From tens, to hundreds, to now thousands of complaints against major student loan servicers have been making headlines once again. So what’s all the fuss about? Allegations of faulty documentation, questionable business practices and claims of PREDATORY behavior- dealing out pricey loans to borrowers (that some are saying the servicers knew were likely to default), are all racking up. At the top of the list? Navient- which has accumulated over 8,000+ complaints and is now being sued by the state of Pennsylvania for 4 billion dollars in abusive interest charges. Yikes! According to CNBC, Navient denied these claims and adds that Pennsylvania’s suit was filed without proper review.
With the average student borrower now owing nearly $28k while the national student loan debt clocks in at $1.4 trillion dollars, here’s what you can do to prevent becoming debt prey.
Tip 1: Shield Up & Protect Yourself!
A debt collector and/or loan servicer’s main job is not to look out for your best interest, it’s to get money… period. This means, you have to watch your own back while navigating through the financial wild. Always do your research before taking out new loans (i.e. what’s the best interest rate, what’s the servicer’s reputation look like online, are there better options etc). If you already have student debt and don’t plan on taking out more, check out tips 2 & 3.
Tip 2: Flawless Records
One of the biggest causes of defaults, overpaying and financial fines typically comes from the lack of accurate documentation. Outdated income, missed forms/dates, heck even a typo could cost you big. Always triple check your paperwork, read all fine print and set calendar reminders to yourself of payment and paperwork deadlines.
Tip 3: Conduct Annual Check-Ups
You go to the doctor each year for a physical don’t you? Well, the same care should be taken with your student loan repayment plan. If you’re in an income driven repayment program, make sure to keep up with your annual renewal forms and send off dates. Even if you’re not in IDR… babies, changes in martial status, career moves (up or down) and even moving can all affect what you may or may not qualify for. With that said, it’s always a good idea to do a quick plan check up (at least once a year) just to make sure you’re in the right repayment plan to fit your most current situation.
Don’t want to deal with the hassle or what-if worries? Unlike servicers and collection agencies, third party companies like DocuPop have the BORROWER’S best interest in mind, not the other way around. Our professional student loan debt advisers are here to be an advocate for YOU! Forget about waiting on hold and getting transferred from one department to the next; our friendly, knowledgeable reps guide you through each step of the process so that you thoroughly understand the pros and cons to all of the unique, personalized options you may qualify for. We even handle all of the paperwork and red tape for you! Experiencing #FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) yet? Click the start button below for your FREE consultation to see what Docupop can do to help.
Disclaimer: Docupop is a private company, not affiliated with the Department of Education. The DOE offers several programs that may offer lower monthly loan payments for borrowers who meet the qualifications based on income and family size. Lower monthly payments may lead to longer student loan maturity periods, increasing the total amount of interest over the life of the loan. The DOE also offers programs that may forgive some or all of the borrower’s loan balance. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program (PSLF) is based on the number of qualified payments made under the program while working full-time for a qualifying employer. Other programs require a specific number of qualifying payments and then forgive the remaining balance once those payments are completed, without any public service obligation. Depending on the type of forgiveness, any amounts forgiven may be treated as taxable income for income tax purposes, please consult your tax professional. More information can be found on the DOE website: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation
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