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How to Download and Print ePAN Card Online

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PAN or Permanent Account Number is a unique 10-digit alphanumeric code issued to each and every entity carrying out financial transactions in India. Be it an individual or an organisation, PAN is mandatory for all tax-paying entities. One can apply for a PAN through NSDL website or UTIITSL portal for PAN. PAN hardcopy is can be received on the address mentioned in the Form 49A within 45 days of application. One can, however, download the ePAN online and use it as a valid document everywhere.

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What is ePAN?

ePAN is a virtual PAN card that contains the card holder’s PAN details. It can be downloaded either from the NSDL portal or the UTIITSL portal. It contains the card holder’s PAN and can be used for all e-verification that require PAN card to be furnished.

ePAN Card

Following details are mentioned in an ePAN card:

  • Permanent Account Number
  • Name
  • Father’s Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender
  • Photograph
  • Signature
  • QR Code

It is worth mentioning that it is illegal to possess more than one PAN card. A person found in possession of more than one PAN card is liable to be imposed a fine of up to Rs. 10,000.

Steps to Download ePAN Online

ePAN can be downloaded online from NSDL and UTIITSL portal. Those applicants who had applied for PAN through the NSDL portal in the past can download ePAN from the same. If they want to download the ePAN from UTIITSL portal, they will have to apply for PAN card reprint through the UTIITSL portal first otherwise they will not be able to download the ePAN. The same goes with the applicants of UTIITSL portal.

ePAN can be downloaded free of cost by all new applicants or applicants who have applied for a modification in the PAN data within one month of the issuance of PAN. UTIITSL charges an additional fee of Rs. 8.26 (including taxes) for every download request. This payment can be done online and the applicant can download the ePAN whenever he needs it.

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How to Download ePAN from NSDL Portal?

There are two options for downloading the ePAN through NSDL portal:

NSDL does not allow users to download ePAN after one month of application, be it for a new PAN card or corrections/modifications in PAN card.

Applicants can opt out from the delivery of the PAN card hardcopy and apply only for ePAN at the time of filling the form, both new and correction. In such cases, it is mandatory to quote the email address where the ePAN will be delivered.

How to Download ePAN by Acknowledgement Number?

One can download ePAN from the NSDL portal by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Visit NSDL PAN portal to download PAN card by Acknowledgement numberDownload ePAN card by Acknowledgement number
  • Enter the Acknowledgement number issued after submitting the PAN card application and click on “Generate OTP”

    NSDL ePAN Generate OTP
  • Enter the OTP and click on the “Validate” button to download your ePANNSDL ePAN Enter OTP
  • Click on “Download PDF” to download the ePAN instantlyDownload ePAN PDF

How to Download ePAN by PAN and Date of Birth?

One can download the ePAN card by mentioning the PAN and date of birth as well. Following steps should be followed for the same:

  • Visit the ePAN downloading portalDownload ePAN by PAN and DOB
  • Enter details required in the form such as PAN, Date of Birth, GSTN (optional)
  • Now mention the security code and click on “Submit” to download the ePAN card for free

How to Download ePAN from UTIITSL Portal?

UTIITSL is an alternative portal from where applicants can apply for new PAN cards or making corrections in the existing PAN. Applicants who have applied through UTIITSL can download the ePAN online. If the ePAN is downloaded within 30 days of issuance of the PAN card, no additional fee is charged.

One can download the ePAN from the UTIITSL portal by following the steps mentioned below:

  • Visit the ePAN downloading portal of UTIITSLePAN Download at UTIITSL
  • Enter the required details such as PAN, date of birth/incorporation, GSTIN (optional) and security code and submit the application
  • Check whether the mobile number and e-mail ID mentioned against the PAN is correct and enter the security code and tick the declarationDownload ePAN UTIITSL
  • The user gets the option to send the OTP to either mobile number, email ID or both
  • An OTP is sent to the selected source
  • Enter the OTP and click on submit
  • In case the PAN issuance period is more than one month, the user will be directed to make an online payment of Rs. 8.26
  • On successful processing, the user will be able to download the ePAN online.
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FAQs on Downloading ePAN Card

Q. How to download my old PAN card by the PAN Number?

Ans. You can download your old PAN Card by availing the facility of duplicate PAN Card download through ‘Reprint PAN Card’ option provided by the Income Tax Department of India from either NSDL or UTITTSL Portal.

