Student loan borrowers look for ways to save on their loan payments, including having their loans forgiven. However, for the 10 million student loan borrowers who were part of the recent Navient settlement, they now find themselves at risk of falling prey to a new scam.
This recent Navient settlement came as part of a student loan forgiveness lawsuit. Navient is one of the country’s largest student loan providers, and while the settlement does not necessarily affect how much each borrower owes, scammers are targeting borrowers, by offering false claims of debt forgiveness.
It is important that borrowers recognize the signs of the student loan scam before falling prey to one of their tactics. Borrowers who have received scam calls report the caller requesting personal information from the borrower and asking for a fee upfront to officially transfer the debt from Navient to the Department of Education. The reason why these calls are so dangerous is these steps are normally the first ones taken as part of the settlement process, which gives them the hidden appearance of legitimacy. The problem is the caller is not associated with Navient or anyone connected to the company.
Once the scammer has this information from the borrower, he or she explains that the fees need to be paid monthly, requesting credit card or bank account information from the caller so they can begin making regular withdrawals. Unfortunately, some callers have provided this information only to see later that their loan payments did not change at all through Navient.
Navient has alerted customers that they will not be calling them personally to transfer the loan. They will also not be asking for financial information to make withdrawals over the phone. When a call is received for no apparent reason at all, the consumer should be extremely cautious with the communication.
Further, if the borrower is interested in proceeding with loan forgiveness, such as through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, he or she should contact the loan servicer directly to receive more information. If the loans are federal student loans, the government contracts with just one servicer, FedLoans, and if the caller is mentioning any entity that does not sound familiar, immediately end the call.
If a caller is contacted by one of these scammers and is not sure about the legitimacy of the call, he or she should ask for a call back number so that the individual can hang up and call the individual back. If the person on the other end of the phone disputes this request, this indicates a scam, as well. If the borrower is truly interested in learning more about loan forgiveness, he or she should contact the servicer directly or visit both Navient’s official site and the Federal Student Aid web site.
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For borrowers who are struggling with student loan debt, relief options are available. Many student loan borrowers are unaware that they have rights and repayment options available to them, such as postponement of loan payments, reduction of payments or even a complete discharge of the debt. There are ways to file for bankruptcy with student loan debt. It is important you contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade Garcia McMaken has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade Garcia McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.