Have you recently been contacted by Premier Student Loan Center? If so, you should know that online reviews suggest that Premier Student Loan Center is not a reputable company.
This is a company that bills itself as a solution to your student loan debt problems. They say they can lower your student loan payments and generally help you with student loan services—for a fee. These promises can sound enticing. After all, many borrowers struggle not only understanding student loan concepts like interest capitalization, but also with basic services like managing monthly payments.
You should know, however, that you don't need to pay for help with your student loans. So if you have been contacted by Premier Student Loan Center, here's what you need to know.
What services does Premier Student Loan Center offer?
Premier Student Loan Center's website says it's a document preparation company. After speaking with a representative, you will be guided "to determine your goals and needs," and the company "will identify the best loan programs offered by the U.S. Department of Education that you qualify for. Many of the programs can change without notice and can be difficult to navigate or find on your own," the website claims.
By suggesting that managing your student loan debt is too difficult to navigate on your own, Premier Student Loan Center markets itself as a necessary intermediary.
They say they can help borrowers through the consolidation and federal loan forgiveness process.
According to several reviews of the company on the Better Business Bureau website, for these services, the company charges borrowers five or six monthly payments of $200-$239, plus $20-$40 payments that presumably go toward paying off the loan. One reviewer said they paid the company a total of $1,395.
Is Premier Student Loan legit?
It's not illegal for a company to charge a fee to help you with student loans. But the truth is that you don't need to pay for help.
In fact, the services the company offers—such as lowering your monthly payment, helping you through the consolidation process or even seeing if you qualify for loan forgiveness—are things you can do for free, often with a quick phone call.
Instead of paying a third-party company to help you sort out your student loan debt issues, you can work directly with your loan servicer free of charge.
Plus, the Better Business Bureau website shows nearly 80 complaints filed against this company. The grievances include these claims from customers:
- They were no longer able to reach the company to ask questions after they agreed to pay fees.
- Representatives of the company asked for a borrower's FSA ID and then changed the password on their FSA accounts without permission. (Note: NEVER give out your FSA password.)
- Fees and payments made to Premier Student Loan Center were never applied toward student loan balances.
- Many borrowers said they thought the company was a scam and were looking for ways to get their money back.
- Warn, "Please do not fall for this scam!"
- Report being harassed by phone despite being on the national Do Not Call list.
- Say they were rushed through the process.
- Were misled into believing the fees they paid the company would be applied toward their student loans.
And if that's not enough, some borrowers like this Reddit user also report that they were told by Premier Student Loan Center that they qualified for full loan forgiveness despite not working for the government or qualifying nonprofits.
What to do if you think you've been scammed
Two big red flags that a company is a scam are:
- If they ask you for personal information like your FSA ID, and
- If they charge a fee for basic loan services that you can do for free.
Thankfully, if think you've already fallen victim for Premier Student Loan Center or another questionable company, there are a few steps you can take.
- Call your bank or credit card company to stop payment on any possible charges.
- Report the possible fraud to the three major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian and TransUnion—and ask for a freeze on your credit report. This protects you against fraud destroying your credit.
- Did you give out your FSA ID? The Office of the Inspector General can instruct you on next steps.
- File a complaint against the business with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau online or by phone at 85-411-2372.
To make sure you're safe from fraud in the future, check out our tips to avoiding student loan scams.
Need help keeping current on your student loans? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Lower Student Loan Payments.