Media contact: Janet C. Hart, APR, CFEE (704) 927-8617 office
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- Over the next two weeks, thousands of seniors will graduate and begin the transition from high school to college.
Many families struggle with how to pay for college and they seek financial aid to help defer the costs.
There are many sources of financial aid with different qualifications that can be both confusing and overwhelming for parents.
Sources include the college or university that your child plans to attend as well as federal and private lenders.
The BBB warns you to carefully screen private companies that offer loans and other forms of financial assistance for your child’s education.
These companies often use direct mail marketing, telemarketing, television, radio, and online advertising to promote their products.
“Parents who need financial aid for their college-bound students in the form of grants, loans and scholarships may ignore deceptive business practices that some private lenders use,” said BBB President Tom Bartholomy.
The BBB has advice for how you can spot the red flags that could lead to financial losses instead of financial aid.
Payment of an advance fee to get a grant, loan or scholarship.
Payment of the fee in cash or by wire transfer only. These types of payments do not leave a paper trail.
Guaranteed ‘promise’ that you will get the grant, loan or scholarship.
Phone numbers or fax numbers outside of the United States.
Request for social security numbers and credit card numbers of parents and student to qualify you for the financial aid.
Apply for financial aid directly through the college or university where your child will be going.
Apply for assistance through federal financial aid programs.
Research prospective private lenders before providing personal information about you or your child.
For more information about financial aid programs for college-bound students, please visit BBB.