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Examining the National DEBL Relief Program: Legit or Scam?

What is the National DEBL Relief?

The National Debt and Education Loan Relief (DEBL) program claims it can help individuals reduce or eliminate their student loan debt. But, is this legitimate – or too good to be true?

The Advertised Benefits

The National DEBL purports to offer several solutions, including:

  • Student loan forgiveness of federal and private loans
  • Consolidation into a single, lower payment
  • Reduced interest rates and monthly payments
  • Removal from default status

Red Flags to Consider

While these promises are enticing, there are several potential red flags:

Upfront Fees: The program requires upfront fees before any services, which is a common scam tactic. Legitimate federal loan programs do not charge fees.

Unsolicited Calls: Many borrowers report getting unsolicited calls pushing the relief program. Legal aid organizations don’t normally do this.

Inflated Expectations: The claims of complete loan forgiveness seem too good to be true for most borrowers. Legitimate relief is harder to obtain.

Is It Legal?

The short answer? It’s complicated. DEBL relief companies can operate legally by following certain rules. However, many have been accused of deceptive marketing practices:

“Student ‘debt relief’ companies often target borrowers with misleading claims and high fees…These services are rarely worth the money.” – Federal Trade Commission

Legitimate Federal Student Loan Relief Options

Before turning to third-parties like DEBL, explore these options directly with your loan servicer:

  • Income-driven repayment plans: Can lower monthly payments based on income
  • Deferment or forbearance: Allows you to temporarily stop making payments
  • Loan consolidation: Combines federal loans into a new fixed interest rate
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: Loan discharged after 10 years of eligible employment
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Most of these programs have no fees to apply when going directly through the Department of Education.

How to Avoid Student Loan Relief Scams

Be Skeptical of any companies charging upfront fees or making promises that seem too good to be true. Instead, work directly with your loan servicer to understand legitimate options you may qualify for. If you do use a third-party, ensure they are properly certified to handle federal student loans.

The Bottom Line

The National DEBL relief program operates in a gray area. While not necessarily illegal, its practices are viewed as deceptive by many. Borrowers would be wise to explore legitimate federal relief options first before paying any third-party company like DEBL.

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