Scammers offering student loan (un)forgiveness, FTC says

Jen shares some ways scammers are trying to get your money through student loan forgiveness plans.

With the announcement that the student loan payment pause has been extended through Aug. 31, 2022, scammers won’t be far behind, the Federal Trade Commission warns.

Discussion of some possible, eventual loan forgiveness for all can also give scammers an opening, the FTC says.

The FTC emphasized that there is currently NOT a federal student loan forgiveness program for all -- despite what scammers might want you to believe.

The FTC says scammers might promise a loan forgiveness program — that most people won’t qualify for. Or they might say they’ll wipe out your loans by disputing them. But they can’t get you into a forgiveness program you don’t qualify for or wipe out your loans.

To steer clear of a student loan forgiveness scam, know this:

  • There are specific federal loan forgiveness programs. There are the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) and the Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs, to name a few. There’s even a Public Service Loan Forgiveness limited waiver program going on right now with a deadline of Oct. 31, 2022. If you have questions about qualifying for federal loan forgiveness, contact your loan servicer or the Department of Education directly.
  • Don’t share 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 steal your identity.
  • You don’t need to pay for help. There’s nothing a company can do that you can’t do for yourself — for free. If you have questions about your loans, or how you’ll repay them after the pause ends in August, contact your loan servicer.

If there is eventually a broader federal student loan debt forgiveness plan, the official word will come from the Department of Education, not random calls, texts, emails, or social media messages. Spot one of these scams? Tell your friends, and then tell the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.