Beware of student loan schemes, BBB warns

As student loan payments resume, here’s how you can protect yourself.
The BBB said they're already received reports of potential scams.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 3:16 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - For many Americans, student loan payments resumed Oct. 1.

Even though student loan payments just resumed, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) says they’re already receiving calls concerning student loan schemes.

College sophomore Jayla Simmons says she’s already thinking about the day she has to start paying back her student loans.

“I feel like carrying them around is just a big baggage, a big weight that you have to constantly make sure you have enough money to pay for them and make sure you’re in a stable enough job to pay for them,” Simmons said.

She said her security when that time comes is also top of mind. She added her mom is helping her keep an eye out for schemes.

“Do your research about it to see if it’s legit before sending money or putting your bank information in there or anything,” Simmons said.

The BBB says that’s the right line of thinking.

”Do your research,” President and CEO of the BBB of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky Robyn Householder said. “[Ask yourself,] ‘Is this an organization that has a relationship with the government student loan program?’”

Householder said the biggest issues are unsolicited calls, texts and emails. She said the government won’t call, text or email you unless you already have an established communication relationship with them.

“More often than not, you’re going to get a letter from them,” she said.

Householder said imposters learn new tricks every day.

”When you’re answering the phone you may not realize, but with AI nowadays, they can capture your voice and say that you did commit to whatever this transaction is,” she said.

That’s why the BBB suggests not answering the phone if you don’t know the number.

The bureau says Simmons is being proactive.

“Once they’re all paid, I’ll be able to save instead of always having to pay this bill every month,” Simmons said.

If you feel like you may be a victim of one of these schemes, contact the Better Business Bureau.