I’m a Victim of Sallie Mae Loan Fraud. What Can I Do? – Randal

“Dear Steve,

Around 6-7 years ago, I cosigned a Sallie Mae loan for my roomate in the amount of $15K and a second one for around $3K. In 2006, I broke off communication with him as he moved back to the UK due to not getting a job in the US.

Well, there’s been times that sallie mae has contacted me about him being late on payments, so I would send him a facebook message or email and let him know. He was always late, but made sure it got paid somehow. Well I received another call last month from the recovery dept. of sallie mae saying that the full balance of $37,000 was needing to be paid. I really and honestly had no idea about this amount.

When I expressed my concern for that high of an amount, the lady told me the SEVEN loans and their amounts. I said “there’s no way I signed for that amount!” so she gave me the number of the fraud dept. to call and request the documents. I have called them and am awaiting them in the mail as we speak.

Meanwhile, another lady called me wanting the money he owes, which a portion i legitimately cosigned for, and said that the time has expired to go over these documents and that it can’t be claimed as fraud.

I had no idea on the amount of TOTAL debt and apparantly these documents may not have been sent to me originally. How can this be true? I am a victim of identity fraud because he had my pertinent information. Also, having a signed contract that he would pay this, I know I can legally sue him since he did not take care of his loans. Is it possible to sue in the UK from the U.S.?

Does Sallie Mae cosigning loans have any timetable to claim fraud????


Dear Randal,

I figured in this case I’d contact the folks at The Dhami Law Firm and ask them for their opinion. Here is they had to say.

“We receive a remarkable number of enquiries each month from cosigners of defaulted student loans, and while the cosigners are generally family members or significant others, we have seen cases like yours before. We are not offering legal advice and you should speak with your own attorney before deciding on a course of action, however.

You raise a number of issues we would like to touch upon:

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On the Nature of Cosigning:

When you cosign a loan, you’re actually assuming responsibility for its repayment. The lender can attempt to collect from you and sue you in court to obtain a judgment, which will allow them to garnish your wages or file liens against your property. In some states, a lender must attempt to collect from the primary debtor before pursuing the cosigners, however it’s not a requirement in all states.

Total Amount Owed

You can only be pursued for amounts that you have actually cosigned for, so reviewing the loan contract(s) that Sallie Mae or its collection agent claims you signed is critical. While you have already requested these documents, you can also request a “payoff” from Sallie Mae, to get a better sense of what is happening on each of the loans. You may also wish to send Sallie Mae or its collection agent a debt validation letter requesting a copy of the loan contract(s) they allege you signed.

The party who claims you owe the full balance is simply attempting to collect on the account displayed on their computer screen, and is likely uninformed as to the exact amount you personally owe. Don’t take it personally. Keep track of which phone numbers they are calling from, the time and date of each call, and any threats they may be making. While it appears your debt is currently in the hands of Sallie Mae, they’re likely to hire a collection agent in the future, and you may have recourse under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to stop the harassment and obtain up to $1000 plus attorney’s fees if violated.


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If you can confirm your signature on the loan documents has been forged or your identity otherwise stolen to cosign or otherwise guarantee loans beyond the one you originally cosigned, Sallie Mae itself has no control over the statute of limitations for such fraud or theft, or your rights in this regard.

If you suspect fraud or identity theft, you must report this to your local police. Reporting will provide important evidence of such fraud if Sallie Mae or its collection agent names you in a future lawsuit. The statute of limitations for fraud and specific provisions for identity theft vary from state to state and under federal law, and it is unclear based on the information provided whether or which state or federal laws would apply. It is important to document the fraud immediately upon discovering it and report it to both the police and Sallie Mae.

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What else can you do?

You mentioned suing your former roommate. While it would be inadvisable to engage in litigation in the UK given the expense and complexity involved, you can file a civil suit in the US naming him in the UK. You will need to ensure you can either serve him with the summons and complaint or otherwise meet the international service of process requirements, however.

You should also be aware that if the old roommate doesn’t do something to the student loans, whether it’s consolidation, rehabilitation, or otherwise get them out of default, Sallie Mae and/or its collection agent are likely to file a lawsuit in state court and name you as a cosigner. At this stage, you’ll have an opportunity to request a copy of all loan documents as well, and to use defenses such as identity theft or lack of evidence of your indebtedness. In the event you are sued, you should immediately consult your attorney.”

