Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sallie Mae error hits borrowers' credit scores

Sallie Mae, a major student loan lender, apparently falsely reported to Equifax that hundreds of thousands of its borrowers' loans were delinquent when they were not. The loans were being repaid under a graduated repayment option, and Sallie Mae apparently reported them as "essentially delinquent", according to this article on the MSN Money website.



According to the article, here is how to tell if you were affected: "If your Sallie Mae loan account includes a note under the "Descriptions" heading reading, "Arrangements made with credit grantor to make partial payments," your credit has likely been affected -- even if the account shows "paid as agreed" elsewhere on your report." Check out the full article, which has some good advice about what to do if you have been affected by this problem.

As always, it's a good idea to be familiar with what's in your credit report. Go to annualcreditreport.com to get a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies once a year. This problem with Sallie Mae apparently only affected the Equifax report, so make sure you check out your Sallie Mae entries on their report.

Sallie Mae claims the problem is resolved, of course, but you should definitely not take their word for it. If you think your credit score continues to be affected, or if it caused other problems for you, dispute the entry with Equifax, then get in touch with Sallie Mae directly - 1-888-2-SALLIE - and insist that they help clear up your issues. If that doesn't work, consult with an attorney. Although the time frame in which this problem existed was short, for some borrowers, the timing might have caused a perfect storm in your credit world.

-B

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