Student loan relief program offers forgiving up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for eligible borrowers. Unfortunately, scammers are targeting those with student loan debt before the legitimate program rolls out.
Here are a few red flags to watch out for to avoid student loan forgiveness scams.
Out-of-the-Blue Calls and Emails
The Department of Education won’t call you out of the blue to get your social security number, FSA ID, password, or other personal details. So, don’t give out such information over the phone or by email to someone who reaches out to you claiming to be a government representative.
You won’t need to pay anyone to sign up when the program rolls out. “Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility,” according to the FTC. “And anybody who says they can — or tries to charge you — is (1) a liar, and (2) a scammer. Beyond scams modeled after the upcoming relief program, also look for other ploys that involve paying money upfront to get debt relief.
Asking for Your FSA ID
While you probably know not to give out your social security number to just anyone, you might not realize how important it is to protect your FSA ID. That’s significant because scammers can use your FSA ID to access your student aid account, make changes, and according to AARP, “even divert your payments.”
Pushes You To Act Fast
Biggest red flag! Feeling pressured to move quickly is another tipoff that you could be dealing with a scammer. Don’t get caught up in the moment should they tell you that you could miss out on loan forgiveness if you don’t start the process right then.