LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — In the wake of the federal government announcing a plan to cancel up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower, con artists have begun to try to take advantage through student loan relief scams.

“Scammers and con artists will take advantage of the latest news as a means to invade the wallets of hard-working [people],” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Be careful of those claiming they can assist you with your loans, especially when they are asking for money or your personal information to do so.”

If an unknown individual asks for your personal information, including your Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), do not respond. Neither your loan servicer nor the Department of Education (DOE) will ask for your personal information over the phone or in an email. Some other tips to avoid getting scammed include:

  • Never pay upfront for assistance with your student loan debt.
  • Be patient. The DOE will need time to implement the new programs and get relief to borrowers. No company can help you speed up the process. You can subscribe for updates from the DOE here
  • Contact your loan servicer directly with any questions. Your loan servicer can help you get access to qualifying programs like debt relief or repayment options. Make sure to ask if you qualify for PSLF or income-driven repayment.

The federal government also announced important changes to public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) and income-driven repayment plans.