DES MOINES — Iowans who hope to get their student loan forgiven need to be wary of people and organizations offering to process their claim.
Consumer protection advocate Michelle Reinen says con artists have quickly jumped on the Biden Administration’s loan forgiveness plan and they’re using it as bait. “Anyone claiming that they require an upfront fee or charge to assist you, that’s going to be a red flag,” Reinen says. “That individual isn’t associated with the programs and is likely a scammer.”
Reinen says you should always be wary of links you receive in unsolicited email. “If you get an email that claims to look like it’s coming from your borrower and they ask you to click a link, to do an update, or verify your information, know that scammers impersonate these borrowers and lenders all the time.” If you’re wanting to check in with your lender about having the loan forgiven, go directly to the source.
“Go to your normal method of logging in, or making contact by phone with your borrower to use that information,” she says, “rather than just clicking a link from a random email.” Under the federal plan, single borrowers who earn less than $125,000 per year, or households earning less than $250,000, are eligible for $10,000 in loan forgiveness.
Borrowers who fall under the income caps and received Pell Grants in college will receive up to $20,000 in forgiveness. Contact your lender directly for full details.