October 13, 2017
Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that his office is partnering with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to target student loan debt relief scams. The sweep, called “Operation Game of Loans,” will target scammers who use deceptive marketing tactics, charge illegal upfront fees, and fail to provide expert services.
“Education is one of the most important investments a person can make,” said AG Stein. “North Carolinians working hard to pay off their student loan debt deserve protection from fraud. I am proud to work with federal and state partners who also prioritize protecting student borrowers.”
In March, Attorney General Stein resolved a lawsuit against Student Loan Group (SLG) for charging illegal upfront fees and failing to deliver the promised debt management services. As a result, Student Loan Group was required to refund $377,048 to borrowers. This represented a full refund to consumers of the illegal fees charged by SLG.
More than 60 percent of North Carolina’s college graduates have student loan debt. The average student loan borrower in North Carolina owes more than $25,000. Student loan debt in the U.S. totals over $1.4 trillion, which makes it the second largest debt category after mortgages.
Consumers should remember that only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness and ask for upfront fees. Borrowers should never share their Federal Student Aid ID, even if the company claims to be affiliated with the government.
Background on AG Stein fighting for student borrowers: