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Student loan debt relief customers: Take 2 steps

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Do you have student loans? Did you respond to an ad from Ameritech Financial claiming to offer you debt relief? The FTC has sued Ameritech for deceptive practices and just sent letters about the case to thousands of customers. The court hasn’t ruled, but there are steps you can take now to make sure your payments are going toward your loans. In addition, Ameritech may have changed your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account information. There are steps you can take to protect your financial privacy.

Here are answers to questions consumers are asking.

How do I know if Ameritech Financial is the company I do business with?

In addition to the name Ameritech, the company uses the names American Financial Benefits Center, AFB, AF Student Services, and Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC).

I’m making monthly payments to Ameritech. Are those payments going toward my student loans?

No. Your monthly payments to Ameritech do not go toward paying your student loans. And Ameritech does not make payments on your behalf to your loan servicer.

Why is the FTC suing Ameritech?

According to the FTC, Ameritech failed to deliver on its promise that people could permanently reduce their monthly payments or get total loan forgiveness. The FTC also says the company charged illegal upfront fees. In addition, the FTC alleges the company told people their fees would go toward their student loan balances, but that wasn’t true.

Do I need to pay Ameritech to take advantage of loan repayment or forgiveness programs?

No. The Department of Education doesn’t charge borrowers to enroll in repayment and forgiveness programs. That means you are currently paying Ameritech for things you can get for free on your own from the Department of Education.

Can I stop making monthly payments to Ameritech?

Yes. To cancel your membership, call Ameritech at 1-800-792-8621. Canceling will not impact your student loans.

Will I get my money back?

The FTC works to return as much money as possible to consumers. But this case is still in court, so there’s no way to know if it will result in refunds. Legal actions take time, so please be patient. As soon as we have updates, we’ll post them here.

How can I tell the FTC about my experience with Ameritech?

File a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

What can I do to protect my financial privacy?

Ameritech may have changed your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account information. So you may want to change your login and review your account. Call Ameritech at 1-800-792-8621 or contact your loan servicer to regain control of your account.

How can I check the status of my loans and the security of my account?

Contact your loan servicer.

I’ve seen other companies claim they can reduce my student loan debt. How can I protect myself from questionable practices?

Visit www.ftc.gov/studentloans. One tip: It’s illegal for companies to ask for money up front for so-called debt relief services. Don’t do business with anyone who makes you pay before getting the results they promise.

Tagged with: loan, student
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

- I've been paying this company for 7 months $100's of dollars trying to get back on track. I'm a bit concerned now where that money has been going. And if i can get it back.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

Ameritech has misrepresented me by reduced my student loan and did not go toward my student like it should have.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I have been paying money to Ameritech for almost 2 years now. I have paid them thousands of dollars, and to know that none of that money has gone towards my student loans like they said infuriates me.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

Same here. I have been paying for over two years and it really hurts to know I will not get my loans forgiven. Is there any way to know how much money I lost or will be able to gain back if they are found at fault? I am so angry.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling. You can add information about the amount you paid each month.

I have been a consumer since March of 2016 I had to start paying them 99 dollars a month which they said will go on deducting my student loans . And then told me that I could not claim it on my taxes .. I want all my money back they owe me .

I signed up for Ameritech as they promised to help fix my loans and payments. I was to be charged $80 a month until they got my payment affix. After three months and no news, calls, updates, I call up and they told me "they needed a letter of family size and encourage me to say I had 15 people I support. Of course I did it thinking it was in my best interest but the Fed Gov;t denied the lower payment.

I call back every week and they basically kept telling me to do this, do that and after 5 months I had to cancel. I am requesting a minimum of $500 refund as 1) they wasted precious time and money to do nothing for my loans and set me back further on Income Repayment Plan
2) They knowingly knew they were ripping me off as no one was working on my case and they played dumb.

Absolutely horrible that I was taken advantage of.

I got a letter in the mail. Please include me.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

The comments you put here on the blog do not go into the secure law enforcement database.

This is all so frustrating! I have been paying them for over a year and I have current emails asking me to sign an updated status form from Ameritech. Am I getting bad credit because I have been paying them thinking that I have been paying on my loans?

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

You can contact your loan servicer to find out the current status of your loans. You can order a free copy of your credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting companies. Go to annualcreditreport.com for the free credit reports.

If you see mistakes on your credit reports, you can tell the credit reporting company you dispute them. Read about free credit reports and your rights.

I told the company rep that I work for a "For Profit" hospital and he said I would still be able to save thousands on my loan. Recently got a call from Ameritech that I would not save but would have my loan extended 10 years. Hate this company.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I got a letter in the mail, it is like a kick in the gut, when I think of how long I have been paying Ameritech. I opened up a letter in the mail leading me to this site, I am trying to follow the steps.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I have been paying Ameritech for 6 months. I had received the letter in the mail on July 3rd, 2018 telling me that I have been paying them for services I can get for free. I attempted to contact Ameritech and asked for a refund but I can never get anyone. I will hold for 5 mins and then it disconnects me every time. So I decided to contact my back and place a stop hold on RAM from pulling my money from my account and filing a dispute to get all my money back that I have paid. This is the best way to get it done.

