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AG Nessel: Beware of Scammers Taking Advantage of Federal Student Loan Debt Forgiveness Program
August 26, 2022
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants to warn Michiganders to be on the lookout for potential scammers seeking to take advantage of borrowers pursuing new sweeping student loan debt relief recently announced by the Biden Administration.
Here are the highlights of the announced loan debt relief:
- The current student loan repayment pause has been extended a final time until December 31, 2022, with payments resuming in January 2023.
- The U.S. Department of Education will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients. Borrowers are eligible for this relief if their individual income is less than $125,000 or $250,000 for households. If the U.S. Department of Education doesn't have your income data - or if you don't know if the U.S. Department of Education has your income data, the Administration will launch a simple application in the coming weeks. The application will be available before the repayment pause ends. If you would like to be notified by the U.S. Department of Education when the application is open, please sign up at the Department of Education subscription page.
- The previously announced limited Public Service Loan Program (PSLF) waiver is still in effect until October 31, 2022. The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program forgives the remaining balance on your federal student loans after 120 payments working full-time for federal, state, Tribal, or local government; military; or a qualifying non-profit. The limited PSLF waiver allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF. For more information on eligibility and requirements, go to PSLF.gov.
AG Nessel encourages residents to follow these tips to avoid scams seeking to take advantage of borrowers’ eagerness to obtain debt relief.
- For more information about this relief, visit the Federal Student Aid website and/or their loan servicer.
- Do not provide your personal or financial information in response to unsolicited emails, phone calls, or texts either purportedly from the federal government or a company claiming to be able to assist you with obtaining the announced relief.
- Don’t agree to pay anyone for assistance in obtaining this relief.
- Don’t be rushed. To get you to act fast, scammers say you could miss qualifying for repayment plans, loan consolidation, or loan forgiveness programs if you don’t sign up right away. Take your time and check it out.
- Don’t give away your FSA ID. Some scammers claim they need your FSA ID to help you, but don’t share your FSA ID with anyone. Dishonest people could use that information to get into your account and steal your identity.
“The opportunity for debt forgiveness is also an opportunity for scammers to try and gain access to your personal and financial information,” said Nessel. “It is important to remember that the federal government will not proactively email or text you to take advantage of this program. Residents should rely on legitimate sources for information and not fall for messages that create a sense of urgency or demand financial information.”
Those who wish to make a report about potential scams, can do so with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team by filing a complaint online or by calling 877-765-8388.