A record $89.2 billion of student loans was in default at the end of June, New York Federal Reserve data show. Of the $1.48 trillion outstanding, 11%, or $160 billion, was at least 90 days behind on repayments—and the true rate is likely double that, because only half the loans are currently in repayment.
“We’ll do the work for you,” Financial Preparation Services says on its website. “No more drowning in a sea of confusing paperwork and processing!” Its fee: $1,195 for document preparation, then $40 a month for almost 20 years—a total of $10,555—according to a 2018 client agreement reviewed by the Journal.
Regulators, including the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, share oversight of such companies. One issue they face is the sheer number of small firms offering these services, many using several names.
“This is a relatively target-rich environment,” Michelle Grajales, an FTC attorney, said in an interview. “There are unfortunately a lot of companies that still appear to violate the law.” Ms. Grajales didn’t comment on Financial Preparation Services specifically.