Politics and Government

Minnesota attorney general to investigate student debt companies

student debt
The Attorney General’s Office will investigate 52 student loan debt-relief companies.
​Courtesy photo

The Minnesota Attorney General’s Office will investigate 52 student loan debt-relief companies suspected of violating state law.

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the inquiry earlier this week, days after interest on student loans began accruing again. Student loan payments had been paused for more than three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of the 52 companies are based in California and appear to offer debt-settlement services to consumers without registering in Minnesota as required by law. According to the Attorney General’s office, these companies allegedly violated consumer protection laws by misrepresenting fees and services and falsely promised student loan forgiveness. Only the federal government can offer such forgiveness.

“Minnesotans just want to be able to afford their lives and the cost of student loans that too many borrowers have to take out is already too high,” Ellison said in a statement. 

“The fact that fraudsters prey on borrowers by charging exorbitant fees and making promises they can’t deliver on is offensive,” he added.

The complete list of companies can be found here.

Ellison also issued new guidance on the attorney general’s website for Minnesotans. It outlines residents’ rights and obligations as student loan payments resume.

“I’ve issued this guidance because I want to make sure all Minnesota borrowers know their rights and are on the lookout for scams as we approach the resumption of student loan payments,” Ellison said.  

People can report fraud and other related activities by calling the attorney general’s office at (800) 657-3787 or by completing a Consumer Assistance Request Form online.