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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Biden-Harris Debt Relief update

Protect yourself from scams


On Nov. 21, President Biden paused the repayment of student loans through June 2023 to allow a federal appeals court time to decide the case. Borrowers were previously expected to resume repayment of federal student loans in January.

On Nov. 14, the federal appeals court issued a nationwide injunction temporarily barring the Biden administration’s student loan debt relief program. The Biden Administration’s program would have cancelled up to $20,000 in student debt for federal loan borrowers. Please be aware that the program is suspended and the website is no longer accepting applications.

DC 37 is sharing critical information from the U. S. Department of Education on how student loan borrowers can protect themselves from scammers who may try to take advantage of them during the pause on the Student Loan Relief Program.

Scammers may attempt to reach out to borrowers to try to convince them that they have a work-around that can get student debt relief applications processed and accepted.

Here’s a list of Do’s and Don’ts to protect yourself against debt relief scams.

  • DON’T pay anyone who contacts you with promises of debt relief or loan forgiveness. You will not need to pay anyone to obtain debt relief.
  • DON’T reveal or share your FSA ID (Federal Student Aid ID) or account information or password to anyone who contacts you. The U.S. Department of Education and your federal student loan servicer will never call or email you asking for this information.
  • DON’T ever give personal or financial information to an unfamiliar caller. When in doubt, hang up and call your student loan servicer directly. You can find your federal student loan servicer’s contact information at
  • DON’T refinance your federal student loans unless you know the risks. If you refinance federal student loans eligible for debt relief into a private loan, you will lose out on important benefits like one-time debt relief and flexible payment plans for federal loans.
  • DO create an FSA ID at You will not need it for the debt relief application but having an FSA ID can allow you to easily access accurate information on your loan and lets FSA contact you directly, this step helps you equip yourself against scammers that may try to contact you. Log in to your current account on and keep your contact information up to date. If you need help logging in, please follow these tips on accessing your account.
  • DO make sure your loan servicer has your most current contact information. If you don’t know who your servicer is, you can log into and see your servicer(s) in your account.
  • DO share these messages with your networks and encourage others to sign up at to be notified when the Student Loan Debt Relief application becomes available.
  • DO report scammers to the Federal Trade Commission at

Having the most up-to-date and accurate information is your best protection against scammers.

The U.S. Department of Education or Federal Student Aid will contact borrowers directly when the application is available. Although the debt discharge is temporarily paused, FSA will quickly process discharges when it is able to do so.

If you have any questions, please call the MELS Screening Unit at 212.815.1111.