Better Business Bureau Serving Acadiana is alerting local consumers to Sunrise Student Loan Services. Hopeful about the opportunity to consolidate student loans and reduce monthly payments, many consumers allegedly paid the company hundreds of dollars, only to allegedly experience failed promises.

 
BBB has received 27 complaints about Sunrise Student Loan Services in the last 12 months. Complainants allege the company charged an upfront fee ranging from $299 to $499 to consolidate federal student aid loans.
 
Student Loan Services has not responded to complaints since April, 2014 and currently has an “F” rating with BBB, the lowest possible.
 
Factors that lowered the rating for Sunrise Student Loan Services include 30 complaints filed against business, failure to respond to 28 complaints filed against business and BBB does not have a clear understanding of this business.
 
The company’s complete BBB Business Review can be found at:
 
According to information in BBB files, this company has complaints involving contract, refund/exchange, customer service, guarantee or warranty, and advertising issues.
 
Complainants allege that this business charges an upfront fee ranging from $299 to $499 to consolidate their Federal Aid loans.
 
Some consumers alleged that after paying the fee, the company did not follow through with the consolidation of the loan and may not be working with The Department of Education as promised. Additionally, consumers reported difficulty reaching the business when problems arise. When the complainant is able to contact the company about obtaining a refund and/or returning to finish the service, the business may not follow through.
 
Sunrise Student Loan Services has also not resolved a pattern of complaints involving advertising, billing, refund, contract and customer service issues.
 
BBB has also found advertising issues with Sunrise Student Loan Services.
 
August 6, BBB contacted Sunrise Student Loan Services regarding claims on the company’s website, http://sunrisestudentloanservices.com/, claiming a “90% Success Rate” and “Expedited Services.”
 
According to the BBB Code of Advertising, “Advertisers bear primary responsibility for truthful and non-deceptive advertising.  Advertisers should be prepared to substantiate any claims or offers made before publication or broadcast and upon request, present such substantiation promptly to the advertising medium or BBB.”

BBB asked the business to substantiate these claims and/or modify the business website to adhere to the BBB Code of Advertising.  As of September 9, Sunrise Student Loan Services has not responded to BBB’s request for revisions and substantiation in its advertising.
 
BBB advises consumers to be cautious when looking to consolidate student loans:
 
·         Do your homework. Before deciding on a particular company, visit bbb.org to view the company’s BBB Business Review before providing personal information that could put you at risk of identity theft. More government information on federal student loans can be found at https://studentaid.ed.gov/.
 
·         Know the facts. Federal student loans can only be consolidated through the Federal Direct Consolidation Program, which is free. While it is not illegal for companies to offer student loan consolidation services for a fee, know you can submit the application in 20 minutes for no charge.
 
·         Understand the terms and conditions.Be familiar with the terms and conditions the company has to offer. Make sure the consolidation company doesn’t move you into a private student loan with terms that could be more burdensome than the original loan.
 
Start with Trust®. BBB Serving Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses.
 
Please contact BBB at bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
 
The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.