Data breach at student loan company

More than 76,000 are affected in Maryland

April 03, 2010|By Liz F. Kay | liz.kay@baltsun.com

A data security breach at a nonprofit student loan company compromised the personal information of 76,939 Maryland residents, according to the identity theft unit of the state attorney general's office.

A form of "portable media" was stolen in March from Minnesota-based Education Credit Management Corp. containing data including names, addresses and Social Security numbers for about 3.3 million people nationwide.

Under Maryland law, businesses that keep your personal information are required to notify you if that information has been compromised. If you're affected, you should be receiving a letter explaining what you can do to protect yourself, said Hugh Williams of the identity theft unit.

ECMC said it has arranged with credit protection agency Experian to provide affected borrowers with free credit monitoring and protection services. "We deeply regret that this incident occurred and the stress it has caused ... and are doing everything we can to help protect our borrowers' identity and personal information," ECMC chief executive Richard Boyle said in a statement.

ECMC is a contractor for the U.S. Department of Education to provide collection and document management services. It guarantees student loans through the Federal Family Education Loan program and provides support services for student loans that are in default or bankruptcy.

Those who believe they may be affected can go to www.ecmc.org, or call 1-877-449-3568.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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