Better Business Bureau (BBB) has assigned an “F” rating to Strategic Student Solutions LLC, a fraudulent student loan company that has been temporarily shut down by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
An “F” is the lowest possible grade that can be assigned to a company from BBB. BBB cited 197 complaints made against Strategic Student Solutions, 11 complaints that failed to get a response from the student loan company, and 33 unresolved complaints as the reasons why Strategic Student Solutions received such a poor grade.
BBB’s warning against working with Strategic Student Solutions is not the first time the student loan company has been strongly critiqued. Recently, the FTC labeled Strategic Student Solutions as a phony student loan debt relief company and a credit repair scheme.
The FTC has accused the unethical company of stealing millions of dollars from student loan borrowers by falsely promising to lower or completely erase student loan debt, while also offering the same consumers non-existent services that would help their credit.
In late May, the FTC’s request to have Strategic Student Solutions temporarily shut down was approved through a federal court order. The agency is going one step further and is seeking to permanently stop the unethical practices conducted by the student loan company, while also obtaining refunds for defrauded student loan consumers.
According to the FTC complaint, Strategic Student Solutions “told the student loan borrowers they would be enrolled in a loan forgiveness or payment reduction program, and that their monthly payments would be applied to their loans. However, in many cases, consumers discovered that the defendants failed to enroll them in any loan forgiveness or payment reduction programs, and found out that none of their monthly payments were applied to their student loan debt.”
Additionally, the FTC alleges that Strategic Student Solutions employees promised debt relief and credit repair services and charged illegal initial fees of up to $1,200 and monthly payments close to $50.
The owner of Strategic Student Solutions, Dave Green, is also being charged with using funds from the company to pay for his own expenses on things like jewelry, luxury cars, and the construction of a swimming pool.
BBB has offered a few tips in terms of avoiding student loan companies that are operating a scam. For example, do not let anyone tell you to stop making monthly loan payments unless you work out specific terms. Also, never agree to anything that is discussed over the phone, but get everything in writing. Finally, usually when companies are offering a service, they are simply working directly with the loan servicer. This can be done by the student loan borrower for free, instead of paying a fee to the fraudulent company.
This is not the first time BBB and the FTC have warned student loan borrowers of fraudulent student debt relief organizations. In March, LendEDU covered the press release issued by BBB which warned residents in Missouri about Student Loan Forgiveness Agency, a company that was promising consumers it would reduce their debt for an upfront fee. In February, the FTC shut down three debt reduction companies in Florida for scamming people out of nearly $2.4 million. Even earlier in February, an unethical student loan company was making phone calls to borrowers in West Michigan and charging the student debtors an upfront fee to negotiate their student debt on their behalf.
Author: Dave Rathmanner
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