Student Loan Scheme Victims Getting Refunds

The Federal Trade Commission is sending checks totalling more than $316,000 to nearly 11,000 people who lost money in a student loan debt relief scheme.

James R. Hood
James R. Hood

There are some people who would argue that the federal government is the biggest student loan scammer out there, given how many people were falsely promised their loans would be forgiven if they worked in public service jobs.  

So far only five percent have had their loans forgiven. But that's a story for another day. Today's story is just about a plan old scam allegedly committed by a private company.

The Federal Trade Commission is sending checks totalling more than $316,000 to nearly 11,000 people who lost money in a student loan debt relief scheme.

The companies involved are SLAC (which also used the name Aspyre), Navloan, and Student Loan Assistance Center, and their owner, Adam Owens. The FTC says the companies, falsely told consumers that, for an upfront fee of $699 and a monthly fee of $39, the defendants would permanently lower or eliminate student loan debt.

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Half a million borrowers will receive progress toward student loan forgiveness.

In reality, the payments could change every year, and loan forgiveness was not guaranteed for any consumer. The FTC also alleged that the defendants paid consumers for positive reviews on the Better Business Bureau website and failed to disclose those payments.

The FTC already has the names and addresses of the people it has identified as victims, so there is no need to contact the agency.

People who receive checks should deposit or cash their checks within 90 days, as indicated on the check. Recipients who have questions about their checks can call the refund administrator, Analytics, at 888-440-0371. The FTC never requires people to pay money or provide account information to cash a refund check.

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James R. Hood

Jim is a publishing entrepreneur and journalist. He founded ConsumerAffairs in 1998 and earlier was the founder of Zapnews, after holding executive posts at the Associated Press.