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Student-loan firm to stop paying schools for help

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Associated Press / December 12, 2007

NEW YORK - Andrew Cuomo, New York's attorney general, yesterday said he has settled his investigation of a student loan consolidation company that paid fees to colleges and sports departments to help it market loans directly to students.

Cuomo said Student Financial Services Inc., of Clearwater, Fla., which also operates as University Financial Services, had agreements with top universities that involved paying fees to the schools and their athletic departments and to sports marketing firms for steering students to the lender.

The company admitted to no wrongdoing but said it would end the agreements; launch an ad campaign warning students to protect themselves when looking for a loan; and end cash inducements like paying students to refer friends.

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