News 4 Investigates: Student Loan reduction offer creates confus - KMOV.com

News 4 Investigates: Student Loan reduction offer creates confusion

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Kim Levine was confused about the service Ameritech Financial was providing, although the company said they didn't mean to mislead. (Credit: Ameritech Financial) Kim Levine was confused about the service Ameritech Financial was providing, although the company said they didn't mean to mislead. (Credit: Ameritech Financial)
Ameritech Financial's website states that they do not make payments for a client. (Credit: Ameritech Financial) Ameritech Financial's website states that they do not make payments for a client. (Credit: Ameritech Financial)
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Kim Levine of St. Louis owes more than $157,000 in student loan debt. 

Levine received a letter in her mailbox advertising "student loan payment reduction & forgiveness" and decided to call. 

After speaking with a representative at Ameritech Financial, Levine was under the impression her overall debt was being reduced from $157,000 to just over $14,000. 

Levine agreed to pay $207 per month, but later learned the money she paid did not reduce her overall debt. 

"I should have read more of the fine print," said Levine. 

As it turns out, the $14,000 total was the eventual sum Ameritech Financial would have received for services that include document preparation and assistance identifying possible debt relief programs. 

A manager with Ameritech Financial said the company has assisted 35,000 clients, and does not intentionally mislead consumers. 

Levine said she was lead to believe the payments were reducing her overall debt. 

Ameritech Financial's manager told News 4 that it's possible a representative went "rogue" in the past. 

The manager also said Ameritech Financial helped Levine complete the necessary paperwork to bring down her monthly student loan payment. 

On it's website Ameritech Financial tells consumers the services it provides include student loan document preparation and processing services. 

It also tells consumers that those services can be done for free by the consumer. 

Levine canceled her payments with Ameritech, saying she couldn't afford to pay $14,000 over time for help preparing and processing paperwork. 

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