ALBANY, N.Y. (WENY) – New York is warning consumers to be aware of scams tied to federal student debt relief.
The governor’s office says scammers are creating a sense of urgency by posing as government agencies and promising immediate student loan relief.
“New Yorkers work hard for every dollar they earn and the student loan forgiveness plan will be critical to helping reduce the pressures of mounting debt,” Governor Hochul said. “Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals and scammers are using this as an opportunity to take advantage of others. Today, we’re putting scammers on notice: we will not let you take advantage of hard-working New Yorkers. I urge everyone to remain vigilant and stay informed to stop these bad actors in their tracks.”
Borrowers are reminded that it’s important to stay well-informed and prepared for any fraud related to this new relief plan.
The following tips are recommended…
1. Seek trusted information and sources. Only go to “.gov” websites when seeking assistance. The U.S. Department of Education recently launched a webpage to provide borrowers with a one-stop location for accurate and up to date information about the program. Upon accessing the site, borrowers will find not only general information but also a detailed Frequently Asked Questions section that provides facts about the student debt relief plan.
2. Don’t trust any person or program who promises you early or special access, or guaranteed eligibility. You might be contacted by a company saying they will help you get loan discharge, forgiveness, cancellation, or debt relief for a fee. They may also offer to help you apply early. The loan forgiveness application will launch in early October and early access is not possible, and you never have to pay for help with your federal student aid. If you receive any of these offers, it’s a scam.
3. Don’t give your personal information, Federal Student Aid ID or social security number to anyone who contacts you. Nobody from the Department of Education will be calling you or texting you about this initiative. Make sure you work only with the U.S. Department of Education, and never reveal your personal information or account password to anyone. Genuine emails to borrowers will only come from email@example.com.
4. If you encounter a scam, report it. Contact the official Federal Student Aid website to file a complaint, or contact the Federal Trade Commission.