Receiving Student Loan Forgiveness Offers? They Might Be Scams!
As the two-year-long student loan pause possibly comes to an end this month, some people are getting nervous about paying more bills. Budgets have changed a lot since COVID relief packages started, and student loan forgiveness promises help. Unfortunately, many of those offers are scams that will put people in worse financial situations.
Student loan forgiveness scams usually start with a phone call, email or text offering payment delays or loan forgiveness (meaning you don’t have to pay back the loan). The scammer might request upfront fees or personal information to “qualify” you for these programs. Scammers even claim to be your loan servicer or the Department of Education giving you a 24-hour offer deadline.
Here is some information to help you to decide if you are being scammed:
- The Department of Education sends written messages about loan forgiveness, if they send anything at all. They won’t call you about it.
- Few people actually qualify. Loan forgiveness programs are free, but very limited. Only the government can qualify you as well – not private companies asking for fees.
- Government programs rarely, if ever, have 24-hour offers. You’ll have longer time periods to act on loan forgiveness offers, and the government won’t pressure you.
- Never give personal information by phone, text or email to anyone! Scammers want social security numbers, federal student aid IDs and studentaid.gov login information. Your loan servicer will only want the last four digits of your social security number.
If you’re a student loan forgiveness scam victim, don’t panic. Instead:
- Cancel scam payments.
- Change your banking information.
- Change studentaid.gov login information.
- Submit a report to the Federal Trade Commission.
Our members all deserve financial security, so we hope these tips help you hold onto your money.