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My brother is near fifty years old and has a great credit rating but one day the phone rang and it was a bill collector trying to collect on a defaulted student loan from the 1980s. My brother told them that all his student loans were paid off 25 years ago but they asked for proof. He has moved a dozen times since then and could not come up with the document. They said they would sue and have his wages and bank accounts garnished unless he paid them now. What should he do. He insists they were paid 25 years ago but has no proof.
EDITED: If the National Student Loan Data System (see below) shows they were never paid, and he can't prove it, they will try to collect. By checking the NSLDS (or calling 1-800-4-FED-AID), he can find out if they show a balance due AND the phone number and address of the company servicing the loan. That way HE can contact THEM and make sure it is a legitimate collection agency that contacted him. He needs to call 1-800-4 FED AID and see if they have that payment info on record about his old loans. They will have ALL his loan info (even old loans) . OR... If he wants to see his loan info RIGHT NOW, online, he can first go to: There, he will fill out some info and immediately get a PIN (Personal Identification Number). Then, using that PIN , he will have access to ALL his past loan info (even old loans) online by login in at: The "nslds" in the web address stands for National Student Loan Data System. ***Notice that these are official government websites (see the ".gov" in the address?). These are the only sites I would ever use for official business.*** He will get this straightened out, I'm sure. However, student loans are NEVER forgotten. It's like owing the IRS!! If the National Student Loan Data System (below) shows they were never paid, and he can't prove it, they will try to collect. By checking the NSLDS (or calling 1-800-4-FED-AID), he can find out if they show a balance due AND the phone number and address of the company servicing the loan. That way HE can contact THEM and make sure it is a legitimate collection agency.
They need to prove this debt is his. Tell him that he is not to even tell them that this even *might* be his debt. He's to be quite firm that it is not his debt. He then needs to tell them that they are no longer to call him, and all communications must be in writing. Does he have a lawyer of any type, or a friend or family member who is a lawyer? If he does, then when he tells the bill company that all comm. must be in writing, he should tell them that all comm. must be in writing and sent directly to his lawyer, and then give them the contact info. He should document (notebook with names, dates, etc.) every contact he has with the bill collector. This may be enough to kill this. I've heard of a lot of scams where disreputable collections companies try to get people to admit that an old debt might be theirs. Once you hint that it even could be your debt, they've got you. So he is to be quite firm with them that this is not his, period. The Idaho Times did a big article on this scam a couple of years ago.
No person might desire to be loaning money out that can not be discharged in financial ruin. financial ruin rules are interior the form, student loans are not. Our society hints human beings into borrowing money while they are youthful then makes use of the government to help them make income off of them. I say if the lender needs to make a greenback this foul way then the concern of amassing the money might desire to be theirs, no longer the government's. needless to say now student loans are element of the government too. i do no longer consider that the two.
This sounds like a scam to me. He needs to get all of their information and do an internet search for the business name. I bet he will find out all sorts of useful information about them. However, he may need an attorney to make sure they do not hurt his credit.
Is he able to contact the lender? There must be some documentation, whether through the bank, lender, etc., that this has been paid off.