From the abstract:
Outstanding student loan balances in the United States total roughly $1 trillion, with student loan debt following one of every five adults. People across the income, age, and educational attainment spectrums have student loan debt, but it is particularly concentrated in some groups. African Americans and Hispanics are about twice as likely to have student loan debt as whites. Fifty-seven percent of people with student loans are concerned that they may be unable to repay that debt. This concern cuts across demographic and economic groups but is more prevalent among people with children, with lower household incomes, and women.
Searching for Relief: Desperate Borrowers and the Growing Student Loan “Debt Relief” Industry
Source: National Consumer Law Center, June 19, 2013
A student loan “debt relief” industry has sprung up in response to the demand for student loan borrower assistance and this report documents multiple problems as well as potential violations of consumer federal and state laws. Given the many misrepresentations uncovered, it is unlikely that these companies are providing quality services in return for the money they are charging. Such practices severely compound the pain of vulnerable consumers seeking to find resolutions to difficult student debt problems. The U.S. Department of Education should make it easier for student loan borrowers to access its borrower assistance programs, and federal and state authorities should ensure that these companies comply with the law so that consumers truly understand what services they are buying.