Is Your Student Loan Lender Careful With Your Personal Data?
Student lenders collect a lot of important data on their customers. If this data fell into the wrong hands, it could wreak havoc in your life—and some banks are more careful than others. It’s essential to keep an eye on your bank’s practices regarding your data—and make sure they’re protecting it. If you’re still in the process of choosing a private lender, be aware of how they treat your data and that of other customers—and be wary of those that are less careful. Here are a few ways you can judge how careful your bank is with its customers’ personal information.
Is the data on their site encrypted?
Most banks are at least fairly conscientious with their customers’ personal information. However, it’s important to be vigilant—and be sure your bank is being as careful as you need them to be.
Are there any horror stories?
If there are, they shouldn’t be hard to find. Do a quick search on Google with the lender’s name along with the words “scam,” “data theft,” “security breach,” et cetera. It’s possible the company has had problems with customer data security in the past, and if they have, customers will probably have talked about it. A two-second Google search could save you a lot of grief in the future.
How do you access your customer account?
Your online account should be password-protected, and you should be able to change your password once you’ve established the account. In addition, it’s a good sign if your lender offers several layers of security checks. Asking you to answer a personalized security question, sending a verification text to your cell phone, and requiring you to verify your identity if accessing the account from an unexpected region are all good signs that they’re protecting your data.
Do they send you mailings?
Many lenders send mailings to their customers. Identity thieves can access your personal information by intercepting such mailings or going through your trash once you throw them out. How much personal information does your lender include in its mailings? Does it mail your information in an envelope with the company logo, or is the envelope plain and unmarked?
Alternative Loan Zone: Protect Your Information When Taking Out an Alternative Loan
FTC.gov: About Identity Theft
Equifax: How Identity Theft Strikes
More About Understanding Student Loans
- Credit Repair Services You Should Never Pay For
- Questions You Should Ask Before Applying for Student Loan Forbearance
- The Bank on Students Act: What It Is, and How It Could Help Student Borrowers
- How the Death of a Co-Signer Can Affect Your Student Loan
- Peer-to-Peer Student Loans: What They Are, and How They Can Help You Pay for College
- If You're Unable to Work Because of a Disability: What Happens to Your Student Loan?
- New Rules for Debt Collectors: How They Could Affect Your Student Loan
- Having Trouble Repaying Loans? The Department of Education May Be in Touch