Student debt relief is coming, and so are the scammers.

Matthew C. Woodruff

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Scam Alert(via public domain pictures)

In late August, President Joe Biden announced a program to end student aid loan debt up to $20,000 for qualifying persons who need it the most, and changes to the public service loan forgiveness program and income-driven repayment plans. This fulfills a campaign promise he made to voters, and though some Democrats and Republicans are opposed to any relief, people over-burdened with Student loan debt are now looking at better futures for themselves and their families.

These changes will make a real difference in the financial futures for millions of Americans with student loan debt. But as always, scammers will seize on this good news to steal your money and personal information. Beware of scammers.

The Department of Education has published the following tips to help you avoid falling for a scam.

If an unknown caller or email sender asks for your personal information, including your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), don’t respond. Your loan servicer and the Department of Education (DOE) will not ask you for personal information over the phone or in an email.

Be patient. Anyone promising instant debt relief is a scammer. The DOE will need time to implement the new programs and get relief to borrowers. No company can help you speed up the process. You can subscribe for updates from the DOE here.

Never pay upfront for assistance with your student loan debt. In your state it may be illegal for companies to charge a fee to modify debts.

Contact your loan servicer directly with any questions. Your loan servicer can help you get access to qualifying programs, like debt relief or repayment options. Make sure you ask if you qualify for PSLF or income-driven repayment.

In recent years, the government has gotten better about shutting down these scams. The Stop Student Debt Relief Scams Act creates consequences for those that seek to profit by misleading borrowers.

Ultimately you are responsible for protecting yourself from scammers.

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Matthew is a free-lance journalist, and an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL
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