June 16, 2024

Regina Morrison Newman, the Shelby County trustee, informs us that with student loan repayments set to recommence this month, many unscrupulous individuals are attempting to exploit borrowers. They’re offering ‘help’ in the form of dodging repayment, reducing your payments, or even achieving loan forgiveness for a fee.

The Better Business Bureau has recently received a host of reports from citizens in Memphis, who have been approached by such fraudsters via calls, texts and emails. The so-called relief for student loan debt was offered for a fee. The scammers made an attempt to acquire Social Security numbers or Federal Student Aid IDs by verifying if the borrowers were eligible, with most scam calls reportedly originating from the 833 and 314 area codes.

Advice for Avoiding a Scam

Remember the steps below to steer clear of being duped:

– Don’t pay anyone a fee under the impression that they can assist you with your student loan debt.
– Avoid paying for programs said to decrease your payments or lead to forgiveness.
– Be cautious in protecting your Federal Student Aid ID login details.
– If anything seems dubious, contact your lender immediately.

Suggestions for Successful and Affordable Loan Repayment Restart

Here are some practical strategies to manage your loan repayment:

– Log in or create an account with the [Federal Student Aid Office](http://www.studentaid.gov/).
– Opt for an income-driven payment plan.
– Consolidate FFEL loans into a Direct Loan immediately to qualify for the new repayment benefits.
– If you have federal loans that aren’t Direct Loans, consider consolidating them.
– If you’re working in the non-profit or government sector, apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF).
– Refer to these sites for more assistance: [Federal Student Aid Office](http://www.studentaid.gov/), [Student Loan Borrower Assistance](http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/), and [Cancel My Student Debt](http://www.cancelmystudentdebt.org/).

For managing your budget for monthly student loan payments, you can seek help from the Greater Memphis Financial Empowerment Center.

Positive News on the Cost of Prescription Drugs

A noteworthy step towards reducing prescription drug costs has been initiated recently by the Biden administration. Beginning negotiations with Medicare concerning the [pricing of 10 specific drugs](https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-care/medicare-names-first-10-drugs-price-negotiation-government-rcna101166) is the first move in this process, designed to bring down costs for the government and Medicare beneficiaries.

Finally, remember that the aim of Wallet Warnings is to help safeguard your hard-earned money from scammers, fraudsters and predatory lenders. For any queries and additional information, dial (901) 222-0206. For all previous Wallet Warnings sessions, visit [Shelby County Trustee Wallet Warnings](https://www.shelbycountytrustee.com/313/Wallet-Warnings).