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MMI Offers Help for Borrowers Seeking Student Debt Relief

Posted on December 05, 2014

Sugar Land, Texas – As unmanageable student loan debt continues to plague new graduates, even with recent studies reporting a decrease in the overall amount of student debt, there is no denying that the student loan crisis remains a growing issue that must be addressed. With more than 40 million young Americans responsible for paying back loans averaging nearly $30,000, today, more than ever before, students and those burdened by college debt need strong advocates and unbiased guides to help navigate the complexity of repayment programs.

While help is available, and from a variety of reputable sources, borrowers should have the right to seek help from organizations outside of the student loan industry; those with no direct connection to loan servicers or lenders, or who benefit from securing repayment for the Department of Education.

Choosing the right source of help is one of the most important first steps towards gaining a manageable student loan repayment. Money Management International (MMI), a non-profit student loan counseling provider, offers borrowers the following warning signs to consider when choosing a source for student loan help:

  • Providers offering only one solution – the one that helps their bottom line, not yours. A reputable and unbiased organization should provide options and services to assist in securing a student loan payment that fits your budget and financial circumstances.
  • Organizations providing federal loan consolidation services only. You may lose certain protections and benefits available for individual loans when merging them into one, so work with a knowledgeable student loan educator or counselor to review the details of each loan thoroughly before deciding to consolidate.
  • Sources unable to assist with private lenders to determine possible repayment solutions. If you are experiencing a hardship, some private lenders will review your financial situation to determine eligibility for a short- or long-term loan modification.
  • Those promising unique or special terms. Although gaining assistance navigating the numerous and often complex student loan repayment options is a smart first step, Federal repayment programs are made available to all regardless of the source, including yourself, without third-party assistance.
  • For-profits charging high fees to do what you can do for free. If you choose to pay for assistance in reviewing and determining your student loan repayment options, consider non-profit student loan counseling providers with expertise and experience helping with student loans and other financial matters.
  • Sources charging ongoing annual fees without providing ongoing services or value. Make sure you understand the services that are provided during and after the initial session.
  • Requires Power of Attorney or other legal documents. While it may be tempting to hand everything over to someone else to handle for you, the Department of Education has made it as easy as possible for you to obtain a loan modification without legal documentation.
  • Requests Personal Identification Number (PIN). Your PIN serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records, so you should never give your PIN to anyone.

"Unfortunately, whenever there is a financial crisis, there are scammers and groups targeting vulnerable consumers," said Jeff Davis, spokesperson for MMI."As a nonprofit organization, we consider it our responsibility to serve as an advocate for struggling borrowers, while assisting them in understanding their options to ensure they are making smart and informed decisions throughout the student loan repayment process."

To learn more about MMI';s Student Loan Counseling Program, visit StudentLoanCounseling.org or call 866.864.8995.