Scammers have seized on student loan forgiveness. Here’s how to avoid them

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The federal government moves at the pace of cold molasses, so you shouldn’t be surprised that the U.S. Department of Education has yet to reveal how to apply for the student loan debt relief it promised in August.

But you still need to be patient because anyone offering to help you apply now could be a scammer.

Kevin Roundy, senior technical director of the internet security company NortonLifeLock in Culver City, said he has seen multiple scams directed at borrowers searching online for guidance on loan forgiveness. The goal, he said, is to get you to sign up for a service that’s going to cost you money — or refinance your debt into a new, privately issued student loan.

For example, he said, some will direct you to a site that tries to persuade you not to follow the advice of your student loan servicer. The site will claim that the servicer will give you bad terms, but “we’ll give you the best terms,” Roundy said. Or they’ll offer to take your debt forgiveness application straight to the Education Department, bypassing your loan servicer.

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