The data was reportedly stolen from the Minnesota headquarters of the Educational Credit Management Corporation sometime between March 20 and 21. According to ECMC’s website, the data, stored on a portable media device, included the names, addresses, birthdates and Social Security Numbers. Bank account and credit card information was not included.
Cooper said the missing data could make North Carolinians the victims of identity theft.
"With just a few key pieces of information, an identity thief can pretend to be you and run up debts in your name," he explained in a statement.
The breach affects some 3.3 million student loan borrowers nationwide.
Cooper said ECMC is in the process of notifying affected customers. It will offer them free credit monitoring.