Beware of Phone Calls from Dubious Student Loan Consolidation Companies...And Scammers!
The nightmares I've described above are not fictional scenarios that I just dreamed up. I've just read a news article about a company in Florida that had been calling Iowa State University (ISU) students claiming to represent ISU. Apparently, Direct Student Services (DSS) of Florida was lying to students in order to get them to disclose their social security numbers and other critical information, which DSS then used to consolidate students' loans through U.S. Bank. ISU officials let the affected students know that they hadn't been scammed and that their loans were going to be OK with U.S. Bank, but they also took steps to get DSS to stop making the calls. Why didn't ISU go after DSS for making those dishonest solicitations? Apparently because there wasn't,
"anything there that allows us to generate any legal action at all."Pretty creepy to think that DSS can get away with such nonsense!
So all you fellow student loan debtors: beware! There are lots of honest consolidation companies out there, but there are also a few that you need to avoid. Do at least some research before giving anyone your social security number (lookup the company's website, search the Internet to see if others have reported some bad business, etc.); once a scam operator has your number, they can set into motion so much trouble for you that you might spend the following months and maybe even years trying to fix it.
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