BBB warns of student loan scams in upcoming loan relief applications

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) — Applications for President Biden’s student loan relief program are set to launch online this week, which means you could have access to thousands of dollars in student loan forgiveness.

The U.S. Department of Education is expected to launch the application for student debt relief sometime next week, but government officials warn there could also be an increase in scams simply trying to get your information or your silver.

Garet Smitherman of the Better Business Bureau said you’ll likely see fake emails, calls and text messages. He said that since this is a federal program, anyone, even a friend, who contacts you and solicits you is likely a scammer or hacker.

He said the government will never call you to apply for a program.

Smitherman said the first step is to know the details of your loans and if you even qualify for the relief program. Ministry of Education officials said you won’t need to upload any documents to the app, so if someone asks for photos, that’s another sign of a scam.

This is a free app and program, so Smitherman said to never pay money, there’s no way to skip the line or book the relief. He said to investigate the website where you put your information.

“They’ll put in there ‘this is not an official US government website,’ but at the same time they’ll steal a government seal and use it illegally,” Smitherman said. “They’re kind of covering their tracks, but visually they make it look like that’s exactly what they are. So slow down and make sure you’re on the right site.

Smitherman said to always make sure your website has “.gov” and never click on any links sent to you. He said another sign is that they say you need to act quickly or urgently. You will have until December 31 to submit your application.

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