The pandemic has disrupted all or parts of three academic years for students. Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of confusion about COVID-19 student loan policies and the possibility of debt forgiveness.

During this stressful time for student loan borrowers, criminals are using your confusion and stress to try to trick you into falling for student loan scams.

Below are tips to avoid common scams.

First, always be skeptical. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it almost always is. Be extremely wary of anyone who promises total loan forgiveness or assures fast loan forgiveness. Most loan forgiveness programs are conditional on a certain amount of repayment or a certain number of years working in your chosen field, and you should talk with your loan servicer directly to understand your options.

Also, beware of anyone charging an upfront fee to assist you with student loan debt. Under North Carolina law, it’s illegal for anyone to charge an upfront fee to modify borrowers’ debts. You do not have to pay anyone to receive student loan debt relief assistance. Instead, go to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, www.studentaid.gov, to learn how to contact your servicer to modify your loans.

If you receive an email or phone call about student loan debt forgiveness, do not provide any personal information. Your loan servicer and…

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