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College loans data lost, no misuse

Tape contained detailed student information such as Social Security numbers and student loan and account information. Students affected by the disappearance were notified.
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UPS lost a computer tape with information about 180,000 college student loans, the Nebraska-based loan company said recently, but there's no indication that the data has been misused, AP reports.

The tape contained information of some 188,000 college students from Colorado and elsewhere was part of a UPS shipment which disappeared while on route from Colorado to Austin. The tape contained detailed student information such as Social Security numbers and student loan and account information. The tape went missing July 10 and students affected by the disappearance were notified.

"I didn't even know they had my information," Collista Pacheco-Lewingdon, 21, said. "I thought my loan was through CollegeInvest. Getting that letter was a little surprising for me, " said the student at Metropolitan State College in Denver.

Nelnet, a private education finance company which serviced the loans will now transmit student-loan data using encrypted electronic transmissions rather than cartridge tapes.

"We are making every effort to inform our customers of the missing data tape. Although we believe the risk is very slight, we are encouraging them to take steps to protect their identity," said Ben Kiser, spokesman for Nelnet Inc. in Lincoln, Neb.

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