How to avoid a spike in nuisance calls as the White House tries to forgive some student loans

The Biden administration’s plan to forgive some student loans has led to an increase in unsolicited calls offering help for a nominal fee. But the Better Business Bureau and the mother of her three children, who live in Jacksonville, warn people not to let that fool them.

“Family is everything to me. My three children — they are my world. I would do anything for them,” Ashley Aguilar said. “I am like everyone in this entire economy — I can’t afford [extra expenses]”

So Aguilar took advantage of the federal government’s hold on student loan payments during the pandemic. She said unsolicited callers also took advantage of it.

“I’ve already gone through a struggle. So if you’re going to take it away from me — I’ll be in deeper bondage. You’re going to make me homeless,” Aguilar said.

Student loan debt: Education Department announces relaxed rules for debt forgiveness

Aguilar said the person on the phone aggressively tried to coerce her into paying $170 a month for the $11,000 loan immediately, even though the government had suspended the loan until the end of the year.

“My heart is pounding. I’m about to cry. This woman says I have to pay this,” she said.

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The other party on the phone was from student loans and savings. Action News Jax’s Robert Grant called the company and a representative said, “We are a third-party organization or company that will help her fully forgive her loan.”

After some more digging, it appears that student loans and savings are legitimate businesses that claim to help people manage their loans. It’s what I’m doing.

“That’s ridiculous. They can’t do it.” They want to collect fees for doing nothing.”

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Such calls have been around for more than a decade, Stevens said, but there will be more after the White House announced a program that waives up to $20,000.

BBB should only do business with Loan Service Providers and never make advance payments to anyone. You can also report to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Student Loans and Savings is not BBB accredited. It has a 1 star rating and 18 complaints in the past year. When Action News Jax specifically asked about calling Aguilar, the rep said he would call back, but didn’t.

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