Beware of debt relief offers and scams

Sallie Mae is constantly evaluating and improving its systems and processes to protect our customers. 

Bad actors and scammers are getting increasingly more sophisticated in targeting consumers. That includes making promises of debt forgiveness and debt relief for those with student loans. 

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Trade Commission, and the Department of Education, have all expressed concerns about these scams. 

Here’s how to spot them right away and what to do if you suspect you were scammed.

Warning signs

Beware of any promises that sound too good to be true. Promises of immediate debt forgiveness or cancellation or offers to negotiate “special deals” are a telltale sign of potential fraud. 

Asking for money upfront is a clear sign of a scam. If you are asked to pay upfront fees or are requested to sign a third-party authorization form to negotiate on your behalf, it’s probably a scam. Be wary of any recommendation to stop making payments while they “negotiate” a deal. Stopping payments will likely result in delinquency, default, and can harm your credit. 

If you get a phone call about debt relief, it’s likely a scam. Also, be wary of links sent through text and suspicious emails. Look for obvious spelling or grammar errors and check the email address of the sender. Check out these additional tips for safeguarding your identity and protecting your privacy.

Be suspicious of requests for payment outside of authorized payment channels.

Getting help

If you have federal student loans and believe you’ve been a victim of a scam, immediately reach out to your federal student loan servicer to ensure there was no unauthorized activity on your account. 

If you are a Sallie Mae private student loan customer please contact us at 800-472-5543. Forward any suspicious Sallie Mae emails, including attachments, to

If you are a Sallie Mae banking customer, contact us at 877-346-2756.

If you paid a fee to the scammer, contact your bank or credit card company to stop the payment.

File a report with the Federal Trade Commission online. You should also submit a report to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau