If you haven’t made any payments on your student loans for over 9 months Chances are you are being contacted by one of the many private collection agencies, such as Pioneer Credit Recovery, contracted by the Department of Education to collect defaulted student loans.
However, ignoring the calls, and/or not resolving your defaulted loans will only create further ramifications.
This guide will tell you all about who Pioneer Credit Recovery is, what you can do to get them to stop contacting you, and how you can get your student loans back in good standing.
Who Is Pioneer Credit Recovery?
Pioneer Credit Recovery is a debt collection agency that is a subsidiary of Navient Corporation. They have been around for 35 years, and are based out of Arcade, NY, with locations in Horseheads, NY, and Moorestown, NJ.
Why Are They Calling Me?
If you have defaulted student loan debt, Pioneer Credit Recovery is contacting you to make arrangements on those loans. Your debt was turned over to Pioneer Credit Recovery when the Department of Education had failed attempts to contact you and resolve the default.
Pioneer Credit Recovery In The News
If the name Pioneer Credit Recovery sounds familiar, it’s because they have been in the news quite a bit over the last few years. The IRS hired them to collect on unpaid tax debts of taxpayers, and they were among 5 collection agencies that were fired by the Department of Education in 2015. In 2017, the Trump administration rehired them to perform collections on student loan debts in default, once again.
Reviews, Complaints, And Lawsuits
Pioneer Credit Recovery Scam? Pioneer Credit Recovery, Inc is accredited with the BBB since 1997 and has had 124 complaints logged in the last 3 years. Less than half of those complaints were closed in the last 12 months. The majority of the complaints are due to billing/collections issues.
Further research of this collection agency indicates they were given a 1-star rating on the Consumer Affairs website.
Pioneer Credit Recovery was initially fired from the Department of Education because of its collection practices. PCR has also been hit with several lawsuits for violating the FDCPA. Some of these violations include misleading customers about the effects of the rehabilitation program, billing students for collection costs fraudulently, using improper telephone practices such as automated calls, and they violated privacy by looking for individuals on social media to identify acquaintances of borrowers that are/were in debt.
If you feel that any of these violations have been committed by Pioneer Credit Recovery to you, contact our office to find out how one of our debt specialists can help you.
How Do I Contact Them?
If you wish to contact Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc, here is their contact information:
Pioneer Credit Recovery Inc
26 Edward St
Arcade, NY 14009
TOLL-FREE LINE – 844-688-2708, They have representatives available Monday-Friday 8 am until 9 pm EST, and Saturdays 9 am until 12 pm EST. until 1 pm CST on Saturdays.
FAX – 585-492-1234
How Do I Stop This Collection Agency From Calling?
Pioneer Credit Recovery is known for violating consumer rights and using aggressive collection practices. To stop this agency from contacting you, you can exercise your rights under the FDCPA, or you can get your student loan debt back in good standing. If you choose the latter option, you will have to have some form of contact with this collection agency to get your loans back on track.
If you want help with dealing with PCR, contact our office to speak with a loan financial advisor to guide you in the right direction.
What Are My Rights?
If you choose to exercise your rights under the FDCPA, you should know what your rights are. Here are your rights under the FDCPA:
- They are prohibited from harassing, threatening, or abusing you to collect a debt.
- They are prohibited from making false, deceptive, or misleading claims to collect or attempt to collect a debt.
- They must inform you of your right to dispute the validity of the debt, and provide you with information regarding the debt, such as the amount, name and contact information of the original creditor, and they must provide you with their complete contact information.
- They are prohibited from calling you before 8 am and after 9 pm.
- If you have an attorney and they are aware of the fact, they must cease contact with you and only communicate with your attorney.
- They must inform you that you have the right to request in writing that the company is not to contact you by any means. If you submit a request in writing to cease all communication, they must not contact you unless it’s regarding additional legal proceedings.
How Do I Get My Student Loans Back In Good Standing?
If you want to get your loans back into good standing there are several ways to do so. First, you need to determine if there is an active wage garnishment in effect against your student loan debt. If there is, you are limited to the strategies that you can use to get your loans back in good standing.
A consolidation is an option as long as your loans don’t have an active garnishment in effect. If you have a garnishment in effect, then you must have it removed. You also have to pay 3 on-time monthly payments before your loans can be consolidated. The Direct Consolidated loan must be paid under an income-driven repayment plan.
The good news is that once your loans are consolidated, you will once again be eligible for deferment or forbearance as well as federal aid.
Be careful with choosing this option to get your loans back in good standing. It is known as a one-time-only get-out of the default-free card. Payments are based on 15% of your discretionary income. You are required to make 9 monthly consecutive payments within 10 months. After your 5th payment, if you have a wage garnishment in effect, it will stop. You will also be eligible to receive deferment, forbearance options, as well as being eligible for federal aid and loan forgiveness programs.
Voluntary repayment plan
This is the first option that a collection agency will offer to you. If you fail to pay on the agreement with the collection agency, they can proceed with garnishing your wages.
Payment In Full
If you can afford to, you can always pay your balance in full to get your loans out of default or collections. However, if you could, you wouldn’t be in default or collections.
Negotiate a settlement
If your loans are in default, you can negotiate a settlement amount. This amount would need to get approved by the Department of Education in some circumstances.
What Happens If I Fail To Take Care Of My Defaulted Student Loans?
To reiterate once again, you should not ignore collection attempts being made on your defaulted student loans. If you fail to take care of your student loans, you will face the following:
- Negative marks on your credit report, creating obstacles if you want to buy a house or finance a new car.
- Federal and state tax refund offsets
- Garnishment of your wages
- Ineligible to qualify for other federal student aid or repayment plans.
- Ineligible for loan forgiveness
- Garnishment of social security retirement and disability benefits.
- In some states, you can lose your driving privileges.
- You will be responsible for additional fees such as collection fees.
These issues are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to defaulted student loans. Imagine if you are trying to get a job or a government contract, you could be denied the opportunity because you will not be able to obtain the security clearance needed. If you hold a professional license it can be revoked, or worse you may not be able to renew it because of your student loan debt.
Before you decide to ignore your student loans, think about how it will affect your personal and professional life. If you need help setting up an option to get out of default or collections with Pioneer Credit Recovery, contact our office and speak with one of our experienced loan financial advisors.
Paying back your student loans after you finish school is stressful enough, therefore you don’t need to be harassed or have your rights violated by someone attempting to collect a debt. The best way to tackle your student loan debt is by addressing them before they are placed in the hands of PCR. This means communicating with your loan service provider or department of education when you can make payments on your loans.
The earlier that you address an issue that is occurring, the more options you will have available to you. If you need help preventing your loans from defaulting or you want guidance with defaulted student loans, contact our office to speak with a debt specialist.