The first step of tackling your student loan debt is to know who your student loan servicer is. A student loan servicer is the company in charge of helping you repay your student loans. Your servicer website is where you make payments and contains important details about your loans. Many borrowers have more than one servicer for federal loans and will have different servicers for Perkins loans and private loans. Read on for the basics of finding your student loan servicer.
Find your federal student loan servicer.
Federal student loans are managed by the Department of Education (DOE). The DOE contracts servicers to collect payment for student loans. There are 10 different companies that service student loans. You can find a complete list of servicers on the Federal Student Aid website.
If you don’t know the name of your student loan servicer the first place to start is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). This is a database of every detail related your federal student loans. You will see the name of the servicer currently holding your student loan debt and be able to go to the servicer’s website. If you’ve never logged in to the NSLDS before you will need to set up your access. It should take you less than 5 minutes to set up access to the NSLDS.
Find your Perkins Loan servicer.
Perkins loans were made directly by the university to the student. Either the university or a contracted loan servicer may handle Perkins loan repayment. If you don’t know who is responsible for servicing your Perkins loan you can find out on the NSLDS. You can also reach out directly to your university’s financial aid department and ask.
Find the loan holder for defaulted federal student loans.
Defaulted student loans are often held by a collections agency rather than a federal student loan servicer. Scams abound in the default space so it’s critical to find the correct loan holder. You can log in to the NSLDS to see who is holding your loan. If you know the name of the company holding your loan you can verify they’re a legitimate collections agency by checking this list of collections agencies. You can also reach out to the DOE’s Default Resolution Group at 1-800-621-3115.
It’s important to find the right loan holder to get your student loans out of default.
Find the servicer for private student loans.
Private student loans are made by a bank or lending institution outside of the DOE. Some of the federal student loan servicers also make private student loans. You won’t find private student loan information in the NSLDS. Instead, you’ll want to take a look at your credit report to find the name of your private student loan servicer.
Once you find your loan servicer it’s time to think about repayment.
The best way to be successful when repaying your student loans is to take charge of your repayment. You can get started by learning more about student loan repayment options.