Now that applications are open to discharge your student loans, scammers are on the prowl
Now that the US Department of Education has officially introduced federal student loan forgiveness, scammers may be on the prowl. A movement that has already been identified by the Federal Trade Commission and therefore sent an alert to all consumers. “They are trying to steal applicants’ money and personal information,” they warned.
For this benefit, it has been noted that millions of Americans are eligible for cancellation of their student debt. Borrowers can qualify for the cancellation of up to $10,000 dollars of federal debt, and those who have the Pell Grant, the amount to cancel can reach up to $20,000 dollars, as long as you demonstrate that you have a low income.
“As people submit their applications, [the Department of Education] will review them on an ongoing basis,” the FTC said in a consumer alert. “Be patient and follow the process… not those who say they can put you in front of the line. Because those are scammers,” the FTC noted.
And in this context, they have released the following recommendations:
-Request the cancellation of your debt at StudentAid.gov/DebtRelief. “Nowhere else. At this time, the application is only online and in English and Spanish. A paper application will be available at a later date,” the FTC notes.
–Do not pay to apply. The application is free. “Anyone who says you have to pay is a scammer. And anyone who guarantees faster approval or forgiveness: It’s a scam, scam, scam,” the FTC warns.
-You must know what to share, where and when. The actual app will ask for your name, date of birth, Social Security number, phone number, and address. But, when you apply online, you do not have to upload or attach any documents.
-When you apply, no one legitimate will ask for your FSA ID, bank account, or credit card information. Anyone who does is a scammer.
-After you apply, you may hear from ED, to upload tax documents verifying your income, or to provide updates on your application. Those emails will only come from the following email addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Anyone who says they can get you approved (for a fee) is a scammer. Your email notice will have some instructions. Follow them and if you have questions, call the FSA dedicated phone line at 1-833-932-3439.
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