On August 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced a final extension of the student loan payment pause until January 31, 2022.
The pause includes the following relief measures for eligible loans:
- A suspension of loan payments
- A 0% interest rate
- Stopped collections on defaulted loans
While this is great news for many, there’s no doubt that fraudsters will use the pause to prey upon student borrowers. Tempting offers of instant loan repayment or special-access official financial aid services may arrive through emails, letters, phone calls, or texts. Be wise and don’t take the bait. When ads are aggressively trying to get you to buy into a loan program, chances are they aren’t coming from the U.S. Department of Education or its partners. Usually these types of companies aren’t offering any services at all — they’re just after your money.
Further reading: Back to campus means understanding your data security
Here are five warning signs that a fake student loan debt relief company may be trying to scam you:
1. They ask for money
Up-front payments, hidden monthly fees, and requests for credit card numbers or bank account information are all red flags that you are the target of a scam. Since 1996, it’s been illegal to charge in advance for help obtaining or repaying a student loan.
2. They force a quick decision
Shady salesmen love to rush you into saying yes while your head is spinning with new information. If you…