Financial Aid Scams Take Advantage Of Chicago College Students
Getting a college degree is supposed to help you earn money - but lately, some students have been losing money thanks to a growing number of financial aid scams.
For many folks out of work or looking for a way to boost their current income, going back to school seems like a logical solution. Problem is, it can be an expensive one. Average college tuition in the U.S. is over $12,000 - not including room and board, books and other fees. As a result, most college students need some kind of financial help. And their desperation can make them extra susceptible to criminals, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.
As with any scam, there are usually red flags that the victim was too distracted to notice. In this case, watch out for companies that promise to find you a scholarship for a fee, tell you about secret or little known government funding sources or request personal financial information - such as credit card or bank account numbers, according to WalletPop.
Real organizations give out scholarships because they want to help students, not because they want to make a profit. It wouldn't make sense for them to charge money, since there's no way to guarantee you'd qualify for funding anyway. As for federal and state aid, the process of applying is pretty transparent - there's no secret method for improving your odds.
You can follow pretty much the same rules for avoiding any old scam, not just the financial aid kind. Is someone asking for your personal info? Be suspicious. Guaranteeing success - for a price? Watch out. Offering a secret? Think about it - if it really worked, it wouldn't be a secret because word would spread.
If you can manage to snag a real one, scholarships are the best way to pay for college - you don't have to worry about working two jobs or spending the rest of your life paying off student loans. But if you're looking for another way to make paying for school easier, consider lowering debt in order to free up money that would otherwise be going to pay the bills. Want to know more about how eliminating debt can give you a fresh financial start? Try a free personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney and learn something that they don't teach in school - how to find freedom from debt.