BOSTON (WWLP) – Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), the not-for-profit state authority, is issuing a warning to consumers about a current scam to student loan borrowers.
According to a statement issued by MEFA, there has been a recent increase of student loan debt relief scams where callers, using high-pressure sales tactics, promise repayment assistance in exchange for upfront fees. These scams also claim to be able to help borrowers pay off student loan debt either more quickly or in full. MEFA is advising consumers that both federal and private student loan lenders offer these programs for no upfront cost. These scams are believed to be an attempt to collect personal and financial data to enroll borrowers in high-priced services actually available for free elsewhere.
WARNING SIGNS: Consumers are warned to avoid these scams by looking out for the following:
- A random telephone call offering student loan debt relief or immediate forgiveness
- High-pressure sales tactics, such as insisting the borrower needs to act quickly on a limited-time offer
- Individuals misrepresenting themselves as having a legitimate relationship with the Department of Education or one of the federal student loan servicers
- A request for personal and financial information, such as loan debt amount, Social Security number, loan account user name and password, etc.
- An advertisement on social media or search engines
Consumers who believe they have been a victim to one of these scams are encouraged to contact Federal Student Aid or their student loan servicer to discuss their options.