Student Loan Scam Protection
The federal student loan COVID-19 payment pause has been extended into 2023. The repayment pause is now extended until 60 days after the federal Department of Education is permitted to implement the one-time debt relief program or its litigation is resolved. If the one-time debt relief program has not been implemented and the litigation has not been resolved by June 30, 2023 — payments will resume 60 days after that. For the latest information, please visit Federal Student Loan COVID-19 page.
There are also new options for loan forgiveness for those in public service, even if they previously did not qualify for the PSLF program. For the latest information, please visit the Federal Student Loan PSLF Limited Waiver page.
Protecting Yourself from Scams
Some scammers target student loan borrowers by promising that they can reduce or eliminate student loan debt. These companies usually charge hundreds of dollars for their services, or may even charge steep fees but fail to deliver on their promises to enroll borrowers in a debt relief program.
Be advised that the programs used by debt relief companies, such as federal loan consolidation and income-based repayment plans, are available to borrowers for free and can be found at the Department of Education website. You never have to pay for these services.
A debt relief company may be a scam if it:
- Involves a reach out that you did not initiate;
- Note: NEVER give out your Social Security Number, Federal Student Aid ID or password, or other personally identifying information unless you make the contact with the company and are sure that you are calling the correct institution.
- Promises immediate loan forgiveness or debt cancellation;
- Charges you fees before it actually does anything for you or charges recurring monthly fees;
- Pressures you to sign a contract on the spot;
- Requires you to finance your fees through another company;
- Offers to contact your creditor to obtain a “special deal” in connection with a federal loan;
- Note: repayment levels are set by law and debt relief companies do not have the ability to negotiate a “special deal” for federal loan repayment.
- Pressures you to sign a “third party authorization” or “power of attorney”;
- Requests your Federal Student Aid PIN;
- Uses a name or logo that makes it seem as though the company is a government agency or is associated with a government agency; or
- Tells you it is working with the federal government or a loan servicer.
- Note: no company working with the government or a loan servicer would charge you money to consolidate loans or to enroll in an alternative repayment plan.