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Learning-Center

Beware of Student Loan Scams

Updated on 4/6/2022

The pause on federal student loan payments and interest has now been extended through August 31, 2022. Throughout the moratorium (and even before), scammers have preyed on borrowers who have taken a financial hit due to the pandemic or are hoping for student loan forgiveness. How can you be sure you’re getting accurate information? Here are some ways to safeguard your finances and personal information to avoid becoming a victim of student loan scams.

“Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

Whether you are contacted about your student loans by phone or email, always verify the information you receive. Hover (don’t click) over an email link to see where it is actually taking you. Many times the URL is full of gibberish or takes you to a site with a different name than the sender of the email indicates – a definite red flag for a scam. If you receive a phone call about your loan, inform the caller you will need to call them back and take down their information. Then go directly to your lender’s website or a recent loan statement to verify the phone number/web address – does it match? Do not provide information to a number other than the one listed by your lender!

Federal Student Aid (FSA) also has recently implemented a single phone number where you can access your federal student loan information: 1-800-4-FED-AID.

Note: Any private student loans you hold will be accessed separately through your lender’s website(s).

Servicer Confusion

The federal government has begun making changes to servicers for its loans, and scammers count on confusion from consumers. About 16 million borrowers were/will be affected by these changes. You can learn more about what to expect if your federal student loan is transferred from the Federal Student Aid (FSA) website.

Pay attention to any official communication you receive regarding servicer changes, and reference information from these trusted sources:

Student Loan Forgiveness

While there has been a lot of discussion in recent years about student loan forgiveness, the fact is not much has come to fruition. More than $11 billion in federal student loans has recently been forgiven, but that is only 1% of the total federal student loan debt. This forgiveness has been for very specific groups:

  • Borrowers who attended now-defunct schools that took part in deceptive or illegal practices
  • Borrowers with total and permanent disabilities
  • Certain public servants who benefit from changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program

The U.S. Department of Education offers a few student loan forgiveness and cancellation programs. If you are contacted with a message about qualifying for student loan forgiveness, remember – if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. You can always verify student loan forgiveness information directly through the Federal Student Aid site or your servicer.

Again, keep in mind that the majority of these situations apply to federal student loans, not private student loans.

 

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*APR = Annual Percentage Rate

In order to apply for a loan, you must first pick an individual credit union from which you wish to borrow. You can apply for the loan without being a member of the credit union you select, but you will need to become a member of that credit union in order to receive a funded loan. Therefore, it's important that you select a credit union that you will be eligible to join. Credit union membership requirements can include where you live, work, or attend school. Results are based on membership criteria provided by individual credit unions and do not imply a guarantee regarding accuracy or eligibility to join the listed credit union(s).

Calculations are based on the lowest possible rate and available repayment terms per lender. Rate estimates are based on credit information entered by the user and will not impact your credit. During the application process, a hard credit inquiry will be performed to provide exact rate information. Repayment calculations assume immediate full repayment. View the full range of rates and terms by visiting your credit union's website using links listed for each credit union above.

Using the free student loan refinance calculator does not constitute an offer to receive a loan and will not solicit a loan offer. Any payments and savings will depend on the actual amounts for which you are approved, should you choose to apply. This calculator is provided for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as financial advice. Always consult your credit union or financial advisor when making your decision.

IMPORTANT NOTICE for refinance borrowers: By refinancing federal student loans, you may lose certain borrower benefits from your original loans. These may include interest rate discounts, principal rebates, or some cancellation benefits that can significantly reduce the cost of repaying your loans. Please review this important disclosure for more information.

Your actual rate within the range stated will be disclosed upon approval. Student borrowers may apply with a creditworthy cosigner which may result in a better chance of approval and/or interest rate.