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When your student loans are difficult and challenging to manage, the promise of student loan forgiveness can be enticing. But many companies who offer to help graduates get debt relief are only trying to scam people out of their money, and anyone who is currently working to repay such loans needs to learn about the warning signs.

Although these companies offer to help eliminate your student loans, they only help you consolidate them, but that’s not the worst part. The debt consolidation services with which they provide their customers are free when you go through the government, and many former students have already been tricked to pay the unneeded fees. The following information will arm you with the tools to avoid these scams, allowing you to put your worries to rest.

They Charge an Upfront Fee

The No. 1 red flag for which to look is a company that asks for money before they will help you manage your student loans. This tactic indicates that the company is trying to generate a profit by helping people consolidate their student debt, and doing so is illegal in many states. If you speak with a representative who asks for your billing details, it’s time to walk away before you become the next victim.

They Use Official Names

When trying to take advantage of people who are unable to pay their student loans, these companies will often use names that sound official in their titles and domains to earn credibility. But a company that uses federal or national titles is not always affiliated with an approved agency. If the website on which you are seeking assistance does not end with a .gov extension, be careful. When you are not sure whether your prospective service provider is legitimate, contact your lender directly for guidance. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to stay out of trouble, and it can save you a lot of money.

Unrealistic Promises

If a company offers to forgive your student debt or to reduce your payments overnight, they are lying. Although debt forgiveness does exist, the government only offers it to people who meet certain requirements. These companies will also use debt consolidation loans to help people reduce their payments. When you are trying to decide on a path, remember that these steps take time and that nobody can determine whether or not you qualify until they look at your situation. Rather than backing them up, the scammers use the unrealistic promises only to grab your attention and to get your payment information.

Aggressive Advertising

Companies that invest a lot of resources into an advertising campaign are doing their best to generate revenue. So when you see debt relief services on Facebook or other social media platforms, ignoring them is your best course of action. Upon a closer inspection, you will likely find many of the other warning signs present when a company tries to get your attention with aggressive advertising practices. If you call the number or visit the website, there is a good chance that you will end up throwing money away.

Final Thoughts

Some people will say and do anything that it takes to get money, and you must always keep this fact at the front of your mind if you don’t want to get conned. With the majority of companies that offer debt relief trying to get a quick buck, people often feel discouraged and hopeless. If you are still searching for answers, then turn to the official Federal Student Aid website, and you will see all of the credible solutions that are available to you.