Locate who’s servicing your student loans: Confronting student loan debt – Part 2

Create a plan of action to confront student loan debt.

Once a student loan borrower understands what types of loan(s) he or she has, the next step is to locate who actually services the loans.

A great starting point is to visit the National Student Loan Data System’s Student Access (NSLDS). This is the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for federal student loans and grants. A list will be generated of the federal loans received by the borrower. The servicer of each loan will be listed with contact information. Once the borrower identifies the loan servicer, the borrower can access information about repayment terms and repayment start dates.

If it is a Perkins loan, the loan servicer will most likely be the school the borrower attended when the loan was received. But in some cases, the school will have a separate organization handle the billing and other services for the Perkins Loan.

There is no central location listing all of a borrower’s private loans. It is the borrower’s responsibility to keep track of where they secured these loans. With private student loans, payments are made to the lender, the organization that made the loan initially. The lender could be a bank, credit union, or other lending institution. The lender provides the borrower with information about repayment terms and repayment start date.

The next step is to learn the terms of each student loan and understand the consequences if the borrower defaults on the loan. This will be covered in next month’s article “Understanding terms of student loans and repayment options: Confronting student loan debt – Part 3.”

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