Student Loan Forgiveness Scams: Protect Yourself With These Government Tips

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Many scams attempt to imitate government services in order to gain access to your personal and financial information. Others pretend to offer help to vulnerable individuals with solutions to their unique financial situations.

Learn: You May Automatically Qualify for Student Loan Forgiveness
Student Loan Forgiveness Application Is Live: Steps To Apply

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) officially opened the application process for federal student loan forgiveness on Oct. 17. While this presented welcome news to borrowers looking to have their student loan debt eliminated, it also meant open season for scammers looking to steal an applicant’s identity and money.

Swindlers will try anything to get your money, but they can’t if you know who you should be dealing with and follow a few basic security measures to protect yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of outlets providing tips to avoid student loan scammers, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Biden administration.

The White House previously released a fact sheet detailing what the government is doing to inform the public and state jurisdictions about student loan fraud and its planned prevention techniques. The Oct. 5 statement claimed that a “whole-of-government effort” involving the ED, FRTC, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is necessary to address “aggressive and comprehensive scam prevention and enforcement strategies.” Prevention strategies will involve open communication across federal and state agencies and the launching of public outreach and education campaigns.

Save for Your Future

The simple fact is, when it comes to student loan forgiveness, there’s nothing a private company or a go-between can do for you that you can’t do yourself for free through ED’s StudentAid.gov site. However, that won’t stop a crook from trying.

Related: How To Get Money Back From Cash App if Scammed

The FTC’s Consumer Advice site is warning borrowers with up-to-date scam information and has provided some tips to keep in mind to protect yourself from fraud attempts. If someone contacts you regarding your student loan debt or an application for forgiveness:

  • Never pay anyone to help you apply for loan forgiveness
  • Never give away your FSA ID login information
  • Never trust someone who contacted you claiming they’re affiliated with the Department of Education

There are only two agencies you will be in contact with regarding your student loan and its forgiveness: the U.S. Department of Education and your student loan provider. Nobody can get your loans forgiven faster, even if you pay them a fee for their “effort.”

When it comes to grifters trying to get your personal information and money, use common sense and continue to monitor your identity everywhere. Always be skeptical when a stranger calls out of the blue with an offer of help, and keep all your personal information secure online.

Save for Your Future

According to the ED site, emails to borrowers come from noreply@studentaid.gov, noreply@debtrelief.studentaid.gov, and ed.gov@public.govdelivery.com addresses. If you are confronted with a scam attempt, report it immediately to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.

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Explore: Do I Get Student Loan Forgiveness if I’m Still in School?

The Biden-Harris administration’s student debt relief plan provides an unexpected windfall to borrowers with significant debt. If you follow the process and avoid potential fraud traps, you will be rewarded with the cancelled federal student loan debt to which you are entitled.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to change careers in 2016 and concentrate full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical communication diploma and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience copywriting for the retail industry.
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