Some people think that student loans are scary. But let’s be real: if you are borrowing responsibly and staying aware of how much you’ve taken out, there’s no need to be scared. But there’s something else that’s even scarier, and that’s student loan scams. We’re going to teach you how to avoid those like the plague!
1. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you’ve received a phone call about loan forgiveness but if the little voice in the back of your head is saying “I can’t believe this, it’s just too awesome to be real,” then you should listen to that voice. Many of them will mention an “Obama Forgiveness Program” that does not actually exist. Do a little bit of research and you’ll probably confirm that your “too good to be true” instinct is correct.
2. Department of Education services are free. Always keep that in mind. You can learn who your loan servicer is and contact them for assistance for free. You should never be paying to get help with your loans. If a company tells you there’s a fee associated with the service they’re offering, they’re probably not legit.
3. Don’t share personal information! Until you know you are working with a real-deal, 100% legitimate lender, do not share your PIN, social security number, or any other personal identifying information over the phone or online.
4. Know what other options you have. Loan consolidation is a very real option. Not to mention, there are tons of different repayment plans. Plus, if you’re in grad school or another situation that qualifies, you may be eligible to have your loans deferred.
If it feels like a scam, it’s probably a scam. Be a smart borrower. Know your stuff. Familiarize yourself with what to expect when repaying your loans. Don’t be scared! Be savvy, arm yourself with knowledge, and protect yourself from student loan scams.