Q. I lost my PAN Card, but I remember my PAN Card Number. Can I download a copy from the Internet and from which website?

Ans. Yes, in case you have lost your PAN Card and you remember your PAN Card Number, you can download PAN Card soft copy from the official website of either NSDL or UTIITSL. However, e-PAN Card download by coupon number can be done via UTIITSL Portal and duplicate PAN Card download by acknowledgement number can be done through NSDL Portal.

Q. How can I reprint my PAN Card?

Ans. To reprint your PAN Card, you need to visit the official website of TIN-NSDL for old PAN Card download by applying for duplicate PAN Card download. To know the process in detail, click here.

Q. How to download an e-PAN Card without a PAN Number?

Ans. To download an e-PAN without a PAN Number, a duplicate PAN Card download can be done through the ‘Know your PAN’ facility from the official website of Income Tax Department i.e. www.incometaxindia.gov.in

Q. Is there any facility to download e-PAN Card without Acknowledgement Number?

Ans. Yes, you can download e-PAN Card without Acknowledgement Number by entering your PAN Number, Aadhaar Number (only for Individuals) and other details like Date of Birth, GSTIN (optional) and you have applied for e-PAN for more than 30 days through NSDL e-Governance and / or e-filing portal of Income Tax Department.

Q. Is there any PAN card download app?
A. No, there is no PAN card download app. One has to either visit NSDL website or UTI Infrastructure Technology And Services Limited website to download ePAN.

Q. What is the fee charged for downloading ePAN card?
A. An applicant can download the ePAN card for free for the first month of issuance of the new/modified PAN card. After that, UTIITSL applicants will have to pay a fee of Rs. 8.26 for each ePAN card download.

Q. Is ePAN a valid document?
A. ePAN is equally valid as a regular PAN card. Both are the same documents and are just issued through different media.

The post How to Download and Print ePAN Card Online appeared first on Compare & Apply Loans & Credit Cards in India- Paisabazaar.com.



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You’re Budgeting WRONG If You Do Any Of These 5 Things

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(The following is an abbreviated transcription from a video Linda & I recorded. Please excuse any typos or errors.)

For most people, budgeting is a scary word.

If you feel that way about budgeting, you might be doing one of these five things wrong (or maybe all of them).

When you’re doing any one of these things, it’s just going to make budgeting really difficult and not a lot of fun for you.

We’re going to talk about what these things are and hopefully how to fix it so that you can actually enjoy budgeting and get a ton of benefit from it.

And, if you hate budgeting (or scared of it), just know you are not alone.

Linda actually hated budgeting before I got her on board. I am convinced from all the people, the readers, the podcast listeners, everybody else over the last 10 years who we’ve talked to, the reason so many people hate budgeting is that they’re doing it the wrong way.

Using The Right Tool For The Job

So I do a lot of work around the house and I have often found myself in a position where I’m really far away from the workbench, or really far away from the garage, and I have something else going on and I need to hammer this nail in. And so I’ll try to grab something. I’m like, “What is around that I can kind of hammer this nail in?” Do you want to know what? Nothing works good at hammering a nail in except for a hammer.

And so this is what it’s like for so many people when they’re budgeting using the wrong tools, the wrong methods. Well, of course it’s not working well. And of course it isn’t fun. And of course you hate it because they’re doing it the wrong way.

But when you use a tool the right way, it is actually a lot of fun. And it gets the job done a whole lot quicker and easier.

