement. “Forgiveness is Good! Ready to Fix your Loans? We think you should!”

University of One also conducted business as Student Consulting Group and Help Assist Me Default Resolution Services.

Enforcement actions: An Illinois judge entered a default judgment in 2016 for unfair and deceptive practices. In addition to the fine and the ban on doing debt settlement business in the state, the order voided all of the company’s contracts in Illinois and required restitution of $820 to two consumers.

The Illinois judgment left the companies free to do business in any other state.

The state of Florida imposed two liens against the company in 2016 for a total of $5,750. Georgia also imposed a roughly $1,500 lien the same year.

What the company claims to provide: Help lowering monthly payments, getting out of default, removing wage garnishments and seeking loan forgiveness

Based: Atlanta

Management: Scott Klein, principal; Derek Kramer, vice president; Cornelius Scott, member

Sources: Illinois attorney general; Cook County Circuit Court; Florida Department of State; Georgia Department of Revenue