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False Certification: Unauthorized Signature/Payment

Who It’s For: Victims of identity theft who did not fill out the paperwork to authorize the loans in the first place.

How to Apply: Fill out the false certification discharge application and send it to your servicer. You may also need to send in multiple official forms of I.D. complete with your signature, to prove that the signature on the application in question is false.

What Loans Qualify: Federal loans in the Direct loan program or the Family Federal Education Loan Program (FFELP).

How Much?: Up to the full amount erroneously taken out in your name.

Anything Else I Should Know?:  This discharge will usually only benefit people who are genuinely victims of identity theft. If an identity thief took out loans in your name for courses you never actually attended, this discharge should benefit you. If you did attend the courses yourself, then you are still responsible for the cost of the education, even if there’s a missing/false signature somewhere in the paperwork due to some other error; discharging the loan in that case would just lead to you being billed directly by the school instead.