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Beware of Student Loan Forgiveness & Cancellation Scams

Student loan scams are on the rise. Even more so since the announcement about the Student Debt Relief Plan. Here’s what to know and how to stay safe.

Young man talking on mobile phone at desk.

How to spot a student loan scam.

Legit federal student loan servicers are not contacting anyone right now for the cancellation. They will be sending paper notices sometime in November to let borrowers know that the Cares Act or deferment period is ending and payments are due in January.

  • You’re asked to pay a fee. Scammers may call, email, or write you and ask you to pay some kind of fee in order to process or push your application for relief through faster. This is an automatic red flag that you should hang up or disregard this message. Government agencies will not ask you for a fee for the free programs they’re implementing.

  • There’s a sense of urgency. There is almost always a sense of urgency behind the scammer’s message—asking you to act fast, that you can get complete forgiveness but it’s first come, first served; that you need to act quickly before the relief program is discontinued; that your loans have been flagged for forgiveness but you need to call quickly to confirm, and so on. You might hear phrases like, “this is a one-time/limited-time deal,” or “if you hang up, we can’t offer this opportunity again!”

  • It sounds too good to be true. If what the caller or writer is telling you sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers will say just about anything to draw you in, creating different offers that make the deal sound too amazing to turn down.

What to do if you’ve been contacted by a scammer.

  • Stay calm and take your time. Scammers will try to get you in a flustered state that’ll have you acting quickly. Take a deep breath and remain level-headed. Don’t believe what they’re trying to sell you.

  • NEVER give out your personal information (social security number, address, email, etc.) or banking information (credit card numbers, account, and routing numbers, usernames/passwords).

  • Hang up the phone, exit out of the email, and contact your student loan provider directly to confirm the communication was not from them. Chances are, they’ll confirm it was a scam.

    • Do NOT call the number or click the links the potential scammer gave you—that’ll only take you right back to them! Use the number/website you know to be of your actual provider.

  • If you accidentally fell for a scam and provided them with your banking information, contact your bank or credit union IMMEDIATELY to prevent charges from going through. Your financial institution can block your cards, issue new ones, and make any other account changes needed, depending on the information shared. 3Rivers members can find information about reporting fraud by clicking here.

Learn more about student loan forgiveness scams and resources specific to these types of scams by checking out this article from Federal Student Aid.

Want to discuss this further? Let’s talk!

If you’re unsure whether or not you’ve been contacted by a scammer or simply want to learn more about the real Student Loan Debt Relief Plan, reach out to us! We want to make sure your information stays safe and you don’t lose the opportunity to qualify for student loan relief.

Call us at 260.490.8328 x 8265 or email our Youth & College Support Team.


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