Once you’ve been out of school for a while, it’s not uncommon to get mail or emails indicating that you can have some – or even all – of your student loan forgiven. While it sounds great (who wouldn’t want that?), unfortunately, it’s usually part of a scam.
Student loan forgiveness scams aren’t typically sent to new borrowers, but sometimes it may be. The purpose of the communication is usually to inform the person that they can fill out an application and have much of their student loan forgiven.
Students or former students who receive these types of communications should exercise caution, because there’s a good chance it’s not legitimate.
While it is true that the U.S. government, as well as companies or refinancing companies sometimes offer this, you have to go through a long process to qualify for loan forgiveness. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
How to Spot a Scam
If you receive this sort of communication, below are some of the signs that it may be part of a student loan forgiveness scam:
- Communications with toll-free numbers but no return address
- Communications that seem to be official but fail to identify the company
- Phone solicitations offering to give student loan forgiveness without qualifying
- Information that does not come from a viable source that is capable of providing student debt forgiveness.
In most cases, only the original lender or its partners, the federal government, or the U.S. Department of Education can forgive student loan debt.
Also, you usually have to work in a field that is greatly needed in some geographical regions or areas where poverty is prevalent.
For example, the DHE (Department of Higher Education) offered debt forgiveness for teachers who taught in a low-income area in the field of Special Education because it was much needed and required some sacrifice on the part of these educators.
Always consider the circumstances in which they are offering loan forgiveness before assuming it is legitimate.
If in doubt, check it out. Never assume it is legitimate. Remember that the database of information is accessible to many different companies, lenders, and con artists.
Some of them are using these communications as a way to get people to give information that they can sell or use later. Don’t fall for it. Avoid scams.
Instead, take affirmative action and call your state and federal government offices and the Department of Education to inquire if there are current student loan forgiveness programs for which you qualify.