Please tell the FTC about your experience. File a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I too received a card from ameritech financial who stated they are a service who will take a deposit to get their services started and each month I pay will go into a secure account, I was told if I pay on te for 3 consecutive years that I would no longer need to pay, they would take the money paid over the years and apply it towards my loans and I would actually save 100%. It seemed to good to be true but since I have little to no income I thought that this would help and if at worse I would lose my $82 a month for 3 years.
I was also told at the beginning when I started that if I wasn't satisfied that they will reimburse what I have paid, now when I called to cancel they told me that I could cancel but I am not allowed to get my money that I have paid. It seemed like the supervisor got scared when I told him that I record my phone conversations. I left my account open for now until I get clarification or a certified letter asking my to represent in court because I will. Just to put a stop to this and I am wanting my money back from this scam company.

Please tell the FTC about your experience. File a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I just got the letter in the mail today, and I am so mad. I truly believed that they were there to help, but instead did God knows what with all that money.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

The comments you put here on the blog do not go into the law enforcement database.

You can contact your loan servicer to find out the current status of your loans.

I paid for a year the extra money until my payments went down to $99 a month. this has been almost 3 years, being reassured that this money was to pay my loans. Can I get all of my money back and have it put toward my real student loan?

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

The comments you put here on the blog do not go into the law enforcement database. You can contact your loan servicer to find out the current status of your loans.

I enrolled in the same plan. I am very frustrated and disappointed. This is a lot of money to not get back and have to start all over on paying loans.

Thank you for helping us !! My Question is--If I had my student loans change over to Ameritech Financial, as it has been two years being with them. AS they cut my $200 to $99 for twenty years. Maybe I should call them and say Okay I am ready to pay off my loan and see how much I owe. WHY hasn't the Student Loans come to me and say, HEY why have you NOT been paying your student loans??? How can Ameritech take over my payments, and I have not heard anything From the Student loans? How do they get away with this, AS if the Student Loans are not getting paid, AS I did not do a Forbearance, how do they get away with this?? Thank you for explaining Cindy

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

You can contact your loan servicer to find out the current status of your loans.

Its terrible to be taken advantage of when trying to already be paying a large student loan debt. Ameritech charged me 235.00 dollars for 7 months and 99 dollars after. Call your bank and they can possibly get some of the money back for you also. Ameritech's number is now some weird energy company

Please tell the FTC about your experience. File a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I have been paying them for a bit over 2 years I believe and now they aren’t answering calls. This is terrible business. I was told they were paying my loans at a reduced rate and then it would all go away after I finish paying for a set of termed years with them. I want a refund of all of my cash I have paid out.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

You can contact your loan servicer to find out the current status of your loans

Been giving these thieves my money for past 3years, totaling over $3,200. This is disgusting and I hope the lawsuit goes thru and people who were robbed of our hardworking money gets all or some of this money. So despicable of what this company has been doing. I will be filing a complaint as well.

I have been paying Ameritech every month for 3 years! They completely LIE to people making it seem like money is going towards loans. I am shocked and disgusted with this company. I will not only be fighting for my money back over the past few years but I also want interest that my REAL student loan amount has accumulated. I am a person who really tries to make good financial decisions. These people have caused nothing but stress!!

So I got the letter from the FTC in the mail. I'm a little concerned. How did the FTC get a hold of my information and find out I signed up with Ameritech Financial?

The FTC obtained people's names from the third parties that collect payments on behalf of Ameritech and Financial Education Benefits Center (FEBC).

I’ve been paying this company for I’ve 3 years. I’m am so angry right now. I I will be joining the lawsuit.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I have been with this company since 2006. I cried when I got this letter in the mail. I just don't understand how or why someone will do this to me or us. Now I'm going to make calls ensure all my information is in tact. I am truly hurt.

I had been paying them for a year then, they changed their account from Ameritech to Global Management Solution. That was when I got curious and stop paying.

I have been paying this company for almost 2 years totaling an amount of almost 2,000. I called them to cancel the automated withdrawal from my bank account, no answer or a call back. I had to close my account in order to stop the payments. Also, submitted an public service loan forgiveness application with Amerithech, which was never submitted to my loan services. I hope they get what they deserve.

They took money out of my account for about a year before I realized it was a scam and cut them off. But that was over a year ago and I don't remember a lot of the information that the complaint section asks for. If Ameritech does end up having to pay, do I have to have filed a complaint to get any money back?

The court has not ruled on the FTC's action against Ameritech.

You could tell the FTC about your experience at FTC.gov/complaint, and can give as many details as you remember. It's fine to make a report even if you can't answer every question.  You are not required to report your experience to the FTC.

In general, when the FTC is able to return money to people, it  may use business records, or public records (like postal address records), or other methods to locate people and current addresses.

I’ve been paying $82 dollars for 3 years they scammed me out of slots of money.

This world is full of scammers and thieves. Research before you pay anyone anything.

I called today and talked to the "supervisor" he told me I was unable to get a refund, I did mention that I knew that they were not putting the money I've paid towards my loans, he changed the conversation on this topic twice. I mentioned I was going to use a different loan provider and asked me for the name of the company and he had the audacity to say "they have also been sued before". So unprofessional coming from a "supervisor" BUT after all I did cancel my account with them today. I want my refund back of $800.

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

I'm very upset with this company I've been paying for 2 years and the constant call my student loan and to find out that no money has been going towards that and I work so hard to earn money to pay off my debt for someone to keep stealing my money I even requested a

To report your experience to the FTC, file a report at FTC.gov/complaint. Your information will go into a secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. When you go to FTC.gov/complaint, click on: Credit and Debt, then Debt, and then A company offering debt management or credit counseling.

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