Student Loan Debt Relief Offer with Steep Upfront Fees? That’s a Red Flag

  • The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) reached a settlement with student loan debt relief companies SLAC, Inc., Navloan, Inc., and Student Loan Assistance Center, LLC and their owner (collectively “SLAC”) to resolve allegations that they engaged in deceptive or abusive marketing by falsely promising to lower or eliminate consumers’ student loans in return for illegal fees, and by using misleading consumer testimonials, in violation of the FTC Act and the Telemarketing Sales Rule.
  • The FTC’s complaint alleged, among other things, that SLAC promised to lower or eliminate consumers’ student loans in exchange for an upfront fee of $699 and a monthly fee of $39 even though student loan payments could change every year and loan forgiveness cannot be guaranteed. The complaint also alleged that SLAC paid consumers for positive Better Business Bureau reviews without disclosing the monetary incentive in the review.
  • Under the terms of the stipulated final order, the defendants are banned from providing debt relief services. The order also includes a $23.9 million judgement, which will be suspended upon SLAC’s forfeiture of $470,000 in assets.