Linda and I discussed the 5 budgeting things you may be doing wrong, and you can watch our discussion here (or read the transcript below):

Bob: All right. And if you haven’t grabbed our free budget worksheet, definitely pick that up first. That’ll be a good starter, good primer for you to get up and running with your budget.

1. You Aren’t Actually Budgeting

Bob: Number one is that you aren’t actually budgeting. So this is a funny thing. A lot of people think that their budgeting when they’re just tracking their money and they’re using Mint or some app to see where their money went.

Linda: So tell us what the difference is.

Bob: So tracking your money and knowing where it went is a good first step. That is an important part, but it’s not budgeting. Budgeting is actually telling your money where you want it to go and actually having a plan in place to make sure that it goes where you want it to go.

2. You Aren’t Budgeting For Fun Things

Linda: Yep. Okay. So number two is not budgeting for fun things. So there are big things that we need to budget for, right? Like a house payment and savings, you know?

Bob: Groceries. We need to eat.

Linda: Right.

Bob: Yeah.

Linda: But you have to budget for things that are fun. Things that fill your soul.

Bob: And if you don’t, you’re not going to last, right.

Linda: Right.

Bob: Could we have ever done this without doing that?

Linda: No. No. So we really enjoy going out to eat. I mean, it is peach season in Tennessee right now and-

Bob: And our grocery budget has expanded to pull in the dozens upon dozens of peaches nearby.

Linda: Yeah. Or another good example is like going out for donuts on Saturday morning. Anything that you just really enjoy doing that has to be part of your budget because then it’s like, “Oh, well I have money to spend on this.” And you pretty much have to spend it. Right?

Bob: Yeah. And so while doing this might slow down your progress towards paying off your debt or retirement savings or something like that because you think, well, I don’t want to do any fun stuff. I just want to do the essentials so I can pay off my debt as soon as possible. And it’s like, you can maybe make that work and sustain that for a little bit. But for most people it’s worth reducing that just a little bit to have a little bit more fun in your budget.

Linda: Totally.

Bob: If you’re going to enjoy the budget, and if you’re going to stick with it for years and years to come. So it’s a better move in the long run for most people to just make sure that there’s stuff allocated for fun stuff.

Linda: Yep.

3. You Are Trying To Do It Solo

Bob: Number three, if you’re married and you’re trying to do it solo-

Linda: It’s a bad idea.

Bob: And I do know for most of you, this isn’t by choice. You have a spouse who just isn’t interested, but there are things you can do to kind of sweeten the deal for your spouse and to try to get them interested in the whole budgeting concept. And we go into this in detail in a real money method course, but there’s a couple tips that we can kind of share. Like how did I get you on board? Like what helped?

Linda: The thing that helped me was things that I got freaked out about were in the budget. So when we had car problems, there was money sitting in the budget so there was not that freak out moment for me of like, where the heck are we going to get this money?

Bob: Yeah.

Linda: It was just sitting there. So another one was the rewards. When we hit a milestone, we would do some celebrating.

Bob: Yeah.

Linda: It was small for us, but it can be whatever you want it to be. You know? And then the other thing was budgeting for things that I needed, that I wanted and that I needed in my life. So yeah. It not being perfect, but actually us sticking with it was huge.

Bob: Good enough to get us both on board.

Linda: Yeah.

Bob: Yeah. So bottom line, if you have a spouse, who’s not on board, it’s just more difficult. Now, if you can’t get them on board, you still need to move forward. It’s still beneficial that you’re at least trying and attempting and doing the best that you can in those circumstances. And I think some of the best advice here is just to be asking God and to be praying about how you guys can both get on the same page.

Linda: Yeah.

4. You Don’t Have A Reason Why You Are Budgeting

Bob: All right. Number four is that you need a reason why you are budgeting. You know, as humans, we are just hardwired for significance and meaning, and we need to have a reason why we’re doing everything that we’re doing.

Linda: So one of my first introductions into budgeting was pre-Bob if you can believe it. My brother came over and helped me set up a really simple budget so that I could save for my first car. And that gave me so much incentives because I was like, “I really want a car. I have got to get to the place where I can have a down payment, but also be able to pay for it each month.”

