ON YOUR SIDE: MSU financial aid expert warns students, parents of possible debt relief scam

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Missouri State University financial aid coordinator Vicki Jacobson said students and parents have recently brought a possible student debt relief scam.

"I'm meeting with some families that are saying 'this organization called us and said they could help us work through loan forgiveness or consolidation," she said.

Jacobson said the first sign people should look for is how they contacted you.

"It's very similar to what KY3 has warned people about the IRS." she said. "They're not going to call you, so you may be being scammed."

Students we spoke with Wednesday said they are constantly getting calls and emails promising the same thing.

"I've had a few people, or emails from people, saying that if I act now I'll be able to get my all of my student loan debt I guess gone within like the next five years," said former University of Missouri student Anthony Wussow.

Wussow said the calls and emails don't advertise it as free.

"They say if I pay this money with it as well it will help it or something like that," he said.

Jacobson said the services they are offering shouldn't cost you any money.

"You don't need to pay somebody $800 or $1600 to help you with loan consolidation or loan forgiveness," she said. "Your federal loan servicer will help you with that for free."

She said one of the best ways to avoid being taken advantage of by these organizations is to know what you owe and who you owe it to.

"I can look up and see who you owe as well and I'm happy to help you through that so you don't pay somebody to help you through a process that I can help you with for free," Jacobson said.

She said it's likely the companies have found out about people's debt through their credit checks. Jacobson said if you do receive one of these calls or emails the school can help verify them for you.

"Call the school and say I've been contacted by this organization, are they legit?," she said.