Scammers Prey On Those Paying Back Student Loans - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Scammers Prey On Those Paying Back Student Loans

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Warning for those paying off student loans, a Fargo woman is out $600 after signing up for a student aid service that turned out to be a scam.

The online service called Student Aid Center claims to forgive student loans, saying it's through an Obama program, but as a recent college graduate tells us, that's not the case.

Nikki Cusick graduated from MSUM a couple of years back, and found herself having a hard time paying back her student loans. "It was uh, heartbreaking I think is the right word," she says. So she logged on to Google, and found Student Aid Center, which promised to reduce her payments, and ultimately forgive her federal loan.


"They seem legitimate, because they have an address, they have contact numbers, they talk to you on the emails, and they are very personal in the emails, they communicate like you, they don't sound like a computer," says Cusick.


She went through an application process over email giving them tons of personal information. After being accepted she then started giving them $200 a month. "I didn't find out it was fraud until I had received my actual bill in the mail," says Cusick.


Thinking it was a mistake she called the bank where she got her original loan. "I'm like please, please just tell me you have gotten these payments, and they were like we have not received anything," says Cusick.


Linda Tegtmeier, MSUM Financial Aid Assistant Director says, "It's a scary thing, you are coming out of school, you may have thousands of dollars of loans, to pay off, and you are maybe sitting there saying, I don't know what to do, and yeah there are those that will prey on that."


Simply put, experts say only trust the school you attended, and your loan provider. "I can't stress that enough, contact your servicer, they are there to help you through all of this, and if you have questions they are there to answer them," says Tegtmeier.


"Ask for help from the people you got it from, or from your banks, or people that you know and trust, just don't Google it," says Cusick.  

Paying back student loans can be stressful, but make sure you are looking for help in the right places.


If you've forgotten who your loan provider is, or how to contact them, you can log on to this federal student aid website for more information.


Here's the link: www.nslds.ed.gov

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