It's a sad fact that tens of thousands of people are struggling to pay off their student loans to the government. Now, many scammers are taking advantage of the situation by tricking these prior students into paying a "fee" to reduce their student loan debt drastically, sometimes by half. These scammer sites say that they will renegotiate the loans if you will pay a one-time "renegotiating" fee, somewhat hefty, but much less than the loan. It sounds legit. It sounds wonderful. It sounds too good to be true. It is. It's a scam!
The government wants to go after these scammers, but it needs help. On June 22, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau asked Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Bing, Yahoo, and other online companies to help them in this cause. Since the scammers use these sites to find potential victims, these online companies can target would-be scammers much better than the government could.
There is a student-loan renegotiation program out there (Department of Education renegotiation program), but there is no fee... it's actually free. If you see an offer to reduce your debt of any kind, communicate directly with the bank, organization or other company. Do not communicate with a potential scammer. Find out first if it is a scam, then proceed. If there is a "hurry and do it now" instruction, don't! By now, you should know not to believe everything you see online! If you're still unsure, talk to a knowledgeable friend or family member before you give any money away. Better to be safe than sorry!