You’ve probably heard the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Well, that saying holds true most of the time.
Jerome Wichert, director of student financial services at Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, said to beware of companies offering to help find scholarships for a fee. Generally, the scholarship information provided by these scammers is available for free to anyone. Guidance counselors and financial aid officers at colleges and universities are great sources of reliable, free scholarship information.
“Another scam students should be aware of is loans,” he said. “This is an illegal scam in which you see a lender’s advertisement about personal debt consolidation. You call the number and they ask for minimal information about you and do not offer information about the company. During your conversation, they approve your loan and instruct you to send in a fee for the promised loan – which never arrives.”
Students should also be careful when a company offers to erase your bad credit history or remove bankruptcy from your credit records for a fee, Wichert added.
“They ask for payment up-front. Unfortunately, there are no quick or easy ways to repair a poor credit history. If you fall for it, you’ve been taken by an illegal scam,” he said.