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How to navigate student loan payment restart - and potential scams

The pause on student loan repayments is over, meaning people will have to start paying back their debts for the first time in three years, starting next month. A few tips can help people prepare for this change.

Lane Thompson, Oregon Student Loans Ombuds, said it is important to know who your servicer is. For many, their loans were transferred to another company during the pause. Thompson also noted some are paying loans for the first time and advised borrowers to use the federal government’s website on loans.

“Log in to studentaid.gov and figure out what payment options are available, how much they’re expecting you to pay next month, and just really get some information,” she explained.

People have options for paying back their loans that could make them less burdensome, such as an income-driven repayment plan. The Biden administration recently unveiled the SAVE plan, a type of income-driven repayment plan that more than 61,000 Oregonians have already enrolled in. Thompson also said people should make sure their contact information is up to date.

Scams are likely to pick up as the repayment pause ends.

Ellen Klem, the Oregon Attorney General’s office director of consumer outreach and education, has some advice on what to look out for.

“If somebody tries to charge you upfront before they’ve done anything, that’s really the first clue that something’s a scam,” she said. “Things like only scammers are ever going to offer you quick loan forgiveness.”

Klem suggested people should be skeptical if they get a call or message regarding paying back their loans. Instead of trusting someone calling out of the blue, she said people should instead go to the website or call the verified number of their loan servicer.

 

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