SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As student loan borrowers resume payments on their federal student loans in October, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum is warning Oregonians about scams targeting borrowers.
The most common scams are:
- For a fee, the scammer will claim to be able to arrange smaller monthly payments.
- For a fee, the scammer will claim they can negotiate loan forgiveness on behalf of borrowers.
- The scammers will call posing as a loan servicer collecting on past due amounts and pressure borrowers to make payments over the phone.
Oregonians never need to pay to sign up for government student loan debt relief programs. If someone tries to charge you up front, before they’ve done anything, that’s your first clue that this is a scam. And nobody but a scammer will ever offer you immediate loan forgiveness.
Additional Tips for Student Loan Borrowers
In addition to watching out for scams, the Oregon Attorney General encourages all borrowers to take the following steps as soon as possible:
- Update your contact information
Changes were recently made as to who services many federal student loans. Make sure to sign in at studentaid.gov to verify that your contact information is up to date, who your current loan servicer is, and more.
- Explore affordable repayment plans
Find out what your monthly payment amount will be by logging in to studentaid.gov, or to your student loan servicer's portal. If the amount is unaffordable for you, review other available plans and use the loan simulator at studentaid.gov to determine which repayment plan is best for you.
- Consider autopay (reduced interest of 0.25 percent, in some cases)
Student loan servicers generally offer an interest-rate reduction to incentivize enrollment in autopay. This can be done anytime and can also simplify the repayment process. Log in to your servicer's portal to enroll in autopay.
- Check if you qualify for any type of forgiveness
Many borrowers qualify for loan forgiveness based on their profession, time in repayment, or other factors. To read about the types of loan forgiveness offered by the U.S. Department of Education, and to find if you might be eligible, visit the loan forgiveness page at studentaid.gov.
If you are having difficulties with your student loan servicer, you should file a complaint with one or more of the following:
- Oregon Department of Justice, Consumer Protection Section online at www.oregonconsumer.gov.
- Oregon Student Loan Ombudsman by emailing your complaint form to DFR.firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a federal agency responsible for consumer financial protection, online at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
- Federal Student Aid Ombudsman online at https://studentaid.gov/feedback-center/.
For more information on student loans, visit the Oregon Attorney General’s Student Loan Debt Spotlight page at https://www.doj.state.or.us/oregon-department-of-justice/office-of-the-attorney-general/spotlight-student-loan-debt/.