Scammers expected to try and take advantage of student loan uncertainty

DES MOINES — A recent court ruling means thousands of people will need to restart payments on their student loans this fall after more than three years of delays, and Iowans are being warned that scammers are lurking.

Better Business Bureau spokeswoman Lisa Schiller says this is the type of situation that will bring out crafty crooks. “People will either receive an email or a letter or a phone call from someone claiming that they are eligible for student loan consolidation, or a payment reduction program or something similar,” Schiller says, “and this new benefit is allegedly, according to them, part of the new 2023 guidelines.”

Schiller says the confusion over what’s happening with student loans gives scammers a hook to try and get your money. If anyone asks you for money or personal banking information over the phone, she says to hang up and report the scam. Schiller says criminals use events like this as leverage to try and get you to hand over money or personal information.

“This information might include them asking for your Social Security number, or your name and address, and even your FSA.gov login information,” she says, “so be aware of that and be very careful.” As always, no government agency or lender will ask you for information they should already have, nor will they ask for money over the phone.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected President Biden’s plan last month to eliminate up to $20,000 dollars in federal student loans for eligible borrowers. The pause in payments ends October 1st and student loans will start accruing interest on September 1st.