Attorney General Warning: Possibility of Fraud and Long-Term Financial Stress Due to Student Loans

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LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas College students are in the early stages of preparing for the academic year in August, and some are applying for student loans. It’s important to always read the fine print and beware of scammers trying to take advantage of unsuspecting victims. There are a few key points that every student should know before accepting a loan, which often takes decades to pay off.

“The student loan should be a short-term commitment to enable students to succeed,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Unfortunately, these loans are too often carried over for decades and keep our best and smartest parties from investing or taking risks as entrepreneurs.”

Attorney General Rutledge gave the following advice to students considering a student loan:

  • Make sure you understand your loan. Before taking out a loan, make sure you understand the repayment terms and other obligations of the loan, interest rates and how they will apply to the loan, and where to find your balance and payment schedule after graduation. For federal loans, visit National Student Loan Data System (nslds.ed.gov).
  • Take advantage of the grace period. There is often a grace period after graduation or graduation from college or university. It is important to know how long the grace period lasts and whether interest will be charged during the grace period. Grace periods allow you to “get on your feet” when drawing up a loan repayment plan.
  • Know your repeat payment options. All loans are individual and some offer the option to change payment options based on your income rather than a set monthly amount. In some cases, if you are experiencing financial difficulties, it is possible to temporarily postpone payments.
  • Be wary of proposals for loan consolidation and refinancing. Many companies offer loan refinancing options but may not provide the promised services or may provide services that consumers can access for free. Consumers should know all the details about any refinancing loan offer before signing up for it.
  • Check your credit report to see all your education debts, including federal and private student loans.
  • Consider part-time, work-study, and all scholarships. available to keep student debt to a minimum.

For more information, contact the Arkansas Student Loan Authority. here or at 800-443-6030 or visit ArkansasAG.gov

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