Student Debt Relief Scams

Posted on 06/15/22

School is out for the year, but for millions the bills keep on coming. More than 43 million Americans are paying off student loans and every one of them is eager to do so as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, this eagerness creates an opportunity for scammers.

Student Debt Relief Scams (1).jfif

These scams typically start with a "debt relief expert" reaching out with an unsolicited offer to help navigate through state and federal programs to help you reduce or restructure your debt. This “offer” may include instant, easy-to-access loan forgiveness options, sometimes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. Then comes the red flag. These fraudulent offers all ask for payment or personal information such as a Social Security number or your student aid login information.

If you are a student borrower, there are two important things to know. First there's nothing that these companies can research for you that you can't legitimately find for yourself for free. Second, it is illegal for debt relief companies to collect payment from you before they get results, so upfront fees are a surefire sign of a scam. For free information on getting help with federal student loans visit

Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.

Report scams to local law enforcement. For help from AARP, call 1-877-908-3360 or visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at

This story is provided by AARP Virginia. Visit the AARP Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

More from AARP in Richmond

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Richmond
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner