If you’re paying off student loans, chances are you’d do just about anything to lower your monthly payments.

But should you pay a fee to do so?

In this Verify segment, ABC10 News examined the “final notices” being mailed out to people with student loans notifying they may be eligible to consolidate their loans.

The fine print on the notices informs recipients that the companies provide fee-based assistance. The Verify team wanted to answer the question: Is a fee even necessary?

To get to the bottom of this, ABC10 News consulted two sources: the federal Department of Education and the California attorney general’s office.

The Department of Education says there’s no application fee necessary to consolidate your federal education loans, but acknowledges that private companies are trying to contact people advertising a fee-based service.

The attorney general’s office went one step further in a 2015 alert, calling these offers scams.

A spokesperson for the attorney general’s office says that the agency continues to receive complaints about these offers, but couldn’t comment on whether the complaints have increased or decreased since the 2015 alert was issued.

The answer to this Verify? False – you do not have to pay a fee to consolidate federal student loans. The Department of Education can walk loan-holders through the consolidation process here.