Police warn of student debt relief scams

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - With the student loan debt in the United States approaching $1.2 trillion, people are getting desperate to pay them back.

And now police are warning Americans of scammers turning that desperation into profit.

Phony businesses are claiming to offer "debt relief" for thousands of dollars.

But in return all they are doing is filling out paperwork for free government programs or just giving advice that is available for free on the internet.

Some ads are even promising to help clients enroll in the "Obama Forgiveness Program" but the program doesn't even exist.

Experts say don't trust a deal that seems too good to be true.

"You shouldn't have to pay for any advice as far as that goes because you can negotiate and talk with them to work out an agreement and a lot of those scams are promising things that aren't available to you and there are certain rules and regulations with regards to federal loans," said KSU Financial Advisor Jodi Kaus.

To see if a company or offer is legitimate, check with the Consumer Protection Bureau.

Your best bet to avoid scams is to always go through your loan provider.