Bob: And the budget was what was going to help you get there.

Linda: Exactly. So I knew that that’s why I was doing it. And I stuck to it because I had this goal out in front of me. So having a reason why was a huge part in me sticking to it.

5. You Are Using A Method That Isn’t Holding You Accountable

Bob: Yeah. All right. Number five is that you’re using a budgeting method of some sort that isn’t actually holding you accountable. So over the last 10 plus years, I’ve been looking at budgeting stuff left and right, budgeting apps, budgeting spreadsheets, budgeting software.

As a financial blogger, I’ve been reviewing all this stuff. I’ve been testing all this stuff out. And the one common problem that I’ve seen over and over again is so many of these tools they might be fancy, have all these bells and whistles, look really shiny, but they don’t actually hold you accountable to the budget. And so without that accountability, most people just fall off the wagon and fail.

Linda: Yeah.

Bob: But I’ll give you a tip. There are two different ways that you can create a budget and actually have that accountability. So the first one is the cash envelope system.

Linda: Which we all know.

Bob: So we all know this, you put the cash in the envelopes, then you spend it. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.

Linda: This is what our parents did. Right?

Bob: Our parents, our grandparents were all doing this and this method and it actually works and actually holds you accountable. But the problem for most of us is that we don’t want to use paper cash on every purchase that we made.

Linda: Right.

Our Real Money Method

Bob: And so being able to have the convenience of a debit or credit card is what most people in the 21st century want. And so the other way to do this and have accountability is with a Real Money Method.

This is a system that we developed that basically allows you to use your bank account to budget. And it’s a system that creates real accountability for you. And as a result, most people who have failed with other software in the past are finding a lot of success with this. So if sticking with a budget or staying accountable to it is something you’ve struggled with in the past, we’ll have the link to it up above or down in the direction below, and you can check it out.

All right. So now it’s your turn. Let us know down in the comments what you’d add to this list or maybe where you’re guilty and where you’re going to begin making some changes and hit the like button to let us know if you liked it. And if you haven’t gotten a free budgeting spreadsheet yet, definitely check that out.

What other budgeting tips do you have? Let us know in the comments below!



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Can A Crypto Savings Account Beat The Bank?

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I’m sick of cash savings rates. Big banks at 0.06%? No thanks. Even the best online savings accounts are only hovering around a miniscule 1%. 

Where can I get a decent savings rate anymore? If you’re a holder of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, possibly in a cryptocurrency savings account, where some accounts are paying 8.6%!

Yes, you read that correctly.

If you think that sounds too out there, so did I. However, in my never-ending quest to find outside-of-the-box investments, I recently researched and opened a cryptocurrency savings account on Blockfi.com, where I’ll earn 8.6% in crypto interest paid monthly to my account. Here is what I found about the benefits and the risks.

Wait, Isn’t Cryptocurrency Super Risky?

Yes, bitcoin, ethereum and other cryptocurrency are very volatile, making them very hard to hold long term. For example, this year alone bitcoin has traded down to $3,000 and as high as $12,500! Please, please, please do NOT go out and buy bitcoin just to try and earn interest on it. Most crypto currencies are WAY too volatile.

However, there are various “stable” currencies that trade on a 1-to-1 basis with the US dollar. These are the currencies we want to hold, and earn interest on. Even though these currencies are pegged to the US dollar (i.e. 1 stable coin = $1 USD), this doesn’t mean that you have no risk. Market forces can make a stable coin worth less than a dollar, in a similar way to how money market funds have occasionally “broken the buck.” 

All of this is to say: just because this account has the words “savings account” next to it, doesn’t mean it’s the same as an FDIC, U.S. dollar savings account at a regulated bank. You need to ultimately decide if the risk is worth potential 8% returns on a very liquid asset. Here’s how I’m thinking about this new class of accounts.

