Staying in the know when it comes to your student loans is of the utmost importance. So many people let their loans pile up, just to ignore them when they become payable. Oftentimes this isn’t even due to a lack of ability to pay the loans, and might have everything to do with the confusion of not knowing who to contact for information about student loans. It can be quite confusing, especially because there are so many different types of student loans and so many loan servicing companies and lenders. If you find yourself in the same boat as people who have no idea who to contact about their loans, here is some advice that will help you out.
First, it is important to realize that there is not one single number you can call to get information about your student loans. If you are completely stuck and have no idea where to even begin, the Department of Education can be a good quick go-to source. They may not be able to answer all of your questions, but they can at least point you in the right direction for getting information about your particular loans.
Federal Loan Servicers
Federal student loans are held by federal loan servicers. There is an extensive list of different student loan servicers, and it can get pretty confusing if you don’t know which one is yours. The good news is that the Department of Education will be able to point you in the right direction to find your particular servicer. To call the Department of Education, dial 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327), they can answer some of your questions.
You may also want to use the National Student Loan Data System to learn more about your student loans, including information about your servicer. To access this system, you will need to create a new FSA ID and log in to their system. Once you get into the system, you will be able to look into your Aid Summary and find information about all of your loans, including the loan type, amount of the loan, the date that it was disbursed, and much more. This can be a great way to stay on top of your loans. We highly recommend all student debtors take advantage of this system.
If you have private student loans, then you will not find this information on the National Student Loan Data System. These loans are handed out by private lenders, and you will have to contact your lender directly to get information about your student loans. If you have multiple private loans, you may find that you have to call multiple lenders in regards to your loans. If you do happen to forget who your lender is for these loans, don’t fear! There is something you can do.
Start by obtaining a copy of your credit report. Most private student lenders will report to the major credit reporting agencies each month, even if you are still in school or if your loans are in deferment. When you get a copy of your report, your lender will be listed among your debt.
Weed through the debts you find on your credit report until you find all of your private student loans. Sometimes there may only be a lender name and address listed, but with the name you can easily get their information with a quick Google search. Whatever you do, don’t just sit around and wait for your lender to contact you. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation where your loans are in default, because this can really do a number on your credit score. Keep your information updated, and stay on top of your debt.
The problem with student loan debt is that it can be sold to a new servicer, and sometimes even a new private lender, or you may receive a new servicer after refinancing. This means you may know where your student loans sit at one point, but that can change. It is always best to keep your information up to date with your loan servicer or lender, as this gives them the opportunity to notify you by mail if there are any changes. That is the best way to keep up to date with your loans, and always be a step ahead of the game.
Just don’t make the mistake of ‘misplacing’ your debt and assuming that it will just go away. We wish it was that easy, but that debt will follow you around until it is paid off. Just ask hundreds of thousands of student debtors who have made this same mistake in the past. It isn’t worth it! Stay on top of it, pay it down, and work towards your financial freedom.