“David” can’t get Equifax to correct his credit report. Since 2006, he’s been trying to get them to remove a misreported student loan, and they’ve repeatedly ignored him or said it’s not their fault. Because of this, David’s credit report says he owes a total of $56,910 in student loans, instead of the accurate $28,455.
So what exactly is the problem? After 12 online (and phone) disputes to Equifax and 14 calls (and faxes) to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, each party seems to blame the other.
David is fed up with being given the runaround. He’s drafted a very clear letter and faxed it not only to Equifax and the Direct Loan Servicing Center, but also:
- U.S. Department of Education Federal Studen Aid Ombudsman
- Nationwide Consumer Rights
- National Association of Consumer Advocates
- The Consumerist
Here’s the letter, which we’re printing in part to publicize Equifax’s negligence but also as a guide for others who face a similar problem:
My name is [redacted] and I write this letter to each representative at once so that the issues of the past two years can be remedied and that the buck can, hopefully, stop being passed in regards to the gross errors on my credit report. I am not some typical, ranting customer who has an axe to grind, but rather someone who has had his Federal Student Loan credit falsely reported since July of 2006.
Just so we are all on the same page, I have filed 12 disputes online with Equifax and have called both Equifax and the Direct Loan Servicing Center 14 times (all documented) since July of 2006.
The issue is that my Federal Student Loan balance of $28,455 is being reported twice on my Equifax credit report. The initial account was opened in 09/2000 and then later consolidated in 07/06. However, rather than the balance for the 09/00 account being reduced to $0.00 and the status appearing as “consolidated”, the balance remained. The $28,455 balance also appears, as expected, on the 07/06 account.
Again, the issue is simply that my pre-consolidation account from 09/00 still has a balance of $28,455 as does my post-consolidation account from 07/06. This appears on my Equifax credit report as though I have a total balance owed to the Direct Loan Servicing Center of $56,910 between two accounts.
The Direct Loan Servicing Center has repeatedly verified that I only have one account with a balance, the 07/06 account, and that my only debt to them is $28,455. This was done by Brian Cornia at DL on 05/08/08 and previously by Stephanie (of Team 2) on 01/29/08.
So what exactly is the problem? After 12 online (and phone) disputes to Equifax and 14 calls (and faxes) to the Direct Loan Servicing Center, each party seems to blame the other. Direct Loans claims repeatedly that they are sending the correct information to Equifax, however, as seen in my credit report (below) from 24/Sep/2008, this is still not the case (this full credit report will also be faxed in full, this can be seen on pages 4 and 5).
It may very well be that Direct Loan Servicing Center is dropping the ball on this, but we feel it’s ultimately Equifax’s responsibility to ensure the accuracy of the data that it collects, places a value on, and then sells for profit to other companies. By misreporting David’s credit history and failing to fix it for 26 months now, they’re doing persistent damage to his credit history, and not providing a very reliable service to their own customers either.
(Photo: The Shining)