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Frequently Asked Questions

Student Legal Services Advises All Students To:

Keep all bills, correspondence or paperwork sent to them by a debt collector or creditor.

  1. What is a credit score and why is it important?
  2. How long will an account show up on my credit report?
  3. How can I correct errors on my credit report?
  4. What happens if I don’t pay a bill?
  5. What if a creditor says I owe more than I do or is trying to collect on a fraudulent account?
  6. A debt collector is calling me several times a day, or saying inappropriate or harassing things to me despite my requests that they stop.
  7. My Identity was stolen. What do I do?
  • What is a credit score and why is it important?

  • A credit score is a number between 350-800 that indicates your creditworthiness based on a number of factors including payment history, credit to debt ratio, how long your accounts have been open and your payment history. Your credit score may be used by lenders, employers, landlords, and others to determine eligibility for jobs, loans, rentals, interest rates or other services.  For more information see: http://www.consumersunion.org/creditmatters/creditmattersfactsheets/001633.html

  • How long will an account show up on my credit report?

  • Your credit report will show accounts that have had any activity within the last 7 seven years.

  • How can I correct errors on my credit report?

  • Our office can assist you with this process. There are laws, like the Fair Credit Reporting Act, that protect consumers. Notifying creditors and the credit reporting agencies of the error is the first step.

  • What happens if I don’t pay a bill?

  • The creditor may attempt to collect the debt from you directly or may sell the debt to a collections agency. The creditor or collections agency may eventually decide to take you to court to enforce the obligation. If you receive a summons or notice of suit from a creditor come see us, we can help.

  • What if a creditor says I owe more than I do or is trying to collect on a fraudulent account?

  • Our office can assist you with the verification and dispute of these debts.  The first step is to put the creditor on notice regarding the error. Keep track of the correspondence, records and documents related to the debt.

  • A debt collector is calling me several times a day, or saying inappropriate or harassing things to me despite my requests that they stop.

  • Come to Student Legal Services during drop in hours for assistance.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits harassing or inappropriate behavior including threats, calling you at your place of work, or at inconvenient times. Document all of your interactions with the collector including time and place of contact, type of contact (phone call, letter, email) and write down any threats or harassing language used by the collector.

  • My Identity was stolen what do I do?

  • It is important that you take steps to protect your identity and other assets. Alert your bank, credit cards, and financial aid office about the theft. Call the police and file an identity theft report.  Finally access your bank and credit cards statements and credit report to see if there are any fraudulent transactions. We can help you correct errors on your credit report and stop collection of fraudulent transactions.