Scam #: Getting Loans Forgiven Cancelled Discharged Reduced Or Eliminated For A Fee
What borrower wouldnt love to have their debt erased? Unfortunately, the reality is that when you borrow money, you almost always have to repay it in full, with interest. Even if you die, your estate may have to repay your debtor any taxes on forgiven debtbefore any assets you left behind can be distributed to your heirs.
Between the way that borrowing laws and tax laws are written, its safe to assume that if a company promises to negotiate a student loan debt settlement on your behalf, its a scam. If they say they can help you get your student loans discharged in bankruptcy, dont believe it. They also cant get your debt eliminated by representing you in a lawsuit against your student loan company.
Scams in this area typically involve telling the borrower that if they pay a large sum to some company, the company will get their loan discharged. In some cases, they might tell the borrower to send their student loan payments directly to the company instead of to their student loan servicer.
Either way, the result is likely to be that the company takes the borrowers money and the borrower falls behind on their loan. They end up owing even more because of the additional interest and late fees that accrue, and their credit scores may drop when the loan servicer reports the late payments to the credit bureaus.
Can Your Student Loans Be Sold To Another Lender
If you have federal student loans, Federal Student Aid may transfer your loans to a new servicer. You will likely receive an email or letter before or after this happens. Private student loans can also be sold to new servicers at any time, but youll be notified of this change.
When the transfer occurs, you may need to set up your payment information all over again. If you had automatic payments set up with your previous lender, youll likely need to reenroll with the new loan servicer. You may have to complete some extra steps to relink your payment information to the account.
Is There A Way To Choose Loan Servicers
If you are fed up with the federal loan servicer assigned to you, you have the option to get another servicer. However, you can only do so by choosing any of the two options:
- Consolidation This will allow you to apply for a new student loan and combine it with your existing credit. Its an option that lowers the monthly payments but extends the loan term. However, this will also require you to pay bigger interest over time.
- Refinance This will allow you to get a new student loan, but from a private lender. Your existing federal loan will be transferred to a private lender, such as a bank or a loan union. Remember that private lenders generally have higher interest rates and more strict payment schemes so its best to think about it.
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Refinance Your Student Loans
If you have private student loans or want to have more control over who your loan servicer is, another option is to refinance your student loans.
Customer service levels and responsiveness can vary widely from loan servicer to servicer. By refinancing your loans, you can shop around and compare rates, terms, and customer service options. You can choose a lender based on their loan options and who they use as a loan servicer.
Plus, refinancing may allow you to get a lower interest rate, helping you save thousands over the life of your loan. Or, you can opt for a longer repayment term to get a lower monthly payment.
How Does Student Loan Servicing Work
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, federal student loan servicers perform the day-to-day work of managing loans. Some of their tasks include loan disbursement, payment processing, repayment plan changes, and maintaining loan records.
FSA contracts with these outside entities to provide servicing for federal student loans. A borrower who needs to sign up for income-driven repayment, put loans into deferment or forbearance, or simply send in a monthly check or direct deposit would complete all these steps directly with the loan servicer managing their loan.
With multiple loan servicers currently managing loans via different platforms, borrowers with more than one servicer might need to contact several different companies or sign in to different online websites to make changes to their payment information or alter their payment plan.
Under Next Gen, this will no longer be the case, as there will be one integrated loan processing platform.
Borrowers cannot change their loan servicer as part of the consolidation plan, but instead will be assigned to one by the Department of Education. If you don’t like your new servicer, your only option is to consolidate your loans or refinance with a private lender.
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Start Putting Together A Plan Now
You still have four months until the student loan forbearance period ends, but experts recommend taking advantage of this extra time to get ahead with your finances and make a plan for resuming payments next year.
That looks different for everyone, but maybe for you, that means trimming or readjusting certain spending areas now to have room in your budget in 2022. It could mean researching repayment plans or starting a spreadsheet to help you map out your repayment strategy. The U.S. Department of Education said the latest extension is the final one, so its best to get ahead of the curve while you can.
