The following is a warning from the Federal Trade Commission regarding scams you may receive about your student loans.  Read the warning and watch the very short video.

Having trouble paying your student loan debt?

You might get an offer that says you can reduce your monthly payment, or even reduce your overall debt. The offer might look like it comes from the government…and they might tell you that, first, you have to pay a fee. But it’s illegal for a company to ask you to pay a fee up front before they get you the promised relief. And it’s illegal for them to pretend to be from the government.

Because of the pandemic, people with federal student loans have some protections until December 31, 2020. People with student loans can also take steps to handle their student loan debt.

Start by learning to spot the scams – click here for a YouTube video created by the FTC.

TIPS:

  • Never pay a company upfront before they’ve gotten you results (see it in writing).
  • Scammers sometimes pretend they are with the government.
  • No company can promise you fast loan forgiveness
  • Protect you FSA ID.  Don’t give it out to anyone, for any reason.
  • Go directly to the source:
    • for free help with federal loans, visit Studentaid.gov.
    • For private loans, contact your loan company directly.
  • Scammers can “spoof” the phone number for legitimate companies.  Don’t assume the caller id will have the caller’s true phone number.

Did you get an offer for student loan debt relief?

Then, read more about managing your debt.

Have you spotted a scam? Report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. And be sure to keep up to date on what the FTC is doing by signing up to get Consumer Alerts.

MUSINGS BY DIANE:

Never respond to ads on TV, mail, the Internet or door-to-door offering to “help” you.  Someone has to pay for those ads – that ends up being you.  Most of these are scams, but by the time you find that out they will have moved on to new victims.  Ninety percent of those who use their services will never report them and even if someone does, it will take years to stop them. 

If you have questions – do your own research.  Look for government resources (they usually have .gov extension on their website).  Ask people who are experienced in this area (electrician, medical, or lawyer).  Lastly, use your common sense and don’t be persuaded by fancy talk (this is a theme you will see throughout my Musings).

– Diane L. Drain
Click here for steps to your free bankruptcy consultation