How to Earn 8%+ in a Crypto Savings Account

1. Decide How Much Money to Try

I’m hugely risk averse, as I laid out in my Barbell Investing article. I’m leery of “too good to be true” promises, so I run lots of small experiments where I can learn by doing. This is no different.

I opened the accounts to figure out what I needed to know to decide if I should add more money. I first invested in bitcoin (BTC) in 2014, so I was relatively early and had built up a sizable portfolio of crypto assets over the last six years. I chose to make an initial deposit of $2,000 mainly because I had $2,000 of USDC (Stablecoin) idly sitting in my coinbase account. 

After making the initial deposit, and having a few more weeks to learn, I’ve added all of my USDT (another stablecoin) holdings as well. This totals just under $30,000.

If you don’t already own cryptocurrency, you’ll choose a dollar amount (for those in the US) that you’re comfortable with. There are generally no minimum deposit or minimum balance requirements; however, some services have minimum withdrawal requirements (BlockFi is 0.003 BTC and 0.056 ETH which is approximately $35 at current prices). I would go with at least $100 to start.

2. Open a Crypto Savings Account

After my research, I chose BlockFi. It seemed to have the widest range of coins available, and generally better deposit rates that other competitors I researched. Setting up your account is a breeze, and they use the same bank-level encryption that every other financial institution uses.

3. Transfer Dollars Into Your Crypto Savings Account

The next step is to transfer your crypto (if you have it) or your US dollars into your account. Here are your options:

Right now, you can only deposit U.S. dollars by wire transfer. It’s also important to note that when you deposit dollars, you’re purchasing Blockfi’s USD stablecoin which is called Gemini.

4. Choose Which Currency You Want to Hold

Once you have stablecoin or cryptocurrency in your account, you can trade into any of the other available currencies. For the purpose here, I don’t recommend trading cryptocurrencies. Remember, I’m after as stable of a return as I can get that closely mimics a normal savings account, but with a higher return. 

Also, the stable coins offer the highest interest rates as you can see here:

I chose USDC as my preferred currency simply because I already owned some. I don’t know enough about the differences in these stable coins to recommend one over the other at this time.

If you’re just adding U.S. dollars to your Blockfi account, then you might as well stick with Gemini.

5. Start Earning!

Once you’ve deposited money in your account, you don’t need to do anything else. Interest will accrue daily, and is deposited in your account monthly. It’ll look something like this:

6. Understand How Crypto Savings Differs From Cash Savings

To take this beyond an experiment, we really need to know what the overall risk is here. Your cash currency is protected in several ways that cryptocurrency isn’t.

  • First, your savings account is FDIC insured, so you don’t lose your money if your bank becomes insolvent.
  • Second, the U.S. dollar is a world reserve currency backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, whereas the U.S. government doesn’t back any of these stable coins — YET.
  • Third, a stable coin pegged to the U.S. dollar isn’t the same as a dollar. See here about Tether’s peg.
  • Fourth, big banks have billions to throw at security. A cryptocurrency upstart might fall short on some security measures. I honestly don’t know how to analyze this at the moment.

7. Decide to Go Bigger

Understanding the above risks, I don’t think it makes sense to have a gigantic amount of money in these accounts yet. Further, I wouldn’t suggest putting your emergency fund money in an account like this, or any money that you think you can’t live without.

The risk of you losing money is unlikely, but it’s non-zero, and it’s absolutely higher than the risk of losing your cash savings account money. But is it worth the risk anyway?

To me, it is — on a portion of my liquid assets. It makes sense for me to go bigger and add more to my account, because I’m not risking my emergency fund and I was already taking many of the risks above by holding USDT in another account without getting paid for it like I am now.

Does a Crypto Savings Account Make Good Financial Cents?

For now, this experiment makes sense for people who are long-term cryptocurrency holders, or people looking to juice their rate of return on liquid assets. However, because of the additional risks outlined above, it doesn’t make sense to put a huge amount of your savings in one of these accounts.

