Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Beat the burden: Avoid student loan scams

For many college grads, student loan debt is a heavy burden.

And debt-relief companies and scam artists alike know this, promising help to the borrowers.

While many loan forgiveness programs and income-driven repayment plans are legitimate, some debt-relief offers are nothing more than a scam. There also are start-up companies like Gradible, where borrowers can chip away at their debt by completing online tasks and projects. Gradible’s users are paid in “LoanCreds,” which can be redeemed for direct payments toward student loans.

With the average college grad carrying $26,500 in student debt, according to a recent CBS MoneyWatch story, any promise of debt relief is tempting.

But with so many programs and companies making their pitch, borrowers have to stay on alert to avoid scams and find the best repayment option for their situation.

Matthew Dodds, Chief Operating Officer at Dupaco Community Credit Union, shares his philosophy related to debt and getting out of it:

  • If it is too good to be true, it typically is.
  • Getting out of debt is hard work, requiring discipline and focus. Anyone who tells you it is easy is lying. 
  • Systematic and automatic is the best way to get out of debt.

For help navigating student debt, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can be a great place to start. Through a series of questions, the government website helps grads gain a better understanding of their debt and learn more about their repayment options.

A free Dupaco Money Makeover also can help college grads get a better handle on their financial situation.

By Emily Kittle

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