I received this same phone call just now from Certified Document Center. And let me tell you, that "Patricia" was quite a smooth talker in telling me how they could help me with my student loans as a 3RD PARTY COMPANY working along with the DOE. Furthermore, she told me they could lower my monthly rates if I signed up through them for their IBR loan repayment option and could have my loan payments down to $85/mo. and a 5.95% interest rate. I was led to believe that amazing deal was exclusive to only their company through their partnership with the DOE and thats all I would have to pay until my loans were forgiven. Just had to pay a startup cost fee of around $900.
If you read this article, you'll notice everything she used as a sales point are in fact false. http://thecollegeinvestor.com/317/top-student-loan-scams/
The major ones shown in the following 2 excerpts are the direct definition of what the salesperson told me:
Enrollment in repayment programs is available at no cost to Federal student loan borrowers and can be done for free at StudentLoans.gov
Debt relief companies do not have the ability to negotiate with your Federal student loan creditors in order to get you a better deal.
Payment amounts, qualifiers, requirements under IBR, PAYE, and other repayment programs are set by Federal law
But that doesn’t automatically mean paying someone for help is a scam. While these programs are free, signing up can be confusing for some people. Or they may have complex situations and want someone to help them. Just like some people do their taxes themselves, while others hire a CPA, the same applies to student loan debt help.
You can do it yourself. Or you could pay someone to help you (if you want to see who we recommend, scroll to the bottom). However, if you pay someone to help you, you need to make sure you’re not going to be ripped off and the company is reputable.
Student Loan Relief Red Flags:Now that you know some of the main types of student loan relief scams, what are some red flags to look for?
Based on talking to consumers for several years, these themes have emerged:
Any company that claims to have a relationship with the Department of Education (third-party companies do not have any relationship with the Department of Education)
Any company that promises you a set payment or forgiveness (companies cannot promise forgiveness or guarantee an income based repayment because both will change based on your income)
In the end, you can do it all yourself for free. Just like the link says. Hope that helps