What would I need to see to change my mind?

I would put a significant amount of money behind this account if my principal was insured against loss and theft in similar ways to the US banking system.

Basically, if I could insure my account against devaluation, theft and insolvency —  at say, 2% per year — I’d borrow millions of dollars to add to this account and earn a very healthy low-risk spread. This is the definition of a carry trade.

The post Can A Crypto Savings Account Beat The Bank? appeared first on Good Financial Cents®.



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Top Student Loan Scams

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Right now there is over $1.5 trillion in student loan debt. With billions of dollars being loaned to students each year, there is no doubt that there are scammers trying to get your money that are offering services that they do not follow through on, or have no real idea about.

In fact, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) has even issued multiple warnings about what to look out for when it comes to getting help with your student loans. (For example, this one and this one).

Here are some common scams that are happening right now that you should be aware of when looking for student loan help.

This article is pretty long - we cover a lot of ground here. If you’re looking at a specific company, jump to our section on “Is There Any Company You Can Trust To Help You”.

What You Need To Know About Student Loan Debt Help

Before we dive into different types of student loan scams, it’s important that we talk about getting help for your student loan debt.

There are a lot of companies that advertise that they can help you with your loans – you might see the ads on Facebook, on Google, or even in the mail (yes, people still get mail). And these companies might promise you things or advertise some type of help for your student loan debt which might entice you to call or sign up.

Before you take any action with these companies, remember this: you don’t ever have to pay someone to get help with your Federal student loans if you don’t want to. Not that help is not available, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to do it on your own, or hire a professional organization to handle it for you.

Here’s why:

  • Enrollment in repayment programs is available at no cost to Federal student loan borrowers and can be done for free at StudentAid.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.

Here are the warning signs to help you avoid student loan debt relief scams.

Advanced Fee Scam

This scam involves a student loan company that tells you they can get you the “best” interest rate and loan terms, but you have to pay a “small” fee up front for this service. The fee can be anywhere from 1-5% of the loan amount. Sometimes the fee is a flat rate up front (say $1000).

If you come across this offer - RUN! There are no circumstances in which you should have to pay money to get money. Legitimate student loans, even from private lenders, do not require any fees up front. If there are any fees, they are deducted from the disbursement check or they are included in the repayment amount and are amortized over the repayment period.

There are two common fees that will be paid with the loan, but once again, never up front. Federal student loans charge a 1% default fee, but charge no origination fees. Most private loans charge some type of either disbursement fee or origination fee, but these are usually negotiable and vary widely from lender to lender.

If you are working with a third-party company to help you with your student loan debt, they might take a fee up front. But this fee should go into an escrow account (or third party account) and the company should only get paid once they prove they’ve helped you sign up for a program. Look for wording like “we only get paid once you’ve made your first payment on your new repayment program”.

Note: A new variation on a theme has emerged in the last year. Instead of charging a direct advanced fee, some companies are offering a second personal loan - which is basically a fee in the format of a loan. Most borrowers who get involved in this don’t realize they took out a new loan, and there are repercussions if you cancel or don’t pay (such as interest and collection fees). 

The bottom line is, if you use a third party company, make sure you fully understand the pricing and payment structure. 

Loan Consolidation Scam

After you graduate, it might be a good idea to consolidate your student loans. This is another area that is ripe with scams. The most common student loan consolidation scam is one in which the company charges a consolidation fee, but actually does nothing. The fee is sometimes called processing fees, administrative fees, or consolidation fees.

If you have a federal student loan, there are no fees whatsoever for student loan debt consolidation. You can do it yourself for free at StudentAid.gov.

If you have a private student loan, there are

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a number of lenders who will refinance your private loans, federal loans, or both. Refinancing differs from consolidation in that rather than simply combining all your loans into one, you are actually taking out a separate loan with a new lender who pays off your existing loans. Credible is a comparison tool that allows you to fill out one form and see personalized offers from multiple lenders in the space. Going through any lender on the Credible platform is NOT a scam.