Your first payment wont be due until February, says Farrington. But by January, you should make sure youre on the right repayment plan, know where youre sending your payments to, and maybe set up that online bill pay so you know youre squared away.
Is Navient Federal Or Private
While Sallie Mae was originally created by Congress to support the federal student loan program, Navient is a private company that the U.S. Department of Education hired to service its federal loans.
The Department of Education compiles customer satisfaction survey scores and default prevention statistics for the servicing companies it has contracts with every six months to determine each servicers allocation of loan volume. From June 2019 to June 2020, Navient received 5% to 9% of new loan volume.
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Scam #: False Relief Or Forgiveness Programs
The CARES Act, passed in March 2020, did in fact provide some relief to student loan borrowers in the form of zero interest on federal loans and a pause on payments, now extended to Jan. 31, 2022. But the relief measure did not in fact forgive loans.
Beware of anyone claiming that they can get your loan erased as part of the CARES Act or Biden Loan Forgiveness or a pandemic grant, several common scams that have been circulating, according to Federal Student Aid, the countrys the largest provider of student financial aid. Its site is part of the U.S. Department of Education.
Always be on high alert when someone asks for personal information, such as bank account details or your Social Security number, in order to gain access to a program.
Where Are Student Loans Moving
The Department of Education decides where the loan portfolio will end up. However, Navient specifically is in negotiation with Maximus to simply transfer their existing contract over to them. Maximus has previously worked in a smaller capacity with Federal Student Aid to service collection activities.
Also, it appears MOHELA will be accepting most of FedLoan’s student loans. MOHELA has sent out communication to FedLoan borrowers to assist with the migration.
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How To Find Your Federal Student Loan Servicer
If your loan payments havent begun or youre not sure who your servicer is, log in to My Federal Student Aid to find out. You’ll need to create an FSA ID to sign in. Then you can see your servicer, view loan details, apply for a direct consolidation loan or sign up for an income-driven repayment plan.
Knowing your student loan servicers name and feeling comfortable contacting the company is the first step toward getting ahead of your loans. You can get in touch with all of the loan servicer contact centers by calling 1-800-4-FED-AID.
All servicers offer similar help and services. But if you’re having trouble with yours, you might want to make a change. There are only a few ways this can happen. Choose a goal below to determine your best option
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Best Student Loan Servicers Explained
Learn the difference between the lender and loan servicer and check out 9 best federal student loan servicers. Also learn their features and ways to contact them.
If you are applying for a Federal Student Loan, then you must have come across a familiar term called the student loan servicer. You might be unclear about who these companies are, what their role is when it comes to your student loans, and why they are important.
Scam #: Requesting Personal Details
The U.S. Department of Education will not contact you and ask for personal details such as your Social Security number, account number, date of birth, FSA ID number and password, address, or account balance. Nor will your student loan servicer or a government-contracted private collection agency. But scammers will.
They might try to fool you by asking you to confirm your information. That could sound like a legitimate request: They need to make sure that theyre actually talking to the borrower, right? If you find yourself in this situation, disengage. Dont worry about being rude. End the interaction immediately. Your financial health could be at stake.
Think about it: If the entity requesting such information was reaching out to you, they would already have this information.
A scammer may tell you that you have to act quicklybefore a federal program expires, for example, or enrollment is capped. Don’t believe it.
If a letter, email, or phone call youve received seems legitimate but youre not sure, heres how to check: Do not call the phone number listed on the letter or send information to the address it provides. Dont reply to an email, call a phone number provided in an email, click on any links, or download any attachments. Tell a caller youre not available right now and hang up.
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Locate Your Loan Information
If you have a federal Direct Loan, your loan servicer may be one of these companies that is ending their servicing contract. To determine who your federal student loan servicer is, you should log into MyStudentAid.gov account.
If you already know your servicer is Navient, FedLoans, or Granite State, you should take steps to know the status of your loan.
