Fraudulent Student Loan Victims 10 Steps to Take

Identity theft is a stressful experience and can have long lasting repercussions for your financial stability and creditworthiness. Why? Because identity thieves generally do not repay the fraudulent loans, which will inevitably results in negative credit payment history on your credit reports. If you’ve recently discovered a fraudulent student loan was opened in your name, then it is important to act quickly to minimize the fallout and to clear your name. Here are 10 steps to take if you find out you are a victim of student loan fraud.

Contact the Lender

1. Contact the Lender:
Your first step should be reaching out to the lender responsible for the fraudulent student loan. After you contact the lender, clearly explain the identity theft situation, request that the lender freeze the loan and halt any future disbursements. Identity theft victims have the right to request and access the underlying account documents and this is important because the lender must provide the account application and transaction records upon request from the identity theft victim.

File a Police Report

2. File a Police Report and Identify the Fraudulent Student Loan:
Report the identity theft incident to your local law enforcement agency and identify the specifics of the fraudulent student loan. Request a copy of the police report because it can be used to support and validate your fraud claim when dealing with creditors and the credit reporting agencies.

Notify the Credit Reporting Agencies

3. Notify the Credit Bureaus of Student Loan Fraud:
Get in touch with the three major credit bureaus – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – to let them know you are a victim of fraud and ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert on a credit report signals to creditors and lenders the need for extra caution before extending credit in your name, so this may prevent future fraudulent student loans from being opened in your name. You can ask the credit reporting agencies to place a credit freeze on your credit files and this will also help to prevent new accounts from being opened without your consent and in your name. What is a credit freeze?

Review your Credit Reports

4. Review Your Credit Reports to Determine if it includes the Fraudulent Student Loan:
Identity theft victims have a right to access their credit reports for free from the nationwide consumer reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian and Trans Union. You can order all 3 credit reports for free HERE. After receipt of the credit reports, identity theft victims should carefully review each report to identify fraudulent student loans, accounts, inquiries, names, and addresses, so the inaccurate information can be included in dispute letters to the credit bureaus. Next, dispute the fraudulent student loans any any other inaccurate information to the nationwide credit reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union. Free Sample Credit Dispute Letter.

Contact the D.O.E.

5. Contact the Department of Education:
Reach out to the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid (FSA) office to report student loan fraud because the Department of Education can provide guidance on additional specific steps to take to clear your name. The Office of Inspector General maintains a hotline to report suspected fraud or scams and victims can report fraud HERE.

Submit an FTC ID Theft Report

6. Submit an Identity Theft Affidavit:
Complete an Identity Theft Affidavit and ID Theft Report with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) via because this affidavit can serve as an official statement to law enforcement about the identity theft incident and can be used to support your case. Report ID Theft to the FTC. Keep a copy of the identity theft affidavit and report for your records.

Notify the School

7. Notify The School of the Fraudulent Student Loan:
Notify the school linked to the fraudulent student loan about the identity theft incident. Send a written dispute, preferably via certified mail with a return receipt, so you can prove delivery of your dispute notice. The school should have established procedures to assist victims of identity theft and should work to help clear your name.

Monitor your Credit Reports

8. Monitor Your Credit Reports for New Fraudulent Student Loan:
Continue monitoring your credit reports for signs of additional fraudulent student loans or any other unauthorized accounts stemming from the theft. You can retain the fraud alert for a year and extend it if necessary and consider adding an extended fraud alert. An extended fraud alert remains for 7 years and incudes a promo opt out for your credit file.

Keep your Documents

9. Document Everything:
Maintain meticulous records of all your communications, including dates, times, names of individuals you spoke with, and the details of your conversations. Preserve copies of emails, letters, and statements related to the fraudulent student loan because this information will support your fraud claim. Such documentation can also prove invaluable if you need to make your case, especially if legal representation becomes necessary.

Hire a Student Loan Fraud Lawyer

10. Hire an Experienced ID Theft Lawyer:
If the situation becomes intricate or the lender proves uncooperative, consider consulting an attorney specializing in representing student loan identity theft victims. Experienced identity theft attorneys can offer legal guidance and act on your behalf to help you clear your name.

Remember that resolving identity theft can be a long and frustrating process, requiring patience and tenacity. Detecting and reporting identity theft early can increase your chances of minimizing the financial impact on your financial future.

Need help clearing your name?

The Adkins Firm focuses on assisting identity theft victims dealing with fraudulent student loans and credit report inaccuracies due to fraud. We are dedicated to helping clients clear their names and navigating the complexities of identity theft cases. If you’ve faced errors on a credit report, background report, or tenant screening report due to fraud, and your dispute was unsuccessful, you may have a claim under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. Time is of the essence due to potential statute of limitations, so don’t delay in contacting an experienced identity theft lawyer. Contact us for a free case review.