Help Protect Yourself from Student Loan Scams
The federal student loan landscape continues to evolve, including return to repayment set to begin in October 2023, and borrowers may be experiencing confusion and uncertainty. Unfortunately, scammers thrive in these conditions. Borrowers must be especially alert.
Attorney General Josh Stein knows all too well the prevalence of scammers and the harm they cause, and he wants to arm North Carolinians with the information they need to avoid them.
WATCH OUT FOR THESE RED FLAGS
- You’re asked to pay upfront fees. Free assistance is available through your federal loan servicer. You can find out who your servicer is by logging in to your Federal Student Aid account or calling 1-800-433-3243.
- You’re pressured to decide quickly. Reject offers from anyone who tries to pressure you to act fast or agree to a contract you have not had time to read and fully understand. Legitimate companies do not use these urgent and aggressive techniques.
- You’re promised instant debt relief. For many student loan relief programs, there are time requirements for payments and/or employment. No company can help you speed up the process.
- You’re asked to provide personal information, particularly your FSA ID, which has the same legal status as a written signature. Scammers can use your personal information to steal your money and change your account so that you aren’t aware of missed payments.
- You’re asked to sign a third-party authorization form or power of attorney. Such agreements give another person legal authority to make certain decisions for you.
FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO AVOID SCAMMERS
- Stay in contact with your servicer and up-to-date on the status of your loans. To make sure you receive relevant communications, be sure your contact information is up to date with the office of Federal Student Aid and your loan servicer. The more information you know about your loans, the more difficult it is for scammers to try to trick you.
- Don’t trust someone who contacts you and claims to be affiliated with the Department of Education or your loan servicer, and know that scammers may use official-looking names, seals, and logos. If you have any concerns, be cautious and contact your loan servicer or the Department of Education directly.
TAKE THESE STEPS IF YOU THINK YOU’VE BEEN SCAMMED
- Change your FSA password;
- Notify your student loan servicer;
- Contact your bank or credit card company and request that payments to the scammer be stopped; and
- Report the scam to:
For additional information on recent student loan developments, visit ncdoj.gov/studentloans.