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Student loan scams

You’ve probably already heard about the new government plan that will forgive some federal student loans, once it’s up and running. Also in the news: the federal student loan payment pause has been extended. Visit the U.S. Department of Education to learn more. But scammers are watching the news, too, so know this: you don’t need to do anything or pay anybody to sign up for the new program — or the pause. Nobody can get you in early, help you jump the line, or guarantee eligibility. And anybody who says they can — or tries to charge you — is (1) a liar, and (2) a scammer.

Right now, the Department of Education is working hard on the details of the new plan: who’s eligible and how to apply to get your student loan debt cancelled. It won’t happen overnight, and they’ll announce it widely when the program opens up for debt forgiveness. Sign up for Department of Education updates to be notified when the process has officially opened.

Meanwhile, check on your federal loan servicer: be sure you know who they are, and that they have your most recent contact info. That will help you get the latest on the cancellation and pause.

Also, remember that there’s a whole separate program you might be eligible for: the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSFL) program. If you’re eligible, you’ll get federal student loan forgiveness after you have 120 qualifying payments. And until October 31, 2022, the limited waiver offers additional credit for time that previously didn’t count. Check out the PSLF Help Tool to learn more.

And remember: don’t pay anybody who promises you early or special access, or guaranteed eligibility. Those are scams. If you spot one, tell us at

Subscribe to the FTC’s Consumer Alerts to get updates on avoiding student loan debt relief scams

Updated November 23, 2022 to reflect the extension of the student loan payment pause. Visit the U.S. Department of Education to learn more.

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Azeneth Mendoza
August 26, 2022

back in 2012 or 2013 financial education benefits a company that called me and said if i made 6 payments of 250 a month that my loan would be wiped out i did make the first payment but then it had me thinking especially after i kept trying to call the company and the phone was disconnected after like the 5th time i tried calling them. i had forgot about it because my dad ended passing away on 2013 and did t know what to do anyways to get my money back can you please help me with thst

Tom watson
August 26, 2022

Thankyou very much for the info. Ill spread it around.

August 29, 2022

I have been paying since 1994 on income-based payments. They say I still owe 18000.00. They say the loans I have are different from the ones being forgiven. It's time for me to retire now. I also need to go to the doctor and am in need of surgery. I cannot afford this any longer.

August 31, 2022

I have been paying since 1994 on income-based payments. They say I still owe 18000.00. They say the loans I have are different from the ones being forgiven. It's time for me to retire now. I also need to go to the doctor and am in need of surgery. I cannot afford this any longer.

August 31, 2022

I received a Federal Student Loan, some 26 years ago. I will get contacts from different companies saying that they have my loan and will follow up with my options and then I never hear from them nor can I reach them. The last time I was even talked with about the loan was over 10 years ago. So no one is hounding me to pay it, and it looms over my head because it was indeed a loan I did make, which with the payments I made to the companies should be down, but I received those letters saying that student loan payments did not have to be made during Covid, so it must somewhere still show as owing. It doesn't show up on my credit report, nor has it ever. It was a very small loan, just over $1,000, and it would easily be more now if they think I have defaulted because I never get information back from these companies about what to do. I don't know if it has been so long and such a small amount they just let it go? And then when I started caring for my mother so many years ago, and am not paid at all, so I have zero income, and I want my Mom to be able to tsin in her home for as long as possible regardless, I had heard that with something like that, and the financial effects that Covid was having on everyone, that student loan forgiveness, if you were in a situation where you could not pay and would remain in that situation for the time to come, as unfortunately I don't know how long that will be, my hope is quite long because that means my mother is still with me, you could get federal student loan forgiveness, no matter the amount of payments that had or had not been paid. Does anyone know anything or have any information about that? Thanks