RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Scammers continue to take advantage of the student loan forgiveness program as it hangs in the balance. The program is on hold until at least February 28, when the Supreme Court is expected to take on the two lawsuits that have blocked Biden's student debt relief. Due to the pending lawsuits, the application for the program is closed, with the Department of Education.
Even though the program is on hold, scam calls along with texts and emails are being sent to try and convince applicants that they will miss the deadline for relief if they don't apply now. One scam voicemail said in part, "Everyone is now going to get $10,000 dismissed upon income verification. If you do not verify your income, on January 1, your payments will start back up automatically."
If you go to studentaid.gov, it shows they're not taking applications. If you already applied, your application is on hold. NC Attorney General Josh Stein says borrowers need to watch out for imposters pretending to be with the Department of Education. "If ever they ask you for upfront fees, you know they are a crook because that's against the law in North Carolina. If they're pressuring you almost for sure, they're a criminal. Don't give away your FSA, ID, or password because they can use it to try to get into your account," Stein adds.
Stein's office offered these tips to protect you:
- Never pay upfront fees to access help with your debt. Free assistance is available through your federal loan servicer. You can find out who services your loans on your Federal Student Aid account.
- Don't trust anyone pressuring you to decide quickly or if they promise instant debt relief. No company can help you speed up the federal government's student loan relief process, and legitimate companies will not use aggressive tactics to pressure you into a contract.
- Be skeptical of anyone who contacts you and claims to represent the Department of Education or your loan servicer. Never give any personal or financial information to someone who contacts you if you aren't sure. If you have any concerns, contact the DOE or your loan servicer directly.