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With the typical graduate having up to 12 different federal and private student loans, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. But finding out exactly how much you owe is essential for managing — and paying off — your debt.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to find your student loan balance:
- It’s important to know what you owe
- Find out how much you owe in student loans
- How to figure out if your loan is federal or private
- How to find your federal student loan balance
- Find out your loan score
- How to find your private student loan balance
- Managing your student loans
It’s important to know what you owe
It’s vital that you stay informed about your student loan situation even if you’re not yet accruing interest or repaying your balance. Knowing what fees and interest are added to your principal balance, as well as any restrictions or rules you need to abide by as a loan holder, allows you to make the most responsible decisions for your financial future.
Find out how much you owe in student loans
When you took out your student loans, you agreed to borrow a set amount and to repay it with interest. Your interest rate can cause your loan balance to grow over time, so you could end up owing thousands more than you originally borrowed.
To make things even more confusing, your loans can sometimes change hands. Some lenders will sell your loans or transfer them to other loan servicers, so who you originally had as a loan servicer may no longer be the right one. Your loan servicer is who you make payments to and go to for questions, so it’s important to find out who your current servicer is.
How to figure out if your loan is federal or private
Federal student loans originate and are distributed by the federal government. Private student loans are originated and distributed by other lenders, such as financial institutions, state agencies, and the schools themselves.
You can find out if your loan is federal or private in two ways:
- Logging into StudentAid.gov. The federal student aid website contains your information on all federal loans, balances, and disbursements. Log in with your FSA ID and select “My Aid” under your name.
- Promissory notes and billing statements. The top of your federal loan promissory notes and billing statements state the name of your federal loan program or private lender.
How to find your federal student loan balance
Here are a couple of different ways to track down your balance if you have federal student loans.
1. From the Federal Student Aid website
The Federal Student Aid website is the official website for the U.S. Department of Education. This website contains all the relevant information about all your subsidized and unsubsidized federal student loans. From reviewing or correcting your FAFSA form to learning about financial aid options, such as repayment and forgiveness, the Federal Student Aid website is a comprehensive resource you can rely on.
To find information about which company services your loan and how much you owe, you’ll need to log in on the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID. If you don’t have an FSA ID yet, you can easily create one on the website, or you can log in with your email address or phone number. Once you log in, you can access your loan balance and information.
2. Contact your school’s financial aid office
Another option is to contact your school’s financial aid office. The staff there can look up your past loan information, including what you originally borrowed, and who the loan servicer was. With that information, you can contact the servicer to get your current loan balance.
Find out your loan score
If you’re wondering how competitive your loan is, the loan score tool below can help. Just enter your APR, credit score, monthly payment, and remaining balance (estimates are fine) to see how your loan stacks up.
How to find your private student loan balance
Because StudentAid.gov is only for federal loans, your private student loans won’t show up on your dashboard. If you refinanced any federal loans, those won’t show up either because once you refinance your student loans, they become private loans.
To find any private student loan balances (or check who your lender is):
- Get your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — at AnnualCreditReport.com (you can do this once a year for free).
- Check your credit report to see a list all of your current obligations, including student loans. It will list how much you borrowed and who the loan servicer is.
- Contact the loan servicer to start making payments or start the student loan refinancing process.
Check Out: The Best Student Loan Refinancing Companies
Managing your student loans
Once you know how much you owe and who your loan servicers are, you can come up with a repayment plan that works for you.
If you’re wondering how long it’ll take to pay off your student loans, enter your current loan information into the calculator below to find out. Use the slider to see how increasing your payments can change the payoff date.
Enter loan information
If you increase your payments by $ monthly on your $ loan at %, you will pay $ a month and pay off your loan by Jan 2021.
Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.
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Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.
Nick Dauk contributed to the reporting for this article.