Student Loan Company Aims to Stop the Deception

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Nonprofit Student Assistance Foundation gives straight answers to students seeking loans and grants

Before various lawsuits and complaints regarding deceptive student loan advertising came to light earlier this year, Student Assistance Foundation launched a new Web site to deflect deception and offer students a place to get their questions about student borrowing answered honestly. Stop the Deception is the nonprofit student loan company's latest effort in giving students straight and truthful answers when it comes to the often-confusing subjects of student loan debt and consolidation.

"It's particularly important for graduates to read the fine print to make sure they fully understand the terms of the loan and to make sure the company they choose has the customers' best interests in mind," said Jamie Lee, loan sales supervisor at SAF. "This site helps students to do that."

According to Lee, SAF intends to continue to expand the site to identify confusing practices in the student loan industry as they come into play in order to help students negotiate the loan process successfully.

Students may be confused and misguided about many aspects of managing and paying off private or federal student loans. Since most college loans are repaid after graduation, students may not be able to perceive the reality of their debt and engage in careless spending without consequences throughout college years. Students can get caught up in using loan money for items outside of legitimate school expenses -- like trips or pets, for example. Students are sometimes led to believe they can borrow unrealistic amounts that are far above what they can repay in a reasonable amount of time. Later in the life of the loan, when it comes time to consider student loan consolidation programs, students can become even more confused.

Student Assistance Foundation offers several tips to help stop the deception:

  •     Find someone you trust. Ask friends and family what they've done. Then find a trusted, knowledgeable lender with good customer service.
  •     Set a budget and stick to it. Learn what you can afford to borrow and don't exceed it. Then keep a record of how you intend to spend your loan.
  •     Do your research. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Look into as many lenders as you can to compare and contrast their services and gauge their commitment to the customer.
  •     Get out of prison. Think of student debt like it's a prison and make it a priority to get out as soon as possible.
  •     Know your benefits and rates. Some low rates apply to only a few people and some benefits get pulled easier than you think. Know the terms and conditions of all money you borrow.
  •     Start repayment on time. Don't put off repaying your student loans. Get into the habit of making more than the minimum payment.

To get straight answers about student loans visit http://www.stopthedeception.org or call Student Assistance Foundation at (800) 852-2761 ext. 9750.

About Student Assistant Foundation
Student Assistance Foundation is a Montana-based, nonprofit organization that provides students and families nationwide with the knowledge and tools to finance and pursue postsecondary education. Student Assistance Foundation offers a wide range of programs including grants, community outreach, student loan consolidation, counseling and training on education finance planning.

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Janet K. Drexel
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