‘Know who you’re dealing with;’ BBB warning about student loan repayment scams

DAYTON — Student loan borrowers are preparing to resume payments in just over three weeks.

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The Better Business Bureau has a warning about student loan repayment scams as criminals are looking to get their hands on your money.

News Center 7′s Xavier Hershovitz says 43 million Americans have student loan debt and the Federal Reserve estimates Americans owe more than $1.5 trillion in student loan repayments.

He reports scammers are looking to get their hands on both your money and personal information.

Hershovitz says that personal information can be used to steal people’s identity and that is what makes these scams so lucrative.

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The Better Business Bureau has these tips on what borrowers need to watch out for as they plan to resume payments at the end of September.

They are:

  • Be aware of out-of-the-blue calls, emails, or text messages claiming to be from the government.
  • Get to know the terms of your student loans and the relief program before acting.
  • Never pay money for a free government program.
  • Think something seems suspicious? Reach out to the agency directly.

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Hershovitz spoke with Sheri Sword of the Better Business Bureau and she said if anyone thinks something’s suspicious, they are probably right.

“Walk away. Go with your gut. It’s the best thing you can do,” she said. “There’s a reason that you have a hint that something’s not right. So, check it out and do your research.”

Sword also stated that the challenge is daunting for loan borrowers as they are looking for a way to reduce their debt.

“Scammers know that, and they are out there help you allegedly reduce your loan payments,” she told Hershovitz. “So, you just want to go slow. Do your research, know who you’re dealing with, and be confident that you can trust who you’re dealing with.”

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She added the last thing anyone wants to do is pay money to someone that does not go towards their student loan debt.

Hershovitz says minimum payments will resume on October 1. Anyone with college debt should have repayment plan in place by then.