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Have I Been Scammed by American Financial Benefits Center? – Deb

By on December 5, 2016

Question:

Dear Steve,

I did sign up with AFBC, my payments went from $300/mon to $99/mon and I paid straight to them. supposed to be for 20 years and then I was done. After 1 year they said they had to include my husband’s income which is barely minimum wage. Now I’m paying $126.78 to Navient and $99 to AFBC. Some savings, what can I do, was this a scam?

Deb

Answer:

Dear Deb,

I think you are referring to the American Financial Benefits Center when you talk about AFBC.

Well it’s hard to determine if you’ve been scammed because every person has a different definition of what a scam is.

The American Financial Benefits Center says, “AFBC’s Financial Analysis, Document Preparation, and other products and services are optional and mutually exclusive from each other. While all federal programs recommended by AFBC are freely available for enrollment through the U.S. Department of Education, our analysis is customized to each client’s needs to determine which programs are right for their unique and particular situation.”

Since AFBC is a company involved in charging a fee for services to consumers it sounds like you are paying them a monthly fee, but for what, I’m not certain. You’d have to refer to your agreement with them to determine what you are paying for.

AFBC is a member of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR) and that organization has a complaint process if you are unhappy with the company and the company is unwilling to help you resolve the issue.

The important question you need to ask AFBC is about the program you are enrolled in with them, how much of your payment is going towards your loan payment, and what part of what you are paying going towards.

It’s possible that a portion of your $99 payment is going towards an AFBC service you might find value in if you had some clarity on how the payment is being applied.

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It sounds like you are enrolled in an Income Based Repayment program and the one-year mark would coincide with the annual recertification process. And unless you file your federal taxes married but separate, then your husband’s income would be counted in household income.

Please call AFBC and get some information about what you enrolled in before just feeling like you’ve been scammed.

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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.

3 Comments

  1. AFSLR

    December 5, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    AFBC is indeed a registered member (and has been for years) of the Association for Student Loan Relief (AFSLR). We are a trade group focused on providing education to companies in the student loan relief industry so that they can service their customers better. We also serve as a resource for consumers, both if they are dealing with an AFSLR member or not. Mr. Rhode is correct that we have a complaint process if you are dissatisfied for any reason. We always recommend contacting the company you signed up with first, but our #1 complaint that we hear is when customers cannot get a hold of that company. If you would like to file a complaint, please email us at problems@afslr.org

  2. Deb

    December 5, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Question asked.

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