Plus, College Investor readers can get up to a $750 bonus when they refinance through Credible!

Finally, if you are considering consolidation, make sure you read our guide on The Right Way To Consolidate Your Student Loans.

Law Firm Lawsuit Student Loan Scam

This is a scam where a law firm will claim to be able to settle your student loan debt. There are a lot of variations on this scam, but typically a borrower is referred to a law firm by a “student aid company”. The student aid company promises that this law firm can settle your student loan debt for thousands less than you owe.

Many times the law firm will ask you to make your full student loan payment to the the law firm itself (or whatever amount you can afford to pay). The law firm says they’ll then negotiate a settlement with your lender.

However, what typically happens is that this law firm doesn’t make any payments while negotiating with your lender - as such, you go into default on your student loans. At that point, the law firm will then claim you can’t pay your bills, and try to negotiate a settlement based on that.

What happens to you, as the borrower, is that your credit score is trashed, and you made thousands of dollars in payments to the law firm. In the end, there is no guarantee that you will be able to settle your loans. And even if you do, the process may take years, and you’ll still have to deal with the settlement in the end.

If you’re considering speaking to a lawyer about your student loan debt, learn about what a lawyer can do for your student loans.

Student Loan Debt Elimination Scam

The important thing to remember about student loan debt is that it must always be repaid - it cannot be eliminated unless you have a federally qualifying reason (death, permanent disability, school closure, falsification of documents or identity theft). If you come across a company that promises to get your student loan debt eliminated, it is a scam!

We see these scams a lot relating to closed for-profit colleges and universities. Companies will advertise that, simply because you attended a certain college or university, you can get your student loans eliminated. This is usually false. 

There are many potential student loan forgiveness programs that you can read about here. If your school closed or is facing lawsuits, you can potentially do what’s called Borrower Defense to Repayment. But if you’re paying a company for help, ask them specifically what they are doing for you.

Scam Or Bad Service?

There are times when it’s not a scam, but it just seems like one because the customer service is bad or paperwork gets “lost”. For example, I get a lot of readers asking about the FedLoan Servicing Scam. FedLoan isn’t a scam, but just a poorly run student loan servicing company that is looking out for their own best interest.

Student Loan Servicer is actually the code word for “Student Loan Collection Agency.” Another one I get asked a lot about is NelNet, especially when it comes to their KwikPay Service. Once again, not a scam, just a poorly run program that is incentivized by the collection of full payments. 

I hope this helps you navigate the world of student loans a little better and avoid getting played. If you want to know more, don’t forget to check out my Definitive Guide to Student Loan Debt.

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)
  • Any promise of immediate loan forgiveness or cancellation
  • Any promise that a buyer will buy the loan and settle it for a set amount
  • Any promise that because your school closed or is being sued, you an get forgiveness

Is There Any Company You Can Trust To Help You?

Even though I’ve said countless times you can do it for free at StudentAid.gov, there are still people who’ve asked me “that’s great Robert, but I still want to pay someone to help me – who can I trust?” That’s a fair question, so who can you trust?

Next, call your student loan servicing company. I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but 80% of issues and concerns can be resolved by simply calling your loan servicer. These free options are usually your best bet for help with student loans.

If you’re still not quite sure where to start or what to do, consider using talking to a financial planner that specializes in student loan debt. A real financial planner with have a CFP or similar designation, AND they will have a fiduciary duty to you. We recommend the Student Loan Planner. Check out our Student Loan Planner review here.

Worried You’re Being Scammed?

I hope this helps you navigate the world of student loans a little better and avoid getting played. If you want to know more, don’t forget to check out my Definitive Guide to Student Loan Debt.

Are you worried that you could be dealing with a scammer? Stop by our new Student Loan Forum and post about it in the Student Loan Scams section. Protect yourself and protect others as well!

Readers, have you ever been the victim of a student loan scam?

The post Top Student Loan Scams appeared first on The College Investor.



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