A student loan company has acknowledged to 16,500 borrowers that their personal information may have been released to a business that was not authorized to receive such data.
The Associated Press reported Friday that one of Access Group's vendors sent out files containing borrowers' personal information, including names, Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers.
The information was reportedly sent out on March 23, and Access Group learned of the breach on March 28.
Access Group said that it was told by the business that received the information that the files had been deleted. Borrowers were not notified of the breach until three weeks later, the AP reported.
"Access Group values the trust our student loan borrowers and co-signers have placed in us, and we hold the privacy of our customer’s personal information in the highest regard,” the company said in a statement.
"We regret any concern this incident may have caused our borrowers and we feel confident that we have minimized any threat to their personal information."
Those affected by the breach are being offered free credit monitoring services for a year, Access Group said.
Access Group stopped making loans in 2010 due to legislative action that eliminated the federally guaranteed student loan program. The company stopped directly servicing loans in 2012.
The files containing borrowers' information was sent by Nelnet, which services loans for Access Group.