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How Much Do I Owe in Student Loans? How To Find Your Balance

Find out how much you owe in federal loans by logging into StudentAid.gov. For private loans, contact each of your loan servicers or check your credit report.

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By Kat Tretina

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Kat Tretina

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Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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Edited by Renee Fleck

Written by

Renee Fleck

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Renee Fleck is a student loans editor with over five years of experience in digital content editing. Her work has been featured in Fast Company, Morning Brew, and Sidebar.io, among other online publications. She is fluent in Spanish and French and enjoys traveling to new places.

Updated December 8, 2023

Editorial disclosure: Our goal is to give you the tools and confidence you need to improve your finances.

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It's not uncommon for students to leave college with multiple student loan accounts, which may be spread across a few different loan servicers. Tracking that debt can be a challenge, but knowing exactly how much in student loans you owe is essential to managing your payoff strategy. 

Here’s everything you need to know about how to find your student loan balance.

What’s my student loan balance? 

To find out your total student loan balance, start by checking how much you owe in federal student loans, then add any private student loan balance on top of that. 

Federal student loans are distributed by the federal government, while private student loans are distributed by financial institutions like banks, credit unions, and online lenders. Depending on your unique situation, you may have taken out both types of loans.

Here are the most straightforward ways to check how much you owe in federal and private student loans:  

  • Federal student loans: Log into StudentAid.gov with your FSA ID and select “My Aid.” This will show a list of all your currents accounts, include the amount owed and interest rate.
  • Private student loans: Log into your loan servicer's website to view your account, or contact the company directly to ask what your balance is. If you have loans from multiple lenders, you'll need to do this individually for each. If you're not sure what company holds your loan, you can check your credit report to review your debts and their outstanding balance. 

Find your federal student loan balance

There are a couple of different ways to figure out how much you owe in federal student loans.

1. Visit StudentAid.Gov

The Federal Student Aid website is the official site for the U.S. Department of Education, and it contains all the relevant information about your federal student loans, grants, or other aid. 

To find information about which company services your loan and how much you owe, you’ll need to log in to StudentAid.Gov 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 your private 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 a type of private debt.

To figure out how much you owe in private student loans, you’ll need to contact each of your loan servicers and inquire about your loan balance.

If you’re not sure who your lenders are, you can check your credit report instead. Follow the steps below to review your lenders and how much you borrowed from each.

  1. Get your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — at AnnualCreditReport.com. While you could previously only access free reports once a year, you can now get free credit reports on a weekly basis.
  2. Check your credit report to see a list of all of your current debt, including student loans. It will also list how much you borrowed and who the loan servicer is.

Important: 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. If you think your loan has been moved, contact your original servicer to see where it was transferred, or review your credit report for the most up-to-date information. 

What if my balance is higher than expected?

It’s not uncommon for your total student loan balance to grow over time. 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 increase, so you may now owe thousands more than you originally borrowed.

This may be especially true if you didn't make payments while in school. Most student loans begin accruing interest immediately, so that debt you borrowed as a freshman may have been slowing building interest for several years. You can review past account statements to see what caused your balance to grow. 

However, if you believe your loan balance is higher than it should be, contact your loan servicer to discuss the issue. If you hope to have the servicer reduce what you owe, you'll need to provide evidence of a mistake, such as payments that weren't correctly applied or proof that the loan has been paid off or discharged. 

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Tips for paying down your student loans faster

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. But if you want to pay off your debt as quickly as possible, there are a few extra steps that can help: 

  • Pay more than the minimum. Paying even a little bit more than the minimum required payment can help speed up the process of clearing your student loan debt. Just make sure to confirm with your loan servicer that your extra payments are being applied directly to your principal loan balance vs. your interest or other fees.
  • Make extra payments when you can. It can also help to make extra payments on your loans whenever you can afford it. For example, spending your work bonus or your tax refund on your loans now can pay off later when you’ve paid less in interest.
  • Avoid certain repayment plans. Many repayment programs reduce your monthly loan payment by lengthening your repayment timeline. But with a longer repayment period, you risk paying more interest over the life of your loan.
  • Consider refinancing. Refinancing student loans may help you secure a lower interest rate, which would lower the overall cost of your loan. You can also adjust your repayment terms to better suit your financial goals, whether that's reducing the term to pay less interest over time, or extending it to lower your monthly payments.

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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.

Meet the expert:
Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. Her work has appeared in publications like the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, and more.

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