You have graduated college and are getting ready to start paying off your student loans.
You are getting the check ready to start the process of paying off your student debt when it hits you that you don’t actually know who owns your student loans or how much you owe exactly?
What to do?
The first step to becoming financially free is figuring out the exact amount of debt you are carrying so you can work towards paying it off.
And since student loans are a debt that affect lives greatly, it is important to know who owns those loans and how much you owe.
How you do that is the topic of this post.
How to get proof of your student loan debt balances and ownership
If your student loan is from a private institution you borrowed from directly, finding out how much you owe as well as the loan servicers can be as simple as calling up the bank and getting that information.
It is less straightforward if the bank you borrowed from is bought, merged with another institution or has sold your student loan debt to another company.
In this instance, you will have to turn to your credit report to find out who your current loan servicer is and to get proof of your student loan debt balance.
Grab your credit report for free by visiting annualcreditreport.com. Banks like Capital One also allow you to monitor your credit report for free if you own a credit card issued by them.
Lastly, you can reach out to your school’s financial aid office to help you identify who owns your debt so you can reach out to them to find out how much you owe.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans originate from the government but are in most cases handled by an outside loan servicer.
Since most of these loans are disbursed to your school, it is hard to place a finger on who owns it and the exact dollar amount you owe.
Finding your student loan debt balance and your loan servicers for federal loans however, is relatively easier than finding that information for private loans primarily because of the existence of the National Student Loan Database.
The National Student Loan Database is managed by the Department of Education and contains all the information you need to know about your federal student loan debt.
Follow the steps below to retrieve all essential information regarding your student loan debt.
What If I’ve Forgotten My FSA ID ?
Not to worry.
If you entered and verified an email address and/or cell phone number when you signed up for your FSA ID originally, a code will be sent to either one to help you retrieve it.
Alternatively, you will have to answer a few challenge questions to verify your identity.
The last resort if neither of the two processes above work will be to call Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243; TTY for the deaf or hard of hearing 1-800-437-0833).
Now That I Have This Information, What Should I Do With It?
Now that you know how much your student loan balance is and who owns it, you can use this information to plan better when it comes to paying off your debt.
This information is also a legal document you can download , keep and present as proof where necessary.
You will find more recommendations on how to eliminate your student loan debt here.
Have you gotten proof of your student loan balances and ownerships yet?
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.