What to know as student loan payments start up again

After being on pause since 2020, federal student loan payments are set to resume Oct.1. Student loan interest started accruing again in September.

President Biden’s new federal student loan forgiveness program, Saving on A Valuable Education (SAVE), is currently accepting applications.

"That is exactly the kind of thing that scammers look for, if it's in the news, then it's going to be more likely that you will click a link or respond to a phone call or something like that," said Jason Zirkle, training director with the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. "This is just a version of the old-fashioned advance fee fraud which goes all the way back to the early days of the Internet."

In the advance fee scam, a service is promised in return for a fee. In this case, the service would be wiping or decreasing student debt.


"One of the big red flags that we always tell people is always be wary when the company reaches out to you directly promising to cancel your debt because most student loan servicers, the official ones, they're not going to have a program like that in place," said Zirkle. "So if you're getting somebody that's reaching out to you directly saying, ‘Hey, if you pay us a fee, you will help cancel your debt,’ It's probably not legitimate."

Also watch out for a sense of urgency or pressure. And keep in mind, the federal government asserts that official emails regarding student loans will only come from the following addresses:

  • noreply@studentaid.gov
  • noreply@debtrelief.studentaid.gov
  • ed.gov@public.govdelivery.com

Text messages will only come from these two numbers: 227722 or 51592.

The U.S. Department of Education and any of its partners will never ask for a password for your official Student Aid account - known as your FSA ID.

When in doubt about a company or a promise that’s been made, contact your federal loan servicer first.

"You can actually go to the Federal Student Aid website and log in to your dashboard, find out who your loan servicer is, and find out if it seems legitimate," said Zirkle.

For those who think they may qualify for the federal income-based student debt relief plan, click here to apply.

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