Your New Student Loan Servicer
FedLoans will transfer your student loans to one of four companies:
- Edfinancial and
Importantly, FedLoans wont determine who your new student loan servicer will be. Instead, Federal Student Aid , which is part of the U.S. Department of Education, will determine the final allocation of student loans among these four student loan servicers. Even though FedLoans named Navient as one of the new student loan servicers, Navient has announced that it will transfer its student loans to Maximus, another student loan servicer. So, if you have FedLoan are your student loan servicer, then its possible that Maximus may become your new student loan servicer.
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Student Loan Repayment Tips For College Graduates
So if youre reading this you probably have student loans. These are some student loan repayment tips to get your repayment plan in order. Im sure youve heard that Biden is trying to get rid of student loans and have complete student loan forgiveness, but the odds of that happening are slim-to-none. There is so much debt accumulated from student loans in the United States that its INSANE. $1.57 trillion to be exact. This student debt is detrimental to the United States government, that doesnt mean Congress will do anything extreme to put an end to it. In order for all of the student loans to be paid off, each American would have to pay an extraordinary amount of money in the form of taxes. Americans are not known for being good taxpayers, and we really dont love being taxed more than we already are. Thus, there will not be total loan forgiveness for every American with student debt. But dont worry. Even though you still have to pay off your student loans, you dont have to let it destroy your finances ! Here are some student loan repayment tips to prepare yourself to repay your student debt.
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Help You Choose Or Switch Repayment Plans
Your servicer will place you on the 10-year standard student loan repayment plan unless you pick a different one during your exit counseling session around the time you leave school. The standard plan breaks up your balance into 120 fixed payments. But that may be difficult to afford if you have a lot of debt.
Student loan servicers can help you figure out if youre eligible for one of the governments income-driven repayment plans, which cap your bills at a percentage of your income. See what youd pay on an income-driven plan using the governments repayment estimator tool.
If you decide to switch, your servicer will process your application and annual income recertification, which you must submit to stay eligible.
What Is A Loan Servicer
When youre shopping for a private student loan, youll get rate quotes from lenders. The lender determines loan interest rates, available repayment options, and borrower eligibility criteria. But once the loan is approved and issued, you may have no more contact with the lender.
After your student loan is approved and disbursed to you, the lender may notify you that you have a loan servicer. Servicers are private companies that are contracted by the lender to manage the loans.
The loan servicer is who you contact to make payments, request an alternative payment plan,or apply for a deferment. If you fall behind on your payments, the loan servicer is the company that will assess late fees or send your account to collections.
Federal Loan Servicers
With federal student loans, the U.S. Department of Education is the lender. The government contracts with multiple companies to handle the loans. As of 2021, there are 10 federal loan servicers:
- Default Resolution Group
- OSLA Servicing
Not sure who our loan servicer is? If you have federal student loans, you can find out by logging into your Federal Student Aid account dashboard and viewing your loan details. Or, you can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.
Is Your Federal Student Loan Servicer Ending Their Contract With The Us Department Of Education
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Earlier this week, Navient announced that they would like to end their federal student loan servicing contract with the U.S. Department of Education. Navient is the third servicer this year to seek to end their federal student loan servicing contract. While the Navient contract will likely conclude before the end of the year , the other two departing federal loan servicers, FedLoans and Granite State said they would not renew their contracts in December.
If you have a federal Direct Loan or a federally-owned student loan, the end of these servicing contracts could impact you.
Protect Yourself From These Three Major Scams
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Student loans can sometimes feel like a scam. Actual student loan companies like Navient, which provide student loans, have been embroiled in lawsuits and allegations from states like Pennsylvania, as well as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The worst student loan companies may appear to be scammers, but there are actual student loan forgiveness scams that borrowers may encounter.
When loan holders seek help with some aspect of their loans, like reducing their balance or monthly payment, for exampleor repaying their loans faster, stopping payments temporarily, or getting loans out of delinquent status, student loan scammers may make it difficult for them to get actual help.
Here are the worst and most common student loan scams you might encounter and how to identify them so you wont get your money stolen or your credit trashed.
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