The Institute of Student Loan Advisors
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Student Loan Industry Participants Launch Campaign to Warn Consumers About Student Loan Scams
Plymouth, MA (April 1, 2021) – Multiple student loan industry participants and advocacy organizations are using April Fool’s Day to warn consumers about a very serious trend – the rise of student loan scams.
#DontBeFooled is a national public education campaign designed to raise awareness and protect consumers against student debt relief scams. A collaborative of student loan advocacy agencies, policy makers and other stakeholders are launching this public education campaign in response to a recent uptick in scam activity. The campaign will also help consumers learn what to do if victimized by such scams and how to report illegal activity to the Federal Trade Commission.
The recent economic impact of COVID-19 has left millions of struggling student loan borrowers, in particular groups that traditionally experience high levels of scam activity, including seniors and minority communities, vulnerable to scams and misinformation through questionable private entities. “Every year thousands of struggling borrowers are lured by questionable companies who promise student debt relief, forgiveness or lower payments for a fee, when in fact, at best, they are charging thousands of dollars to enroll consumers in programs that are free and easy to access.” says Betsy Mayotte, President and Founder of The Institute of Student Loan Advisors. “Through this campaign we want to educate as many consumers as possible and point them to the resources available to them while helping to stop these scams.”
While these scams are not new, a more recent tactic has been to promise consumers they will be qualified for the “Biden loan forgiveness”, which at this time does not exist. They also infer partnerships with the borrower’s servicer or the Department of Education and make it appear that if the consumer does not act right away, the opportunity for loan forgiveness or a lower payment option will disappear, none of which is true. Consumers should know that a legitimate servicer or the government will never call them offering loan forgiveness for a fee.
Consumers can access www.StudentAid.gov to find educational resources and tips needed to successfully manage their student loans and www.ftc.gov to help recognize and report a student debt relief scams.
Participants in the #DontBeFooled campaign include: Office of Senator Elizabeth Warren ,the office of Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy, the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation, the Office of Massachusetts State Representative Natalie Higgins, the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the, Massachusetts State Senator Susan Moran, Massachusetts State House Representative Kathleen LaNatra, TICAS, the Hildreth Institute, the Student Loan Sherpa, the Student Loan Fund, Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions, NerdWallet, Allston/Brighton Community Development Center, National Consumer Law Center; Young Invincibles, the Massachusetts Education Finance Authority, Edvisors, Mapping Your Future, Startnoo, Midas Collaborative, Springfield College, the National Council of Higher Education Resources, Generation Progress, the Missouri Department of Higher Education, ZeroDebt MA, MOHELA, Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority, the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation, Missouri Department of Higher Education & Workforce Development,