I have written many times over the last ten years about student loan scams because scammers have successfully targeted college students and their parents for a variety of scams related to these extensive loans.
Since the start of the pandemic, a moratorium on federal student loan repayments has been extended eight times, most recently as a part of President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program with the extension now ending on December 31st. Last week President Biden announced his plan to forgive as much as $20,000 of federal student loan debt for borrowers who received Pell Grants and up to $10,000 for federal student loan borrowers who did not receive Pell Grants subject to income limits.
Approximately 8 million borrowers may qualify to get their debt relief automatically because the Department of Education already has all of their relevant information on file. However, others may need to apply for debt relief. It is not expected that the applications will be available for at least a few weeks and perhaps even months. This is going to lead to scammers jumping in and contacting people promising to be able to get preferential early treatment or assistance in getting the debt relief for an up-front fee. Up-front fees for debt relief are always a scam because those fees are illegal. It can be expected that the scammers will try and lure people into hiring them quickly by scaring them into thinking that if they do not, they will miss out on an opportunity. Luring people into acting quickly is often the hallmark of a scam.
The old adage still is true. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Many of these student loan debt relief scammers promise total quick loan forgiveness, which is unrealistic. In addition, you should never pay any upfront fees for student loan debt relief assistance. Those fees are illegal and are a sure indication that you are being scammed. Scammers always ask for these fees. Also, remember my motto, “trust me, you can’t trust anyone.” Don’t trust scammers merely because they use names that sound like they are affiliated with the government.
You can be sure that scammers will be contacting people by phone, text messages and emails offering to help you in regard to having your loans forgiven. Avoid people offering their assistance. Don’t fall for the scammers. For trustworthy information about the student loan forgiveness program, I urge you to sign up for updates from the Department of Education so you will be notified when the forgiveness program becomes operational and instructed as to what steps you need to take. Here is the link to sign up for updates. https://www.ed.gov/subscriptions
One, often overlooked, federal program that offers limited forgiveness of student loans is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Limited Waiver program which is available to former students who have been working either for a government agency, the military or a non-profit organization. The deadline for applying for benefits under this program is October 31, 2022 so if this applies to you, you certainly will want to look into it. Here is a link with official information about the program.https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/pslf-limited-waiver
If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive free daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is sign up using this link. https://scamicide.com/scam-of-the-day/