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AARP warns against scammers targeting student loan debt – Times News Online

Online Scams

AARP warns against scammers targeting student loan debt – Times News Online

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Published May 12. 2022 07:06AM

Pennsylvania AARP

Scammers target student loan debt

Student loan debt is a bigger burden than ever, with more than 43 million people carrying outstanding federal student loans.

And while federal loan repayments have been paused again through Aug. 31, consumers holding this debt are eager to find relief.

And criminal scammers are eager to take advantage of consumers.

How It Works

• You receive an unsolicited contact offering to help navigate through state and federal programs to help you reduce or restructure your debt.

•“Debt relief experts” may offer access to instant, easy-to-access loan forgiveness options, often connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• These companies might ask for upfront payment or for personal information such as Social Security numbers or FSA ID (the username and password on your loan account).

What You Should Know

• There’s nothing that these companies can research for you that you cannot legitimately find for yourself for free. Often, it is as simple as contacting your loan servicer or the U.S. Department of Education.

• It is illegal for debt relief companies to collect payment from you before they get results, so upfront fees are a surefire sign of a scam.

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