When somebody uses your name and/or your social security number to apply for a student loan, there’s a good chance that they forged your signature in order to have the application go through.
Many people don’t even find out that a student loan has been taken out in their name until they look at their credit report or receive a notice from the student loan lender that payments are now due.
If you find out that someone has obtained a student loan in your name and signed a promissory note for it on your behalf, you need to know what action steps to take to resolve the issue.
Here’s what you need to do if some took out a student loan in your name:
Gather documents that show the loan is in your name.
Gather all documents that indicate a student loan has been taken out in your name and make a copy of everything. You will need to prepare this information to share with the U.S. Department of Education.
Prepare identifying information.
You will need to prove that you did not sign a promissory note for your student loan by showing the U.S. Department of Education you are not the same person who applied for the loan. The Department will need to see samples of your signature. The signature that appears on your Social Security Card, your driver’s license, on a government-issued ID card, a passport, or even on your birth certificate are all valid forms of identifying documents for your signature.
Gather documents with your signature around the time the loan application was submitted.
Another way to prove that you are not the person who signed for a promissory note on a student loan is by collecting documents dated for around the time that the student loan application was submitted. These documents will need to have your signatures on them, and may be more valuable than just submitting examples of signatures on your driver’s license or on a social security card.
Provide information about your activities around the time the loan application was submitted.
You can also prove that there is now way you could have applied for a loan and signed a promissory note based on what you were doing at that time of year. You could show proof of employment, for example, or provide proof of where you were living when the loan was issued to a school that is nowhere near you.
Provide a report from a handwriting expert.
If there is no other reasonable way to prove that you did not sign the promissory note, you can have a professional handwriting expert review your signature and make a statement that your signature does not match those that are on the promissory note.
Be sure to carefully check your credit reports from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion to see if there are any other signs that someone has stolen your identity and obtained credit in your name.
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