If you've ever had a student loan, you know the feeling of dread that comes with it. While it was easy to sign up for a student loan, or to walk into a bank and get one, it's a lot less easy to pay them off.
By some estimates, 40 million Americans have some student loan debt. If you're one of them, advertisements that promise to help you "Lower your monthly payment" catch your eye.
As it turns out, some of those sites are illegally using government logos, to give the appearance that they're affiliated with the United States government. In fact, the Department of Education is taking legal against two such sites.
The DOE has sent "cease and desist" letters to Perfect Privacy, which operates SLprograms.org, and the Student Loan Project. They've been ordered to stop using the DOE's name and logo without permission, a violation of the Lanham Act.
These agencies, which charge a fee to help you reduce student loan payments, are offering for-fee services that the government offers for free. The Acting Secretary of the Department of Education, John King, has created a YouTube video to warn students about agencies that charge fees to help you with student loan payment.