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What Should I Report to the Hotline?

You should use the Hotline to report violations of Federal laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to ED programs and funding, including complaints involving ED employees, recipients of ED funds, schools, school officials, other educational institutions, contractors, lending institutions, collections agencies, or public officials. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Embezzlement, bribery, or other public corruption involving ED funds
  • Serious mismanagement involving ED programs or funds
  • Theft or misuse of Federal student aid
  • Knowledge of fraud, waste, or abuse involving a financial aid administrator or other school officials
  • Knowledge of fraud, waste, or abuse involving a student loan servicer or collection agency
  • Knowledge that your school is not complying with regulations or laws involving Federal student aid or other ED program or operation
  • Whistleblower reprisal (if you are an ED employee, also report reprisal to the Office of Special Counsel)
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Contract and procurement irregularities
  • Theft or abuse of government property
  • Employee misconduct
  • Ethics violations by ED officials

What Shouldn't I Report to the OIG Hotline?

If your complaint or allegation does not involve fraud, waste, theft, mismanagement, public corruption, or abuse involving ED programs or funds, you may need to contact another ED office or Federal or State agency for assistance. If your complaint or allegation falls under one of the categories below, please contact the agency or organization listed for assistance.

Who to Contact for Complaints Not Addressed Through the OIG Hotline

If you have a complaint about your student loan, contact the FSA Ombudsman’s Office. The Ombudsman Office is a neutral, informal, and confidential resource to help resolve disputes about your Federal student loans, including the following:

  • problems that are not a result of theft or fraud involving your Federal student loan
  • improper accounting errors on your student loan involving a collection agency or loan service center
  • if you disagree with your loan servicer about the balance or status of your student loan
  • technical assistance regarding your student loan
  • mediation between you and your loan servicing center
  • problems receiving student loan documents from your loan servicer
  • help with disability forms or loan cancellation
  • school closures and related loan cancellations

For any of the above student loan issues, please contact the FSA Ombudsman’s Office at 1-877-557-2575 (TDD 1-800-848-0983) or https://studentaid.gov/feedback-ombudsman/disputes/prepare.

If you have an issue with your private student loan, or another private financial product or service:

Please contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at 1-800-411-2372 or http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#student-loan. You can submit a complaint about private student loans, which are often issued by a bank, a credit union, your school, or another lending institution.

If the Internal Revenue Service has or will offset income tax returns, or if you believe that there has been an improper garnishment of your wages for the repayment of student loans:

Please contact the Office of Debt Collection Services at 1-800-621-3115 (or 1-202-377-3373 or 1-202-377-3374), or find more on what you can do if you defaulted on your student loan repayment here: https://myeddebt.ed.gov/.

If you have questions concerning the quality of education you received while attending a college, university, or trade school:

Please contact your local Better Business Bureau, the school’s accrediting agency, the State licensing agency, or the State Board of Higher Education.

If your complaint involves a Head Start Program:

Please contact the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) OIG at 1-800-424-9121 or https://oig.hhs.gov/

If your complaint involves a school lunch program:

Please contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) OIG at http://www.usda.gov/oig/

If your complaint involves discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference:

Please contact the ED Office for Civil Rights: 1-800-421-3481 or http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/complaintprocess.html

If you are an ED employee and your complaint involves discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, religion, or sexual preference:

Please contact the ED Equal Employment Opportunity Service Office:

1-800-872-5327 or https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/or/fs/ofo/oeeos.html.

If your complaint involves a scholarship scam:

If someone contacts you to offer you a scholarship and requests your bank or credit card account number for a processing fee—do not share any information. Immediately contact the Federal Trade Commission: 1-877-FTC-HELP or http://www.ftc.gov/scholarshipscams