AMARILLO, Texas(KAMR/KCIT) —The Biden Administration’s $20,000 of federal student loan debt cancellation program is here and scammers are already finding ways to scam those looking for forgiveness. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Education has provided borrowers with the following Do’s and Don’ts as they apply for student loan debt relief.
· DO sign up at www.ed.gov/subscriptions to be notified when the Student Loan Debt Relief application becomes available.
· DO create an FSA ID at StudentAid.gov. You will not need it for the debt relief application, but having an FSA ID allows easy access to accurate information on your loan. It also makes sure FSA can contact you directly, helping you equip yourself against scammers trying to contact you. Log in to your current account on StudentAid.gov and keep your contact info updated. If you need help logging in, follow these tips on accessing your account.
· DO make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information. If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can log into StudentAid.gov and see your servicer(s) in your account.
· DO report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.
· DON’T pay anyone who contacts you with promises of debt relief or loan forgiveness. YOU DO NOT NEED TO PAY ANYONE TO OBTAIN DEBT RELIEF. The application will be free and easy to use when it opens in October.
· DON’T reveal your FSA ID, account information, or password to anyone who contacts you. The Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer will never call or email you asking for this information.
· DON’T ever give personal or financial information to an unfamiliar caller. When in doubt, hang up and call your student loan servicer directly. You can find your federal student loan servicer’s contact information at Studentaid.gov/manage-loans/repayment/servicers.
· DON’T refinance your federal student loans unless you know the risks. If you refinance federal student loans eligible for debt relief into private loans, you will lose out on the one-time debt relief and flexible repayment plans for federal loans.
BBB Tips on Protecting from Loan Scammers:
- Get to know the terms of your student loan and the relief program before acting.
- Never pay money for a free government program.
- Be wary of out-of-the-blue calls, emails or text messages claiming to be from the government.
- Watch out for phony government agencies or programs.
- Think something seems suspicious? Reach out to the agency directly.
- Be careful, even if the information comes from a friend.