Please post your responses and follow-up messages to me on this in the comments section below.

Damon Day - Pro Debt Coach

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Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
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10 thoughts on “I’m a Victim of Sallie Mae Loan Fraud. What Can I Do? – Randal”

  1. I want to know why SallieMae is getting away with ruin our credit and nothing is done to them! Some at there school said I co-signed on their loan, which I did not. They have now through many letters asking for proof of my signature turned me over to someone else. Further ruining my perfect credit…I am 71 years old I cannot health wise deal with all this stress. I know the name of their student who committed fraud. I had contacted my credit reporting companies. Why can they do this to so many people? What more can I do?

    • Kathy, if you did not co-sign for someone else you should call your local police department and ask to file a report for identity theft. Also, visit https://www.identitytheft.gov/#/

      This is not really a SallieMae problem until you officially report the thief and start the complaint process that can result in this debt being removed from your responsibility and criminal charges are pursued against the person that did this.

      Do not delay. Do not hesitate.

  2. I am a student at Texas Southern University. I have many questions about my loan and the way it was dispersed. I was told my entire grant went toward my tuition, and the balance belonged to me. I am a transfer student from Lone Star College and the entire process was different there. I have not been able to get any answers or assistance from the Texas Southern University. When I started to inquire about my loans and the amounts I was fast talked and no one seemed to give me a straight answer. I was also having my questions answered by student services. I requested to speak to the department head and was e-mailed the same answers from student services. I also have been told that I am running out of money for the continuation of my schooling. HELP.

  3. I been paying and fighting this same situation for years. I first found out my name was forged at FMU in Jax Fl was 2003. IRS withheld my tax return. I was HORRIFIED who could have signed my name to a college for a student loan. I was well aware of Grants and such! They got my SS right but my birthday is wrong! I contact DOE, “Well, You Signed it!”..I contact Gov office. His Assistant, dear sweet lady tries to help my desperate cry for help, scrambles my ss number somehow? It does NO good! Now Im on Disability. They pull almost 1/3 before I see a penny. I can’t afford ANYTHING! I call, I call. They threaten wanting more! I recently got original documents. You can see it is not my signature! NOT my BD. Different pen colors in the amount and sections. Clearly Shady. How can this be legal without any form of ID or without me even there? If I go to a BANK I have to be there in PERSON with a ID to get any loan! I never went to college. I graduated HS, Married in 1980, family, Worked since.I get several threatening calls on my cell and LL in NOV. I call DOE..They tell me..”You need to make more than ONE payment a month. I take care /Live of my elderly mother, this upsets her so much! I also have custody of my Grand Daughter. No Empathy from these ppl. ID theft when on a fixed SS check is rough No food stamps. Only medicaid for child. I help pay bills with mom. Lawyer? What?

  4. My mother was added as a cosigner to a student loan I have with Sallie Mae without either of us knowing about it. My mother contacted them and they said i did this (which I didn’t) and with her consent they would pursue charges against me. She didn’t want to do that to me, so what can I do to repair things? Btw, I paid off the loan immediately so she is not encumbered with this matter anymore…but personal damage has been don.

    • You could hire a consumer attorney to pursue the fraudulent addition of your mother. This would require getting Sallie Mae to produce original documents or proof how she was added. The good news here is the loan is now paid off so she is off the hook no matter what you decided to do.

  5. I was contacted by Salle Mae who left a message on my phone to call them, I latter received a letter from them in the regular mail which I assumed was scam. I did not receive a registered letter from them.
    I later lalled them and discovered that a individual in London England had taken out a student loan using my stolen ID.
    I don’t know this party, I know nothing of this individual, and I know nothing of this loan.
    Salle Mae sent me a package of documents to fill out requesting two pieces of ID with my social security number on it, a notorized copy of my signature, a copy of a police report verifying that I reported the crime which the police wouldn’t make informing me that I have to go to England to file because the theft was commited overseas in England, a signed statement stateing that I had nothing to do with this party or their loan application. I faxed them the documents and was told by them that they received all the required documents and that they would perform an investigation.
    Does Salle Mae steal identities? Did I make a mistake by faxing them these documents?


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