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Finding out where your student loans are can be a bit of a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got you covered with this step-by-step guide!
Head over to the Federal Student Aid website and click on “Your Loans.” You’ll see a list of all your current loans, including whether or not they’re in repayment and what their status is (if they’re in deferment or forbearance). You might also see a list of loans that have been forgiven or discharged—that’s great news!
If you’d like more information about any of your loans, click on them individually and read through the details available. If you want to make payments on the loan, there will be an option for doing so on this page.
Once you’ve gathered all the information you need, head over to FinAid’s Loan Lookup Tool to get even more details about each individual loan—address, contact info for loan servicers, etc.—and then track down the person who can help you get answers from that specific lender!
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HOW CAN I KEEP TRACK OF MY FEDERAL STUDENT LOANS BORROWED?
We recommend that you visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) Student Access website at www.nslds.ed.gov. NSLDS provides a central database for student aid and allows students access to view information from schools, guaranty agencies, the Direct Loan program, as well as other programs; which is a valuable tool in managing your federal student loan information.
You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN to access the website; you have used the PIN when electronically signing your loans or when completing your FAFSA. You can request a duplicate PIN be sent to you at www.pin.ed.gov.
What Type of Loan Do I Have?
You must know what type of student loan you have in order to understand your options. You can use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) to find out what federal loans you have. As of February 2020, the NSLDS site is found on the Department’s StudentAid.gov site. There is a large “Log In” button on the right side of the screen that you must use to see your account information (also known as your “dashboard.”). Once you enter your FSA ID, you will have access to a lot of information, including your student aid summary.
You must have a FSA ID to access your loan information. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can create one by clicking on the “Create Account” button on the StudentAid.gov site. The Department has posted answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the FSA ID system.
Once you access your loan “dashboard”, you will see an aid summary as well as more detailed information about each individual grant, loan, and aid overpayment. The Department says that the new dashboard will allow you to keep track of your remaining eligibility for Direct Subsidized Loans (Subsidized Usage Limit Applied – SULA) and Federal Pell Grants and Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants (Lifetime Eligibility Used – LEU). You should also be able to track your progress toward repaying loans and track the number of qualifying payments made toward Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) if applicable. In addition, the aid summary will include information about your loan servicer and a link to the loan servicer’s website.
You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center, 1-800-4-FED-AID, TDD 1-800-730-8913. The Center’s counselors can help you figure out what types of loans you have.
Federal loan promissory notes and applications will state the name of the federal loan program (Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, FFEL, William D. Ford Direct Loan Program, etc.) at the top of your monthly bill, and loan contract.
There is no central data base similar for private student loan information. You should contact your lenders or loan holders to get more information about private loans. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a private student loan ombudsman and an on-line student loan assistant tool. The Department of Education also has information about the differences between federal and private student loans.
Most private student loans will have a disclosure statement similar to the information that is included on mortgage loans and car loans. This is because most private loans are covered by the Truth in Lending Act while federal loans are not. Sample disclosures from the Federal Reserve Board:
You can also get information about your student loans by checking your credit report. Be aware, however, that some loans, particularly older loans, may not appear on the credit report.
Whether you are in the midst of your college career, just graduated or have been out of school for a while, knowing the most up-to-date information on the total amount of student loans you borrowed and how much you now owe is important for many reasons.
Knowing your student loan balances and payment obligations – such as due dates and the minimum amount due every month – will play a big part in your overall financial wellness. For example, it is important to understand that the loan amounts originally borrowed are likely not the same amount owed over time due to the type, length and terms of your loans, particularly federal student loans where unpaid interest accrued and was added to the principal, called capitalization.
For recent graduates, depending on your specific financial situation, knowing current information about grace period policies gives you time to develop an overall financial plan that works for your budget. For borrowers who are several years out of school and into a career, keeping documentation about each student loan’s balance and repayment schedule can help you manage monthly payments along with other debt and expenses.
Additionally, getting a clear understanding of the makeup of your student loan portfolio is beneficial if you have taken out a mix of federal student loans and private student loans through the years.[
For borrowers looking to keep track of how much they owe and who to contact about their student loan balances, as well as other critical information, here are some helpful resources.
Where to Find How Much You Owe in Federal Student Loans
For federal student loans, the best place for borrowers to start is the U.S. Department of Education’s National Student Loan Data System, or NSLDS. Once you create a Federal Student Aid ID – or log in using your existing FSA ID – you get secure access to this national database of information about federal student loans and grants awarded to you under Title IV of the federal Higher Education Act.
Due to the sensitivity of personal information on the site, keep your username and password in a safe location, such as a secure password file.
The NSLDS centralized listing is a one-stop resource for the complete life cycle of all federal student loans you took out, from approval through disbursement, repayment, deferment, delinquency and payoff, when applicable.
The portal will display how much you borrowed, the type of each loan and interest rate, payment history and the current servicer or holder for each loan, meaning the company that currently administers your account and receives your payments. The database also provides information about any federal grants you received while in school.[
The system receives data from schools, agencies that guarantee the loans, the federal direct loan program and other Department of Education programs.
Where to Find Out What You Owe in Private Student Loans
While there is no centralized website for private student loan information, there are resources that can help these borrowers understand how much they owe.
Start with your credit report, which tracks current and past credit obligations including private and federal student loans. At AnnualCreditReport.com, you can get a free copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three national credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Each report will list the amounts you borrowed and the loan servicers or holders, as well as your credit score calculated by that bureau.
Additionally, borrowers should be able to get the balance information on private student loans directly from the specific lender, even if the loan has changed owners.
It’s a good idea to assemble your original loan documents and the original lender’s contact information to begin the search for private student loan balances and their current loan holders.[
You can also track your student loans by reaching out to your college, university or other institution you attended. Contact the financial aid office for the records they have on file related to your student loan debt. Start by having the office look up your account information, including all the loans that were processed in your name.
As you conduct your research, be sure to track each loan’s most recent loan servicer or holder. You might have some digging to do to obtain full contact information. Servicers for federal student loans commonly change between the time a loan is disbursed and when you start repayment and may change at any time during the life of your loan, which can also happen with private student loans.https://fbd934a95ff7aebcb807eb8550b67c90.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
Knowing the details about current loan servicers or holders and their customer service teams helps set you up for successful student loan repayment.
If you work through these suggestions and it’s still tough to understand and cope with your full student loan debt picture, consider reaching out to a nonprofit student loan counseling organization. Counselors can offer specific advice about how to obtain updated documentation on your total student debt and ways to make it more manageable if you begin to struggle making payments.
If you’re looking for information about your student loans, the best place to start is with the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You can use this website to find out what kinds of loans you have, how much they cost, and where to send payments.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have a loan in the NSLDS yet, then it’s probably time that you apply! Just fill out the application form on their website and wait for them to get back in touch with you.