Simply Money: Smart way to refinance student loan debt

FOX19 - Simply Money reports that Americans owe nearly $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, and many people are hampered down by monthly payments.

Moreover, scammers are finding it easy to rip off people who owe lenders.

For young professionals and people who haven't landed a great job, student loan debt can feel crushing.

The average new college graduate now has more than $37,000 in debt.

Scammers see it as an opportunity. They offer to help people reduce what they owe -- or even forgive debt altogether -- but there's a catch.

Many scammers demand a fee up front to help clear debt. Once they get it, they disappear. The person still owes, and they never hear from the scammer again.

The Simply Money point: It's actually illegal for companies offering student debt relief to collect fees up front.

Instead, it is free to apply for an income-driven repayment plan, or to learn more about legit forgiveness plans for federal loans.

And for those in a real bind, there are non-profit student loan counselors who might be able to help.

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