student loan debt, Student Loans

Uncertainty Surrounding Debt Relief Leads to Increased Student Loan Scams

Many student loan borrowers seeking relief from their student debt burden prior to payments resuming in 2022 have found themselves on the receiving end of student loan scams. In fact, a number of consumer protection firms across the U.S. have issued warnings regarding the increase of certain student loan debt relief scams.  It is important that all consumers are aware of what red flags to look for when being offered financial assistance towards their student loan debt.

Borrowers were given some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic with federal student loan repayments being paused since March 2020, along with federal student loan interest being halted during this time. However, federal student loan payments are scheduled to resume in February 2022, meaning that millions of borrowers will be required to pay on their student loan debt for the first time in over a year. This fact has many borrowers panicking and trying to figure out how to either continue paying on their debt or find relief wherever they can find it.

Student loan relief scams are nothing new. In 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued millions of dollars in refunds to individuals who fell victim to student debt scams. As of 2017, it is estimated that $95 million has been paid to student loan fraud victims. As a result, financial experts predict that even more fraud reports will be coming in 2022.

One of the biggest warning signs borrowers should look for when communicating with an entity claiming to provide debt relief to student loan borrowers is when the person on the other end of the phone requests the caller’s student loan login information or his or her Social Security number. While their request may seem legitimate, providing this information could open the consumer up to having their student loan accounts hacked, also allowing the scammer to create falsified documents with this information and defraud the consumer even further.

The information being requested is often referred to as personal identifiable information or PII, and it can include the consumer’s Social Security number, driver’s license number, banking information, and credit card numbers. Providing this information allows the scammer to hack the consumer’s identity.

Another sign of a scam occurs when the alleged debt relief company requests money up front before providing a service. If a company is requesting the person pay a fee before even beginning the process of negotiating on a debt, this is a major red flag that indicates the company may not be legitimate.

Additionally, if the student loan debt relief company advertises their services on social media or reaches out to the consumer directly through cold calling, this could be another sign of a potential scam. If a consumer speaks with a company who has contacted him or her directly regarding debt relief, it is imperative that he or she does the proper research to ensure that the company is legitimate. A general Internet search of the company on reputable sources should be able to help the person ascertain whether a scam is involved.

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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

student loan debt, Student Loans

4 Student Loan Relief Measures that should be Implemented if Payment Pause Is Not Extended

It remains unclear whether the student loan repayment pause will be extended by President Biden. Two primary economic concerns urge the delay of payments past Feb. 1: Rising Omicron cases could jeopardize workers’ return to work, and given the pandemic-exacerbated racial disparities, borrowers of color will face ‘undue hardship’ if payments are restarted too soon.

If that’s the case, the organizations recommend four additional protections for student loan borrowers:

  1. Continue to waive interest for all borrowers;
  2. Return all borrowers in default on their debt to good standing to avoid financial penalties;
  3. Ensure all borrowers are aware of the process to apply for an income-driven repayment plan;
  4. Announce and implement provisions, like offering a grace period to prevent borrowers from immediately becoming delinquent on their debt.
student loan debt, Student Loans

First Wave of Public Servants Awarded Student Loan Forgiveness Through Temporary Program

The Biden administration recently announced the introduction of a temporary expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. The program cancels outstanding student debt for public servants.

In order to be eligible, debt holders must have made 120 payments toward their federal student debt on-time for at least 10 years. The loans must have been made through the federal government and payments must have been made through repayment plans, most of which are based upon income. They must also work for the government or one of the non-profit organizations specified by the program. Many teachers, public defenders, Peace Corps workers, and law enforcement officers may qualify for forgiveness.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Heavily Redacted White House Memo Released Regarding Student Loan Forgiveness

The White House recently released a memo about canceling debt for federal student loan borrowers, but the text was heavily redacted. This seven-page memo, dated April 5, 2021, was addressed to the U.S. Secretary of Education in consideration of potential student loan forgiveness by the Biden Administration. This memorandum, although heavily redacted, gives some insight into whether the administration has the authority to issue widespread student loan forgiveness.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Navient Will No Longer Service Federal Student Loans- What This Means for Borrowers

Navient has announced that it will no longer service federal student loans. The company is one of the largest servicers for the U.S. Department of Education. Navient has a massive $1.7 trillion oustanding in its student loan portfolio.

The decision leaves around 6 million borrowers waiting to be matched with a new lender.  With a transition of this magnititude, problems are likely to occur. Here are a few things borrowers should do now if their student loans are getting reassigned to another lender.

student loan debt, Student Loans

What Is Next for Student Loans in the Covid Era?

Student loans have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 relief offered through the federal government. The biggest source of relief came in the moratorium on federal student loan repayments issued by the Biden administration and was extended through the end of 2021. However, this moratorium is expected to end January 31, 2022, leaving many student loan borrowers left to wonder what is next.

It is estimated that $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is now owed collectively by U.S. student borrowers. Therefore, these measures have widespread effects for many American consumers.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Biden Administration Cancels Almost $10 Billion in Student Loan Debt. Who Got Relief?

In total, the Department of Education has approved discharging $8.7 billion in student loan debt for more than 450,000 borrowers.

Click here to see if you are eligible.

That amount has included:

  • $7.1 billion for borrowers who were eligible for relief because of “total and permanent disability.”
  • $55.6 million in loan discharges for students who attended three trade schools that officials said misrepresented themselves to students.
  • Another $1 billion for other students defrauded by their schools.

The Biden Administration has cancelled nearly $10 billion in student loan debt since January 2021, according to the U.S. Department of Education. The Department reported they have approved $9.5 billion in student loan discharges since January 2021, affecting approximately 563,000 borrowers.  This has given borrowers the ability to tackle other debts, invest and increase savings.

student loan debt, Student Loans

Student Loan Payment Pause Extended to 2022

The Biden administration has announced that the moratorium on federal student loan payments would be extended through January 31, 2022. This announcement came just over a month before the pause was set to expire at the end of September. According to the Department of Education, this extension is the final one that will be issued.

The moratorium was first put in place in March 2020 after Congress passed the CARES Act. The moratorium paused payments through the end of September 2020, keeping all federal student loan interest rates at zero percent, affecting approximately 42 million federal borrowers. President Trump then issued an executive order to extend the student loan payment pause through January 2021. As soon as President Biden took office, he issued another executive order extending the pause through September 30, 2021.

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student loan debt, Student Loans

Biden Administration Cancels Additional $55.6 Million in Student Loan Debt

The Biden Administration canceled an additional $55.6 million in student loans for 1,800 students who were found to be victims of fraud. This additional amount brings the total amount of student loan debt cancelled by the Biden administration to $1.5 trillion. 

Since entering office, President Biden has made it his mission to stand up for the thousands of students who were taken advantage of by for-profit colleges. This most recent effort was focused on students who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty, and the Court Reporting Institute. Previously, the administration had approved loan forgiveness for students who attended ITT Technical Institute, the American Career Institute and Corinthian College. This is the first time the Department of Education has approved loan forgiveness for students attending for-profit schools not including these three.  

student loan debt, Student Loans

Former ITT Tech Students Receive Debt Relief from Biden Administration

The U.S. Department of Education announced Wednesday that 18,000 former ITT Technical Institute students who were found to be defrauded by the shuttered for-profit university will have their federal student loans cancelled in full. This move is a step in the right direction. The for-profit school closed permanently in 2016, leaving tens of thousands of students with massive student loan debt, and no degree.  

More than 30,000 former students petitioned the Department of Education to cancel their debt under the “borrower defense to repayment law.” However, even after being defrauded by ITT Tech, their claims were denied by officials under the Trump administration.