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If you've been a victim of identity theft, don't be surprised if you find that your credit history shows you are liable for the default on a student loan. Thieves are attracted to types of identity theft that put cash in their hands and student loans are no exception.
In comparison to other cases of identity theft, the application and acquisition of student loans can be more attractive than bank loans because student loans carry with them deferred payment terms. Those deferred payment terms translate into deferred discovery of the actual theft by the victim. That gives the thief an extended amount of time to put distance between him/herself and any traceable association with the theft.
Keep a close watch on your credit report details. If you've been the victim of identity theft or identity scams, the activity shown on your report, like student loans, or any other default of account payments or bank loans, may be deferred and not show up for several months beyond discovery that your identity had been stolen.
If you determine that an identity thief used your name and personal information to obtain a student loan, contact the school or program that granted the loan and ask for the account to be closed. Additionally, report the fraudulent loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You can call the Inspector General's Hotline at: 800-647-8733, write to: Office of Inspector General, U.S. Dept. of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202-1510.