Student Loan Debt Relief Scams

From the Federal Trade Commission

You’ve probably seen ads from companies promising to help with your student loan debt. Here’s what you should know: there’s nothing a student loan debt relief company can do for you that you can’t do yourself for free. And some of the companies that promise relief are scams. Tips to avoid getting scammed:

Never pay an up-front fee

It’s illegal for companies to charge you before they help you. If you pay up front to reduce or get rid of your student loan debt, you might not get any help — or your money back.

Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness

Before they know the details of your situation, scammers might say they can quickly get rid of your loans through a loan forgiveness program — programs most people won’t qualify for. Or they might say they will wipe out your loans by disputing them. But they can’t do either.

A Department of Education seal doesn’t mean it’s legit

Scammers use official-looking names, seals and logos, and tell you they have special access to certain repayment plans, new federal loan consolidations, or loan forgiveness programs. They don’t. If you have federal loans, go to the Department of Education directly at StudentAid.gov.

Don’t be rushed into a bad decision

Scammers tell you that you could miss qualifying for repayment plans, loan consolidation, or loan forgiveness programs if you don’t sign up right away. Take your time and check it out.

Don’t give away your FSA ID

Some scammers claim they need your FSA ID to help you, but don’t share your FSA ID with anyone. Dishonest people could use that information to get into your account and take control of your personal information.

Report Scams

If you think you’ve responded to a scam, tell the FTC and your State Attorney General.

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