The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (DFR) is warning people about the uptick in student loan scams.
With recent changes to federal student loan programs, scammers are bombarding borrowers with fraudulent offers for loan forgiveness and refinancing.
The DFR is encouraging people to ignore phone calls, emails, social media messages, and other unsolicited messages from people claiming they can help you get your student loans forgiven faster or telling you that you should refinance your loan.
“Do not accept these unexpected offers without first checking to see if the offer is legitimate,” the DFR advisory states. “Chances are it is a scam.”
Scammers may use the phrases such as “pre-enrollment for all loan forgiveness” or “you must apply within the next 24 hours.”
“There are no fees associated with signing up for student loan forgiveness, so don’t fall for these scams,” DFR Administrator TK Keen said. “Everyone will have the same opportunities and there are no ways to cut in line and get loans forgiven faster.”
There are recent and upcoming changes to federal student loans and forgiveness of loans, as well as the Biden Administration’s one time cancellation. With those changes, unfortunately, there are people who will prey on those seeking help, according to Keen.
“There is not yet an application available for President Biden’s relief plan,” Oregon Student Loan Ombuds Lane Thompson said. “People can get alerted once the program is live by visiting the U.S. Department of Education website and check the box title ‘NEWII Federal Student Loan Borrower Updates.’”
Lane suggestions as a reminder, that if it is not a .gov website, it is not an official site of the federal government. The key signs to watch out for are if they tell you there is an urgency, a guarantee, and any secrecy.
“Any time the Department of Education announces changes to the student loan program, scammers come out of the woodwork,” Thompson said. “The advice remains the same: if it seems too good to be true, it likely is.”
If you have questions regarding your student loan’s eligibility, it is best to go to studentaid.gov. If you believe you received incorrect information from your servicer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call our consumer hotline at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).
About Oregon DFR
The Division of Financial Regulation is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. Visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov and dfr.oregon.gov.