From time to time, we see some bad actors preying on confusion or spreading misinformation to try to coax student loan borrowers into paying for services they are entitled to at no cost. The economic stimulus bill recently passed by Congress provides relief for borrowers by suspending payments and the accumulation of interest on most student loans in the U.S. from March 13 until September 30.

Unfortunately, some have taken advantage of this provision to start up new scams.

If you currently have a federally held student loan, all payments are suspended, and no action is necessary on your part. If you get any communication from an entity requesting payment to help you take advantage of this payment relief, it is a scam. Note that not all student loans are federally held, and if you have any questions or are experiencing economic hardships, reach out your loan servicer (the company to whom you make payments). Some private student loan lenders are offering similar relief for borrowers of privately held student loans, but that was not included in Congress’ stimulus bill. If you are an international student with student debt from outside the U.S., contact your lender or your country’s student loan agency for further instructions.

Some resources you may find helpful include this Federal Student Aid information and this post from Experian.com.

Know your rights as a student loan borrower! For more information, visit SIPA’s loans and federal aid page or contact the SIPA Office of Financial Aid — we will be happy to help you navigate this process.