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I Gave My Student Loan FAFSA PIN to a Debt Help Company. Help! – Amy

“Dear Steve,

I saw the link for StudentLoanSupport.us on Facebook and clicked on the link. All it asked for is my husband’s name, our state and phone number. Shortly after we were contacted by Craig with Student Loan Support. We put off the discussion until today when he called me (Amy) about my husband (David)’s loans.

I was on the phone for about a hour and half with Craig. During which I asked for his business license number (as suggested by your website). I had already given him my husband’s FAFSA PIN and Social Security Number, yes I read on your website AFTER the fact that no company should ever ask for your PIN. I need to know what to do now. I am completely stressed that now my husband’s identity will be stolen and our credit will be ruined forever. Please let me know what to do.

I have to know if they will use my information to scam us and how do I make sure I prevent this from happening. I have already changed our FAFSA PIN, but what can I do about giving him my husband’s social?

He emailed me the form after he asked me for my bank information which I refused to give him over the phone. After reading everything on your site I am going to send in the cancellation and not sign any other form.

I am just now EXTREMELY stressed about my husband’s information being used in some form of a scam. Please let me know what all you need about the company. I have two emails including the forms and their website they forwarded me.

After reading another article I feel like the main focus of the company is to charge the fees and make money off us that way, but also I didn’t know about the personal information I gave out. I normally am extremely cautious about this but he was very persuasive and now I am hitting myself for it!!!! Please HELP!!!

Amy”

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The Answer

Dear Amy,

The odds of your personal information being used in a bad way is statistically small. While I have no idea what that company practice is I would be extremely surprised if they released it to anyone.

But if you wanted to monitor your credit report for free, visit Credit Karma. It’s a smart thing to do anyway.

You did the right thing by changing your PIN and more importantly you learned a big lesson in what not to do.

If you have not looked into options yourself, please read The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Student Loans You Can’t Afford. That information will get you headed in the right direction, for free.

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Big Hug!

I Gave My Student Loan FAFSA PIN to a Debt Help Company. Help!   Amy
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If you have a credit or debt question you’d like to ask just use the online form. I’m happy to help you totally for free.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • Chad

    Thank you Steve for the clarity. Steve I also noticed that with a decline for debt relief in the credit card space and with new companies in the student loan space your articles and coverage have changed but you are less willing to convict these companies of being a scam. Kudos to you.

    I guess when I hear these types of stories I have a few thoughts….

    Was the sales agent persuasive or was he telling Amy about a federal program that she did not know about till the advertisement was seen online and at which point she spent 90 minutes listening to a sales pitch so that seems like if your on the phone for 90 minutes the service would probably help you. It reassures me that if the person quoted a fee as she mentioned that the sales agent Craig probably did his job. He also sent contract’s and other information so I doubt that Craig is a scam as mentioned in Amy’s write up. Not sure Craig and his company should be considered a scam or a hero for spending that much time as other companies may want to 1 call close and if your on the phone for more than 30 minutes you suck.

    Also coming to mind is something that bother’s me as a reader. The student loan industry has exploded. I am aware of several companies that are doing 4-5,000 federal consolidations per month. I am also aware of 7 companies that have received informational requests from the CFPB regarding there business practices. We all in the industry are aware they are looking to make a ruling to make the business performance based with a cap on the fees for the service as well. Somewhere between 3-500 and no monthly fees. What bother’s me is that the Department Of Education has not stepped up to advertise to their borrowers these types of plans.

    The DOE sent emails to 3.5 million borrowers in November and rumor has it that over 95% of the emails bounced! Why? Well when someone borrowed money at age 18 and they got an email of address of [email protected] and they have graduated they may no longer have access to that address. Borrowers that graduate don’t call up their loan servicers and say “Hey here is my new email address and my old address at my parents isn’t valid either here is my new info!” Kids don’t do that kind of stuff.

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      It is still early days on the student loan assistance programs. Ultimately it will come down to two camps. One will be the people who want to build and create a helpful space. For those I offer http://getoutofdebt.org/49310/how-to-run-a-clean-student-loan-assistance-program

      The second will be the same old groups that sucked the life out of the loan mod and debt settlement space. Big changes are coming and announcements will be made soon that student loan assistance will fall under the TSR in case anyone isn’t clear on that.

      For me the issue has never been if a company charges a reasonable fee for a personal service but if the consumer has received all the facts and elects to use the service because of desire, not deception. Again, all laid out in http://getoutofdebt.org/49310/how-to-run-a-clean-student-loan-assistance-program

      If I was a betting man, and judging by this recent ad for student loan assistance sales people, http://getoutofdebt.org/62095/unique-debt-relief-help-wanted-ad-ever , I’d have to say unless the good guys organize and try to save the student loan assistance agency it will quickly die like the others.

      DOE and CFPB are in the process of stepping up proactive notifications of current loan holders through their servicers which maintain current information.

      I’m giving the new student loan assistance association formed by Robby Birnbaum a chance to get things headed in the right direction.

      I would be interested to know which companies got the requests so I could compare them to my notes. Let me know at http://getoutofdebt.org/confidential-tip-form/

      • Chad

        Let’s be real though. Robby got all of his old clients together, formed a trade group for a fee, uses those fees to get the inside “TRACK” with regulators to give his people time to prepare, enivitibly knows there is a ruling coming, then invites the FTC to the conference AFSLR, whereas Michelle Grajales “the hippie” will collect business cards and company names to go back to DC to have her people start building cases to file against student loan assistance companies. Then later down the road they can rule that people making money from poor people is never good and the government can handle their own issues without 3rd parties yadda yadda yadda. Then Robby makes money defending what he initially told everyone should be compliant.

        Its the same schtick.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        I agree time will tell. But this is my first opportunity to provide help and assistance at the start of such a venture. I missed the earliest days of Texas Association of Settlement Companies, to become the TASC we knew.

        As far as Michelle’s appearance at the conference she tells me she is Skyping in and not appearing in person.

  • Chad

    Do not stress out they cannot obtain new credit or ruin your credit with your FAFSA pin.

    Real question is what we’re they offering you to buy?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      Chad, I think her identity theft concern was not over the FAFSA but the social security number and other personal information she was asked for.

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