COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – As borrowers prepare to apply federal student loan forgivenessfinancial experts and the federal government warn to beware of scam artists.
US President Joe Biden announced a student loan relief program on August 24 that will provide debt relief to certain borrowers with individual and household incomes below $125,000 and $250,000, respectively. Applicants may receive up to $10,000 in debt forgiveness for non-federal Pell Grant recipients and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients.
The application for the program has not been opened – but scammers are still taking advantage of the announcement, said Aaron Maassel, owner of Voyageur Advisory Group.
“We all need to be aware of the risk factors involved in this operation,” said Aaron Maassel, owner of Voyageur Advisory Group.
The The US Department of Education has warned that all calls offering student debt relief are fraudulent – interested borrowers should research the application and the government will never contact them first. The department also asks not to release personal information to unknown callers, particularly its Federal Student Aid ID card, which borrowers need to access loan information and potentially apply for relief.
“They could not only take out fraudulent loans in your name, obtain valuable personal information, maybe even your bank account information and who knows maybe they could somehow redirect the loan forgiveness payments,” said Jason Farris, partner and financial planner at Waller Financial Planning. Band.
Farris added that he had asked parents and grandparents to ask about next steps – and urged people to remain both diligent and patient.
“Even if you think it’s from a reputable source of information, everything can be compromised, whether it’s links, clickable links taking you to the wrong websites, go to the government website – do some research.”
Identity theft can have devastating financial effects, Maassel said.
“As a lawyer, I’ve seen people have to deal with the other side of the coin where they now watch creditors sue them because they incurred debt on their behalf,” Maassel said. “It can certainly cause significant damage to people’s lives and could have a long-term impact over the years.”
The Ministry of Education recommends that borrowers subscribe to alerts be notified when the federal student loan debt relief application goes live. In the meantime, he urges people to make sure their loan officer has their up-to-date contact details.
People can report scams to Federal Trade Commission.
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