Safeguarding Against Student Loan Scams

Protected from scams

Defending Against Student Loan Fraud

At Latitude 32 Credit Union, we understand that managing student loans is a significant aspect of many of our members’ financial lives. With the rise in education costs, it’s become increasingly important to be vigilant against student loan fraud. This guide is designed to empower you with knowledge, helping you navigate the complexities of student loan management without falling victim to scams.

Identifying Student Loan Scams in the Modern Education Landscape

Be cautious of any service that promises drastic solutions like immediate loan forgiveness or claims to have a special relationship with the Department of Education. Remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Spotting the Warning Signs of Loan Scams

Awareness of the common warning signs can help you identify and avoid student loan scams. Be wary of the following red flags:

  • Unsolicited Offers: Legitimate organizations typically do not send out random offers for loan assistance. If you receive an offer without having contacted the service first, proceed with caution.
  • High-Pressure Sales Tactics: Scammers often try to create a sense of urgency, pushing you to act quickly without giving you time to think or research their offer.
  • Requests for Personal Information: Be skeptical of any request for personal or financial information, especially if it’s unsolicited. Never share your FSA ID, social security number, or banking details without verifying the legitimacy of the request.
  • Upfront Fees: Charging fees before providing any service is a common scam tactic. Legitimate services related to federal student loan programs do not require payment upfront.

False Hope of Instant Debt Elimination

In the journey to manage and pay off student loans, the promise of instant debt elimination can seem like a beacon of hope. However, Latitude 32 Credit Union wants to remind our members that offers claiming immediate clearance of student debt are, more often than not, fraudulent. Legitimate loan forgiveness programs, while available, require time, specific qualifications, and often, years of consistent payments.


Beware of organizations that guarantee they can eliminate your student loan debt instantly or very quickly. Genuine debt relief options, such as loan forgiveness for public service, income-driven repayment plan forgiveness, and other federal programs, have clear and strict eligibility criteria that do not support the notion of instant relief.

Immediate Actions to Counter Suspected Loan Scams

If you suspect you’ve encountered a student loan scam, taking swift action can help protect your finances and assist authorities in preventing further fraud. Latitude 32 Credit Union recommends the following steps:

  1. Cease Communication: Stop all interaction with the entity you suspect of fraudulent activities.
  2. Document Everything: Keep records of communications, including emails, calls, and any promotional materials you received.
  3. Report the Scam: Notify the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) through their online complaint assistant, your state’s attorney general’s office, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Reporting helps track and combat these fraudulent entities.
  4. Contact Your Loan Servicer: Inform your loan servicer of the suspicious activity. They can confirm the legitimacy of any offers you’ve received and advise on steps to secure your account.
  5. Monitor Your Accounts: Keep an eye on your financial accounts and credit report for any unusual activity that may indicate identity theft or fraud.

How to Report Loan Scams and Protect Others

Reporting suspected scams is a critical step in this process. Here’s how you can report and contribute to the broader fight against fraud:

  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC is a primary agency for reporting scams and frauds. Use their online complaint assistant to file a report.
  • State Attorney General: Your state’s attorney general’s office can take action against scam operations within your state.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB): The CFPB accepts complaints about problems with student loans and can provide assistance and information.

By reporting scams, you not only help in possibly shutting down fraudulent operations but also aid in raising awareness about their tactics.


If you believe that you have been the victim of a scam or think an unauthorized individual has personal information, please contact Latitude 32 immediately.

Direct Engagement with Your Loan Servicer for Authentic Information

When it comes to student loans, getting information directly from your loan servicer is crucial. Latitude 32 Credit Union encourages all members to engage directly with their servicers for several reasons:

  • Verification of Offers: Your loan servicer can confirm the legitimacy of any debt relief or repayment offers you receive.
  • Account Information: They provide accurate and up-to-date information about your loan balance, repayment status, and options.
  • Problem Resolution: If you encounter issues or discrepancies, your servicer is the first point of contact for resolutions.

Always use the contact information provided on your billing statements or the official Federal Student Aid website to ensure you’re communicating with your actual servicer.

Exploring Genuine Student Loan Assistance Options

There are several legitimate avenues for student loan assistance that can provide relief and support without risking fraud. Latitude 32 Credit Union highlights the following options:

  • Income-Driven Repayment Plans: Adjust your monthly payments based on your income and family size, potentially leading to loan forgiveness after 20-25 years.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): Offers loan forgiveness after ten years of qualifying payments for those working in public service or non-profit sectors.
  • Deferment or Forbearance: Temporary suspension or reduction of payments due to specific life circumstances, though interest may still accrue.

Maximizing Free Tools for Loan Management

The U.S. government provides numerous free tools and resources to help manage student loans and navigate repayment options. Latitude 32 Credit Union encourages members to utilize these resources:

  • Federal Student Aid website: Offers comprehensive information on all aspects of federal student loans, including repayment calculators, application forms for income-driven repayment plans, and details on loan forgiveness programs.
  • Allows you to check your credit report for free annually from each of the three major credit bureaus, helping you monitor for fraudulent activity related to your student loans.

Latitude 32 Credit Union: Guiding You Towards Financial Security

At Latitude 32 Credit Union, our commitment to our members extends beyond providing financial products and services. We strive to be your trusted partner in navigating the complexities of financial management, including safeguarding against student loan fraud. 


We encourage all members to remain vigilant, stay informed, and reach out to us with any concerns or questions about student loans or any other financial matters. Together, we can build a secure financial future for you and our community.