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Hi Everyone, this is my first ever Reddit post so please forgive me for any typos and formatting issues. **Part 1 Intro**: (Not sure if this is relevant, but outside of parking/speeding tickets I do not have a record of any kind) In January of this year (2018), I received a notification from a debt collector stating that I am defaulting on $32,000 worth of student loans. I called the debt collector, who is a legit company and not a scam artist. They informed me that I am defaulting on three Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loans. I informed them that this is the first time I was ever aware of these loans let alone that I am allegedly defaulting on them They informed me the cost for the loans plus the interest is $25,500 the debt collector company added $6500 in late fees onto it, despite this being my first notification from them, in any form (IE Phone or Email) on these loans. I WAS NEVER GIVEN ANY BILL ON THESE LOANS BEFORE THIS POINT. They gave me the dates, loan numbers, and disbursement amounts to the loans. Which go as follows (information has been changed on them for this post, if they don’t add up to the specific amount that is why) May 2013-$8700 January 2014-$8700 January 2015-$8600 I informed them that I am disputing these charges and will not be making any payment until I am given further information. They told me to contact the federal government department of education to get more information. To summarize thus far, I was made aware for the first time in January of 2018 that I am defaulting on $25,500 worth of student loans with $6500 worth of late fees added, despite this being my first ever notice on these loans. The loans are from 2013, five years prior. I have absolutely no recognition of ever taking out these loans. I talked to my parents and they do not either. I wouldn’t have signed up for $25,000 worth of loans unless they told me too and guided me to ensure no mistakes were made, and they would not have taken them out in my name without telling me. **No one has any idea how these loans came to be.** **Part 2: The Confusing Part** I called the US Department of ED and they told me the debt collection company has all the information now and they will not assist me due to not making payments to them. I then contacted my old University to inquire about this. They gave me access to the student portal again to see what loans were paid to the school and when. Now this is where it all gets very confusing. I reviewed the loan information paid to my school and none of the information matches what was given to me by the debt company. The disbursement dates are in the same month, but do not match the exact dates given. The loan numbers, and disbursement amounts do not match either. What was paid to the school is below. Please note these are the only federal loans paid to my former school. (Again information was changed here) Actually Paid What I was told was Paid 5/2013-$3200 May 2013-$8700 5/2013- $3200 January 2014-$8700 11/2013- $3700 January 2015-$8600 12/2014-$3700 1/2015-$3700 TOTAL: $17,500 Total: $27,000 **I do not know if my student portal only shows loans I took out that were paid to them or if it shows all loans paid to the school.** I left the university that these were paid too in 2015. But the amounts are drastically off. **Part 3: What I have done so far to fight/protect myself** With this new information in hand, I filed a fraud alert on my credit score across Equifax, Trans-union, and Experian. I called the debt company and informed them that I wanted a copy of the promissory note. They said they would give one in a few weeks, but it never came. I called them repeatedly to request information and state that I am still disputing it because the information given does not coincide to what was actually paid and that they needed to provide me with a burden of proof. **MONTHS WENT BY** without any word from them on this or the status of my promissory note. A family friend, who is a lawyer, but does not specialize in student loan or finances, helped me out. He was kind enough to use his law firm’s stationary to “represent me” and request the same information that I had, IE the Promissory Note. They finally sent ONLY AFTER HE REQUESTED IT. only after he requested it. The Promissory note has my name, address, D.O.B, Drivers license number, and Social Security Number listed on it. It has my dad and grandmother (who has since passed away, not sure if this is relevant) listed as references. It is dated exactly two weeks before the first disbursement date that the debt collector provided me. However, I again have no recollection of ever filling out this document, but again 5 years has passed so my memory could be fuzzy here. Months had passed at this point and the government kept my federal tax refund because of the debt I owed. I called the debt company again and told them the promissory note does not provide any additional information and I will not be paying until they can provide more info IE a burden of proof. They told me to call the US Department of Education. I told them when I call US Department of ED they tell me to call the debt company. I informed them until they can provide additional evidence I will not be paying. **Part 4: Where I am at now** This whole thing has been dragged out almost a year, due to a rough break up, changing jobs, and changing cities where I live. The debt company took their time getting any info to me and always claims to never have any additional information. The repercussions of these loans are slowly ruining my life. It is tacked onto my credit score, which is horrible due to this. I am not able to refinance the student loans I took out through a third party like Sallie Mae, Navient, or Wells Fargo. I have a hard time getting an apartment as well. At this point I have no clue what I should do. **The loan amounts, dates, and disbursements do not coincide to what was paid to my school. I was never made aware of this, until $6500 worth of late fees were added on.And I have no recollection of ever signing the promissory note.** I have nowhere near the $32,000 needed to get this all paid off and off my credit score. I am 25 years old and work in sales and make about $63,000 a year before taxes, but I pay for my own apartment, car, have my other student loans amongst expenses, etc. it would take me years to pay this off, on top of the student loans I already have through a third party. All the meanwhile these will be attached to my credit score which it will slowly keep ruining. My family does not have the money needed either, and I don’t know how I could ask them to take it out of retirement and work out a payment plan with them. I just want this whole nightmare to finally end and be off my credit score. It is an enormous burden, and I have no idea what to do right now. I am looking any actual legal advice that I can take to fight this and make it go away. If you have any actual advice on what I can please let me know. This is my last hope before I call the company one last time to figure out what it would mean to fight it and what sort of payment plan I would be stuck on. If you have any actual advice on what I can please let me know, thanks for your time. SUMMARY: Debt collector sent me a bill for $32,000 worth of federal student loans I have no recollection of ever signing up for. What was paid to my university does not coincide to the information the debt company provided me with. It is attached to my credit score and crippling my life in that aspect. I have no idea what to do.