BOSTON, Sep 21, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – MEFA is advising student loan borrowers of a recent wave of student debt relief scams using pressured sales tactics and promising repayment assistance in exchange for upfront fees. Debt relief companies may also claim to have the ability to help borrowers pay off their student loans, or to help them pay them off faster. For federal and private student loan borrowers, many of the services offered may already be available from the borrower’s current loan department.
Debt relief scams can be an attempt to collect personal and financial data to enroll borrowers in expensive services that are actually available for free elsewhere. Consumers are urged to avoid falling victim to a scam or bad business practice by learning the warning signs, including:
- A random phone call offering student loan debt relief or immediate forgiveness
- Pressure selling tactics, such as insisting the borrower act quickly on a limited-time offer
- People falsely presenting themselves as having a legitimate relationship with the Department of Education or one of the federal student loans agencies
- A request for personal and financial information, such as loan debt amount, social security number, loan account username and password, etc.
- An advertisement on social networks or search engines
To avoid debt relief scams, MEFA advises consumers to take the following steps:
- Never provide personal or financial information over the phone unless it is a call made by you and you are sure the identity of the person on the phone.
- Research the company and the services offered to determine legitimacy.
- Contact your student loan manager and ask if they provide the services offered by the debt relief company.
- Do not verbally accept any debt service and carefully review the documents to understand the details and cost.
- Keep complete records of communications and documents with any company providing loan services.
Borrowers who suspect that they are the victims of a debt relief scam are urged to immediately contact Federal Student Aid or their student loan officer to discuss their options. A scammed consumer is potentially at risk of identity theft or may be charged excessive fees for a service that does not meet their expectations.
The Federal Trade Commission resources page has information on how to avoid scams, what to do if you’ve been scammed, and instructions on how to report frauds, scams, and bad news. business practices. For more information on how to avoid student loan debt relief scams, visit the following sites:
- Federal student aid Avoid Student Aid Scams, which provides tips on how to identify a debt relief scam
- Studentloanscam.com, which has information on how to spot debt relief scams and what to do if you’ve been scammed
- the American Educational Services page, Beware of “Debt Relief” Organizations, which provides tips on identifying debt relief scams.
MEFA is a not-for-profit, non-state or federal credit authority established under the General Laws of Massachusetts, Chapter 15C. MEFA’s mission, since its founding in 1982, has been to help Massachusetts students and families access higher education and afford them the means to achieve their financial goals through educational programs. , tax-efficient savings plans, low-cost loans and expert advice. All of MEFA’s work aligns with the ever-present goal of supporting the independence, growth and success of Massachusetts students and families. Visit mefa.org to learn more or follow MEFA on Twitter @mefatweets and on Facebook at mefaMA.