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CONSUMER FIRST ALERT: Free tools to save on student loan debt

Published: Jan. 23, 2022 at 6:00 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 23, 2022 at 9:46 AM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - We have a Consumer First Alert for people with student loans. It comes at a time when the average student loan borrower starts at more than $30,000 in debt and the federal government resumes student loan payments in May 2022.

Scammers are targeting borrowers by call, text and email.

“Student loan debt is really the perfect storm for scammers,” says Lara Sutherlin, Administrator, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection.

The DATCP and the Department of Financial Institutions is helping students tackle their debt by teaching them how to avoid fraud.

“All these federal programs are free. So if anybody is calling you and asking you to pay, you’re paying for something that you could get for free,” says Sutherlin. “If they’re asking you to pay upfront before they actually do any work for you, that’s illegal.”

Wisconsin has partnered with student loan experts from the Washington, D.C.-based company Savi for a series of online workshops. They teach student loan borrowers how to repay and save.

CLICK HERE for the Savi website.

“Signing up for Savi is free,” says Sutherlin. “It’s a repayment tool. And it’s a really effective tool.”

Each plan is specific.

“Your best friend or husband may not see the same thing because we’re going to personalize it to you,” says Aliza Sir, Savi Director of Partnerships.

Savi takes your student loan data, crunches the numbers, and calculates best options for repayment or forgiveness.

Savi claims to save students on average $156 each month. Savi says that can add up to a lifetime savings of more than $20,000.

“It almost sound too good to be true and it’s not. I would just add that particularly right now, when teachers, doctors, nurses are still on frontline of COVID, that those are some of the people that can really benefit from this tool,” says Sir. “To be able to offer come of that financial assistance is a huge benefit. We want you to really learn something about your money because you work with us.”

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