As a student, you know how hard it can be to pay off your student debt. It can cause you to delay important milestones, such as buying a car or getting married.
But presidential hopefuls Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders have proposed student debt forgiveness as a way to help people get out of debt. Economists say the plan could boost the economy and reduce income inequality.
It’s a scam
In the months after President Biden announced his student debt forgiveness plan, borrowers have been bombarded with text messages, phone calls, and ads from scammers promising to reduce or cancel their loans. Often, these schemes prey on vulnerable borrowers who have fallen behind on payments and are desperate to find help.
These people are not qualified to help you sign up for loan forgiveness programs, nor do they have the information to determine your eligibility. The only way to get loan forgiveness is by applying for it, and you can do this online for free.
Scammers often try to get you to pay them upfront to enroll in a loan forgiveness program before they have all of the information you need. This is a scam, and you should never pay upfront to get your student debt reduced or forgiven.
According to the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), 12% of Google ads that appeared in searches for student loan forgiveness were fraudulent.
The TTP also reported that the number of student debt relief scams has increased in recent months as confusion over the Coronavirus pandemic and Biden’s loan forgiveness plan has created a ripe target for con artists. Experts say the best way to avoid being a victim of student debt relief scams is to be aware of them and stay vigilant.
It’s a fraud
Amid calls for broad-based student loan debt forgiveness and the federal government’s ongoing effort to erase balances from borrowers of specific colleges, scam companies claiming to help you cancel your own higher-education debt have been on the rise.
According to a recent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report, con artists have targeted borrowers via email, phone, and social media. They have been known to offer to reduce your payments or even wipe out your debt entirely, in exchange for an upfront fee of hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Thankfully, Ross and her mom were able to keep their wits about them and not fall for the hoax. But many others have been suckered by the same gimmick.
As the Coronavirus pandemic has made headlines this winter, scammers have stepped up their game to capitalize on the public’s sense of urgency. As such, they have devised clever marketing ploys to lure the unsuspecting. The best way to avoid being suckered is to do your research beforehand. That may mean scouring the Internet for reviews, checking out websites, and reading blogs written by experts in your field. Using these tools, you can spot scams from the get-go. The most important thing is to never give out your personal information or make a payment over the phone to someone you don’t know.
It’s a ripoff
It’s been three months since President Joe Biden and the Department of Education launched a program to forgive up to $20,000 of student debt. It’s an important move and one that many people are hopeful about. However, a lack of information is also making people vulnerable to scams. Using social media and text messages, con artists are promising to reduce payments or even cancel student debt completely. They may ask you to provide your credit card number to get started, and then send you a check that you never receive. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is warning borrowers of this scam, and it’s a good idea to avoid these calls and text messages.
Despite its flaws, the Yo-Yo No More Forgive Student Debt program is still worth looking into, but you should be sure to research it first.