The Department of Education is now accepting applications for the federal student loan forgiveness program, and you can bet scammers are trying to take advantage of those seeking debt relief. The program provides eligible borrowers with full or partial discharge of loans up to $20,000 and reviews applications on a rolling basis, so beware of those who guarantee immediate results.
How to spot the scams and apply safely:
- Apply at StudentAid.gov/DebtRelief. Nowhere else.
- Don’t pay to apply, it’s free! You never have to pay for help with your federal student aid.
- Know what to share. The real application will ask for your name, birth date, Social Security number, phone number, and address. Nobody legit will ask for your FSA ID, bank account, or credit card information.
What to expect after you apply:
- After you apply you will receive an email confirmation.
- Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed to confirm eligibility.
- If they don’t have enough information to confirm eligibility, they will send an email with instructions.
- You will be notified once your application is approved.
- Your loan servicer(s) will apply your relief directly to your account.
It’s important to note that emails to borrowers come from firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. Look for slight typos to avoid a scammer’s fake emails.
If you spot one of these scams, report it to the Federal Trade Commission by calling 1-877-382-4357 or by visiting reportfraud.ftc.gov.
If you are a Merrimack customer and are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.