Avoid Student Loan Scams

Managing student loan debt can be overwhelming, particularly if you are struggling to make your monthly payments. Many ‘debt-relief’ or document preparation companies offer help to consolidate, postpone, lower or even forgive your student loan payments, often for a price. What they won’t tell you is that these same services are available to you already, free of charge, directly by the U.S. Department of Education and MOHELA.

‘Debt-relief’ companies may charge you up-front fees and require monthly fees in exchange for their promise to deliver services. For these fees, they may simply complete applications on your behalf that you can do for free with assistance from your servicer.

There is no need to pay a third-party to complete forms or help you manage your student loan debt. MOHELA, a U.S. Department of Education Servicer, provides customized solutions to meet your needs, free of charge.

  • Lower Monthly Payments and Repayment Plan Changes***

    Applying for a new repayment plan and changing repayment plans can be completed free of charge by your servicer. Each repayment plan has distinct requirements which may result in paying less interest over time or offer greater benefits such as loan forgiveness. Contact us to discuss which plan may work best for you.

  • Loan Consolidation***

    • Consolidating through the Federal Direct Loan Consolidation program may offer you lower monthly payments through extended terms. There are several advantages and disadvantages you should consider before consolidating. If consolidation is for you, you can complete an application for free through the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

  • Interest Rate Reduction***

  • Temporarily postponing payments to help you get back on track***

  • Options for loan forgiveness available through Public Service***

  • Easy ways to make payments on your student loan.

  • 24/7 self-service access to your account information via www.mohela.com and the Voice Response Unit at 888.866.4352

  • Contact us by phone, fax, letter

    • Customer Service and Repayment Assistance Specialists available Monday - Thursday 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Central Time) and Friday 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Central Time)

You can find information about your student loan options on this website or on the U.S. Department of Education’s website: StudentAid.gov.

*** Eligibility for programs may vary depending on the owner of your student loan.

Caution – Signs that you are being targeted for a scam:

  • Contacted by a company other than MOHELA regarding your student loan

  • Asked for initial and monthly maintenance fees to sign up for services

  • Asked to sign a Power of Attorney or document that allows the company to act on your behalf

  • Asked to provide your User ID and password

  • Asked for credit card or debit card information

  • Urged to act quickly because loan forgiveness programs are ending

  • Urged to act or forfeit rights to your student loan benefits

  • Told you that your student loan servicer will not help you

  • Promised your outstanding balance will be lowered immediately

Research any company carefully that claims to be able to assist with your student loan debt to ensure they are legitimate. Remember that your student loan servicer is here for free to help you and offer options to help manage your debt.

It’s especially important that you don’t give a third-party company “Power of Attorney” or legal authority to negotiate for you with your student loan servicer. And, although your Federal Student Aid ID may seem harmless enough to share with someone else, it is the equivalent of your signature on documents related to your federal student loans – keep your FSA ID to yourself for your security.

Regardless of whether you have contracted with a ‘debt-relief’ company, it’s important to remember that your name is signed on the promissory note and any account activity will affect you and your credit directly.

MOHELA is dedicated to offering customized solutions to meet our borrowers’ specific needs and provide superior guidance as your dedicated resource expert. Any questions or concerns you have regarding your student loans can be addressed by contacting us at 888.866.4352.

Steps to take if you feel like you were the target of a scam:

  1. Change your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID password

  2. Change your www.mohela.com password

  3. If you are working with a company, and you wish to discontinue the relationship:

    1. Review any documentation you signed with the company, and the terms in the documentation;

    2. If applicable, contact your bank to stop payments to the company; and/or,

    3. If applicable, contact the company to revoke any Power of Attorney.

  4. Submit a complaint by contacting the following:

    1. MOHELA Customer Service 888.866.4352

    2. Federal Trade Commission https://www.ftc.gov/

    3. Your state’s Office of Attorney General - Find Attorney General at: Attorney General

    4. Federal Student Aid Feedback System https://StudentAid.gov/feedback-center/

    5. Office of Inspector General https://oig.hhs.gov/

    6. Better Business Bureau https://www.bbb.org/

    7. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/