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Looking for Credit or Debt Help Before Student Loan Repayments Restart? BBB Recommends Slowing Down and Finding a Reputable Company

Many of the services offered by credit and debt assistance companies can be done by consumers themselves. However, difficulty understanding their options, lack of know-how or a time crunch, and other issues can lead some consumers to seek assistance. Here are some key terms and services to know when researching options.

KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro spoke with Pamela Hernandez of the Better Business Bureau office in Springfield, Missouri regarding debt consolidation and credit repair companies.

Debt relief has been a cornerstone of the Biden Administration dating back to when the President ran for office in 2019 and 2020 as millions of Americans struggle with debt.

According to a new report from the Better Business Bureau, many debt relief and repair companies don’t live up to their promises. KRPS's Fred Fletcher-Fierro

Debt Relief Radio Edit.mp3

Earlier this year the US Supreme Court struck down the Biden Administration student loan forgiveness plan citing Executive overreach.

If enacted it would have helped more than 40 million borrowers to qualify for student debt relief. Nearly 90% of the benefits of the relief going to out-of-school borrowers would go to those earning less than $75,000 per year.

Interest on student loans resumed September 1 with payments sent to resume in a matter of weeks after an over there year pause due to the COVID pandemic.

Tens of millions of Americans continue to struggle with debt, whether consumer or student. According to a recent analysis by the Better Business Bureau companies that promise some form of relief often don’t live up to their advertisements according to Pamela Hernandez of the BBB Bureau in Springfield.

“BBB has received over 11,000 complaints, almost 1,000 negative reviews about debt and credit assistance companies and it reveals a pattern of misleading, sometimes fraudulent claims especially it seems among a group of companies located in the American southwest.”

Pamela suggests that if you have questions about your debt or want to see your credit history or scores, you're entitled to a free credit report annually. for more information.

Since 2017 Fred Fletcher-Fierro has driven up Highway 171 through thunderstorms, downpours, snow, and ice storms to host KRPS’s Morning Edition. He’s also a daily reporter for the station, covering city government, elections, public safety, arts, entertainment, culture, sports and more. Fred has also spearheaded and overseen a sea change in programming for KRPS from a legacy classical station to one that airs a balance of classical, news, jazz, and cultural programming that better reflects the diverse audience of the Four States. For over two months in the fall of 2022 he worked remotely with NPR staff to relaunch to an NPR style news and information website.

In the fall of 2023 Fred was promoted to Interim General Manager and was appointed GM in Feburary of 2024.