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$4 million settlement reached with student loan debt relief company over deceptive practices

The legal tug-of-war battle over student loan debt cancellation continues.
(Graphic: Cecilia Castelli for NPR)
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Cecilia Castelli for NPR
Nearly 4,000 people in North Carolina will share in a total of more than $4 million in student loan relief after they were harmed by the Consumer Advocacy Center, also known as the Premier Student Loan Center, and other related organizations.

Nearly 4,000 people in North Carolina will share in a total of more than $4 million in student loan relief after they were harmed by the Consumer Advocacy Center, also known as the Premier Student Loan Center, and other related organizations.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein said borrowers who are eligible do not have to do anything – and they will be contacted directly by the third-party company handling the payments.

“I’m pleased that more than 3,500 North Carolinians who were harmed by this student loan company will receive some financial relief,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “People who take out student loans are working to achieve their educational and career goals. I’ll do everything in my power to go after companies that take advantage of students’ dreams and harm their educational and financial futures.”

Stein sued Premier and its related companies, alleging that they violated consumer protection laws with deceptive student loan debt relief services.

He said Premier made misleading representations to borrowers about their services, automatically placed borrowers’ loans into forbearance, and submitted false information to loan servicers and the federal government to help people quality for artificially low monthly payments that they did not actually qualify for.

In some cases, Stein said that resulted in borrowers facing additional consequences, including paying additional interest or losing certain loan benefits.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.