By Terri Miller, FTC.gov
The U.S. Department of Education recently announced another extension of the student loan payment pause. This time the pause runs through August 31, 2022. That news puts student loans back in the headlines, along with discussion of some possible, eventual loan forgiveness for all. So, can scammers be far behind? No. No, they can’t.
In fact, student loan debt relief scammers are already here. But a federal student loan forgiveness program for all borrowers is NOT. Scammers might promise a loan forgiveness program — that most people won’t qualify for. Or they might say they’ll wipe out your loans by disputing them. But they can’t get you into a forgiveness program you don’t qualify for or wipe out your loans.
To steer clear of a student loan forgiveness scam, know this:
- There are specific federal loan forgiveness programs. There are the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs, to name a few. There’s even a Public Service Loan Forgiveness limited waiver program going on right now with a deadline of October 31, 2022. If you have questions about qualifying for federal loan forgiveness, contact your loan servicer or the Department of Education directly.
- Don’t share your FSA ID. Some scammers claim they need your FSA ID to help you, but don’t share your FSA ID with anyone. Dishonest people could use that information to get into your account and steal your identity.
- You don’t need to pay for help. There’s nothing a company can do that you can’t do for yourself — for free. If you have questions about your loans, or how you’ll repay them after the pause ends in August, contact your loan servicer.
If there is eventually a broader federal student loan debt forgiveness plan, the official word will come from the Department of Education, not random calls, texts, emails, or social media messages. Spot one of these scams? Tell your friends, and then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.