How To Dispute A Student Loan Error On Your Credit Report

As you get ready to apply for a car loan or mortgage, you check your credit report to make sure everything is in tip-top shape. But you find that the student loan you paid off last year is marked as unpaid—what gives?

Unfortunately, credit report errors are common. In a recent study by Consumer Reports, 34% of individuals found at least one error on their credit reports.

If you find a mistake regarding your education debt, here’s how to dispute student loans on your credit report.

5 Common Student Loan Credit Report Errors

Student loans can be wrongfully reported to the credit bureaus. When reviewing your credit report, these are some of the most common mistakes you might find:

1. Closed Loan Accounts Listed as Open

You may find that a loan you already paid off is listed as open or unpaid. This issue can happen for several different reasons, but the most common explanation is a reporting delay. It can take loan servicers several months to report your payments, so there can be a delay between when you pay off the loan and when your credit report is updated.

2. Loans Listed as Delinquent

If your loans are in forbearance or deferment, it’s especially important to monitor your credit. Accounts could be wrongfully listed as delinquent when, in actuality, you had the loan servicer’s approval to pause your payments. Errors about your loan status typically occur due to a mistake by your servicer. They likely missed your payment status and submitted the delinquency by accident.

Read more  Ask for an Appeal | StudentAid BC

3. Loans Wrongfully Listed Under Your Name

Sometimes loans listed under your name may occur due to a simple mistake—someone with a similar name may have taken out a loan, and the information got mixed up. But it can also occur when identity thieves use your information to open new accounts. In either case, you can dispute student loans that you didn’t take out.

4. Loans Are Listed Multiple Times

You may find that your student loan is listed multiple times on your credit report. If a single debt shows up as several accounts, it can significantly impact your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio and affect your ability to qualify for other forms of credit. This problem can happen due to paperwork mistakes, but it can also happen if your loan is transferred to a new servicer. There may be overlap when the loan is listed in two places before it’s updated.

5. Forgiven Loans Listed as Delinquent or in Default

If you qualified for loan forgiveness or loan discharge—for example, if you qualified for federal total and permanent disability discharge—and your loans are still listed as open on your credit report, you can dispute the student loans. Loans that have been forgiven can be wrongfully listed due to errors on the loan servicer’s end.

How to Dispute Student Loans On Your Credit Report

Finding errors on your credit report may induce panic, but you submit a dispute to have them corrected. Student loans can affect your credit report and credit score, so it’s important to take action to fix your credit. Here’s how.

1. Review Your Credit Reports

Usually, you can view your credit reports from each of the three credit bureaus for free once per year at However, you can receive free weekly through April 20, 2022 due to the Covid pandemic. When you view your credit report, look for the following:

  • Personal information. Make sure that your personal information, such as your name, address, birth date and Social Security number (SSN) are accurate.
  • Accounts. Check to see if there are any accounts under your name that don’t belong to you. You may find student loans you didn’t take out or credit cards that aren’t yours.
  • Inquiries. The credit report will list any recent credit inquiries. If you haven’t applied for new credit, recent inquiries may indicate that your information has been compromised and someone else is submitting loan applications in your name.
Read more  Investing student loans: is it possible, and should you do it?

2. Gather Documentation

If you find any inaccuracies regarding student loans, gather the documents you need to challenge the issues on your credit report. The exact information you should provide depends on the mistake you’re disputing, but you may need copies of the following documentation:

  • Your incorrect credit report
  • Driver’s license or another form of identification
  • Contact information for the lenders you’re disputing
  • Loan or bank statements
  • Payoff confirmation from your student loan servicer
  • Proof of payments, forgiveness, forbearance requests or other supporting documents

3. Write a Letter

Next, write a letter to the loan servicer that submitted the incorrect information to the credit bureaus. The letter should include the account you’re disputing, why you believe the account is inaccurate, any supporting documentation you have and a request to remove or fix the account. You can use a sample letter from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help you write your own.

4. Contact Your Loan Servicers

Submit your dispute letter to your loan servicer or lender by certified mail or through your online account. If you’re not sure where to send it, contact the lender’s customer service.

As of 2021, there are 10 federal student loan servicers. Borrowers with federal loans can contact their servicer with the below information:

5. Submit Disputes with the Credit Bureaus

After contacting the loan servicer, you should also submit a dispute with the credit bureaus. You can dispute the accounts online or through the mail:

  • TransUnion Consumer Dispute Center P.O. Box 2000 Chester, PA 19016
  • Equifax P.O. Box 740256 Atlanta, GA 30374
  • Experian P.O. Box 4500 Allen, TX 75013
Read more  What is a Conventional 97 home loan?

Next Steps

Now that you know how to dispute student loans on your credit report, you may be wondering how long it takes to fix those problems. Here is what to expect.

  • Timing: Credit bureaus have 30 days to investigate any disputes you file. If a bureau decides that your dispute doesn’t have merit, it must send you a notification. If it agrees with your dispute, it will notify you and the business that reported it—in this case, your student loan servicer.
  • Notification: You’ll receive the results of the credit bureau’s investigation in writing. If the dispute results in a change to your credit report—such as an account being updated to reflect that it’s been paid off—you’ll also get a free copy of your credit report.
  • Resolution: If you aren’t getting anywhere with the credit bureaus or a private student loan lender, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Alternatively, you can contact a student loan ombudsman for help. For federal student loans, contact the Federal Student Aid ombudsman group.

To catch any problems with your student loans, be sure to check your credit report regularly. If you see any issues, start the dispute process right away. If your personal information has been compromised, you may want to consider putting a credit freeze on your credit report to prevent identity thieves from taking out lines of credit under your name.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)