PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — While President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness program is on hold as the courts weigh a long-term injunction, his administration is still telling borrowers to continued to apply, but also be wary of scammers.
Millions of Americans have already applied for debt relief since the program opened earlier this month. Noel Simpson from the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority (RISLA) said scammers often take notice when a new opportunity to steal money arises.
There are a few red flags to look for when seeking federal relief, according to Simpson. The first: you should not have to pay any money to apply.
“Don’t ever pay a fee to anyone for loan forgiveness. There are no fees,” he said.
Double check that you are on the correct website. A key sign is that the URL ends in ‘.gov.’
“There are many knock-off websites that are posing as the Department of Ed,” Simpson said. “It’s really important that eligible borrowers are on the correct website.”
The process of signing up for the debt relief is fairly simple. The application asks for a name, date of birth, Social Security number, email and phone number.
“You shouldn’t have to upload your tax return or anything like that,” Simpson noted.
The White House said it will continue to review applications while the courts review the lawsuit.
Borrowers have until December 2023 to apply for student loan relief.