How Do I Find My Student Loan Balance?

Even If You Forget Your Lender, You Can Find Your Balance

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When you're in college, it's easy to lose track of your loans and your total balance. Many people get many small loans per semester; they can even be a mixture of different types, such as Perkins, Stafford, PLUS loans or private loans. While it can be complicated, it's essential to know the kind of loans you have and the total amount of debt you owe. Once you have a solid number to start with, you can begin to create a repayment plan to get rid of that debt as quickly as possible.

 

While your school financial aid office may be able to help you, there is another way to find out your student loan balance on your own. 

Finding Your Student Loan Balance

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a central database that keeps track of all federal student loans. It stores all of your information so you can check it whenever you need to and it will tell you which loans are subsidized or unsubsidized. 

How Does NSLDS Know My Student Loan Balance?

When you enroll in a college or university, the school sends your information, including any student loan debt you took on, to NSLDA. It notes when you took out the loan, when it was disbursed, when your grace period ended and even when you paid it off. 

The NSLDS is useful because it gives a total picture of your federal loans at once, so you know right away how much debt you have. 

What Do I Need to Sign Up?

If you never logged into the site before, you'll need a valid email address and your social security number.

Follow the prompts to set up your account. Once you have created your profile, you can check your student loan balance at any time. 

What About Private Student Loan Balances?

Unfortunately, NSLDA will not show you your private loans. Also, sometimes loans are transferred to other companies, so it's easy for a loan to get "lost." But that doesn't mean you lucked out; you still owe the money on that loan.

 

If you're not sure who your lender is, your financial aid may be able to help you find out. If not, you can still figure it out by reviewing your credit report. Check out your annual credit report from Equifax, TransUnion or Experian; it will show all of your current debts and accounts, including any and all student loans. You may have to get your credit report from more than one company to find all of your loans; some lenders only report data to specific credit agencies and not the others. 

While student loans can be overwhelming sometimes, it's important to know what exact lenders manage your loans and how much you owe on each one. By having a complete picture of your student loan balance, you can get your finances in order. You can develop a repayment plan that works for your salary and lifestyle, but that pays down the debt quickly to save you money over time. 

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