Student Loan Repayment Scams Are on the Rise
The U.S. Department of Education ended the three-year pause on student loan payments in August and payments will be due again starting in October. Scammers are using the resumption of payments and confusion around new student loan forgiveness and repayment programs to try to steal your funds and personal information.
How It Works
If you’re about to start repaying loans, you may receive a phone call, text, email, or letter from someone offering you “student loan consolidation” or a “student loan reduction program.” They may say they're affiliated with the Department of Education. After you respond, they ask you for personal information to confirm your eligibility, and then try to convince you to sign up for a loan repayment plan that will reduce your payment. However, if you “sign up,” they never actually put any payment towards your loans and pocket the money themselves instead. They may also promise you “loan forgiveness” or offer to “help you” with your loans for a fee.
How to Avoid Student Loan Consolidation/Debt Relief Scams:
- Visit StudentAid.gov/repay or call your loan servicer directly to learn about loan forgiveness requirements or to discuss repayment options that may lower your payment.
- Be aware that scammers may try to trick you into paying for free government programs by claiming you can get additional benefits, faster benefits, etc., for a fee.
- Be suspicious of unsolicited calls, emails, or texts claiming to be from government agencies. If you have any concerns about an alleged government representative's legitimacy, hang up the phone, find the official contact information and call to verify.
- Don’t pay for help with your student loans. Resources are available for free at StudentAid.gov. For private loans, contact your loan servicer directly.
- Do not provide your FSA ID login information. Anyone who says they need it to help you is a scammer.
What to Do if You Become a Victim
- Contact Citadel immediately at 800-666-0191 to report the fraud.
- File a police report.