U.S. Education Department warns those with student loans to be alert for debt forgiveness scams
As President Joe Biden moves ahead with his student-loan forgiveness program, the U.S. Department of Education issued a public service announcement Thursday warning borrowers to be aware of scammers “with promises to help you obtain student loan forgiveness, reduce your student loan debt, consolidate your student loans, or eliminate your student loans completely.”
The announcement comes despite a hold that a federal appeals court placed on loan forgiveness last week in response to an emergency motion brought by attorneys for several Republican governors hoping to eventually derail the program. Applications for loan forgiveness remain open even with the hold in place.
The department’s Office of Inspector General made the announcement, which states that “dishonest companies, fraudsters, and cybercriminals are targeting student loan borrowers. They’re sending unsolicited texts, emails, or calls with promises to help you obtain student loan forgiveness, reduce your student loan debt, consolidate your student loans, or eliminate your student loans completely. You may also see their ads pop up on social media. Don’t fall for it — these are likely scammers coming after your money, your personal information, or both.”
The department is telling borrowers to obtain information about the plan only from the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid office.
Any encounters with scammers should be immediately reported to the OIG’s fraud outline, department officials said in the public service announcement.