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FTC warns about student loan scams following Supreme Court decision

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Scammers are likely to target student loan borrowers after the Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s debt forgiveness plan Friday and as loan repayments are poised to restart in the fall, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Scammers often “take advantage of confusion around big news like this,” the FTC said in a consumer alert issued Saturday.

“If you’re worried about repaying your loans, the offers to ‘help’ can be tempting,” the alert said. “Scammers are likely to start blasting out robocalls and texts about ‘helping’ you with your loans.”

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The Biden administration forgiveness plan would have erased up to $20,000 of federal student loans for tens of millions of borrowers.

Estimates suggest the student debts of about 14 million people would have been fully erased. Now, they and other borrowers must brace for monthly loan payments to restart in October, after more than three years of an interest-free pause.

President Joe Biden said Friday after the Supreme Court’s ruling that his administration would pursue another way to deliver debt forgiveness. And when payments restart, there will also be a 12-month period during which borrowers won’t face the harshest consequences of missing payments, including default or negative marks on a credit report, Biden said.

Student loan relief plan struck down: What's next for borrowers?

In the meantime, here are three ways to spot a student loan scam should a fraudster try to contact you, according to the FTC.

1. Don’t trust anyone who promises debt relief or loan forgiveness

Scammers try to look real, with official-looking names, seals and logos, the FTC said. They may say they’re affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education.

“They promise special access to repayment plans or forgiveness options — which don’t exist,” the FTC said. “If you’re tempted, slow down, hang up and log into your student loan account to review your options.”

2. Don’t give away your FSA ID login information

Anyone who says they need your Federal Student Aid ID to help you is a scammer, the FTC said.

“If you share it, the scammer can cut off contact between you and your servicer — and even steal your identity,” the agency wrote.

3. Never pay for help with your student loans

“There’s nothing a company can do that you can’t do yourself for free,” the FTC said.

You can get help at StudentAid.gov/repay. Go directly to your loan servicer if your loans are private, the FTC said.

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