Mortgage debt remains and will probably always remain the highest consumer debt category. What type of consumer debt sits at number two on the list?
Is it auto loan debt? No.
Is it credit card debt? Surprisingly, the answer is once again no.
According to Forbes, the debt associated with pursuing a college degree ranks second on the list of highest debt categories for American consumers. More than 44 student borrowers have accumulated $1.3 trillion in student loan debt. The average debt owed by a student from the Class of 2016 is a whopping $37,172.
What does all of this mean? It means as a student seeking an advanced degree, you must learn about for profit college scams and what you can do about it.
Types of for Profit College Scams
The Internet has increased the number of for profit college scams. However, some institutions prefer to swindle college student the old fashion way. One of the time tested ways to steal money from college students is to request personal information either online or over the phone. You receive a phone call from an alleged college recruiter who claims your application will receive priority approval if you submit a credit card number to process the paperwork.
Never give personal information over the phone and make sure any request for cash online comes from an encrypted web page that you access from a domain that has a prefix of https.
Here some other for profit college scams for you to monitor:
- Fees charged for processing scholarship applications
- Fine print fees added for student activities
- Upfront student loan fees charge by banks that work with colleges and universities
- Deposit fee for student housing
- Campus maintenance fees
- Unannounced tuition hikes
How to Take Action
To fight against for profit college scams, you should collect evidence against the school. Since most transactions between students and colleges transpire online, this means you have to download the paperwork that verifies your status as a student, as well as present evidence of your financial transactions with the school. Save all email correspondence to an external storage device to prevent your college for invoking the classic line of “We lost the emails due to a computer malfunction.”
Here is a short list of the hard copies you need to keep to prove for profit college fraud:
- College data that includes graduation and job placement rates
- Copies of tuition invoices
- Student housing receipts
- Enrollment agreement
- Financial aid provisions
- Official transcript
- Copy of academic file
- Bank issued promissory notes
- Document that establishes your legal rights as a student
Presenting proper documentation can help you prove a for profit college defrauded you. If you have the proof, you have the legal right to apply for “borrower defense repayment.” The protection against for profit college scams applies to student borrowers who have received Direct Loans approved by the federal government. Students eligible for “borrower defense repayment” protection can make claims against a college for fraudulent financial practices. The goal of the federal protection is to forgive a student loan and allow students to receive cash for payments already made on a student loan.
For profit college scams can overwhelm students with not only substantial debt, but also information that contains highly technical legal terms. If you believe you are a victim of a for profit college scam, you should contact a law firm that has compiled an impressive record litigating similar cases.
Contact out law firm by phone or through our online form today to schedule a free initial consultation.