How To Find Your Student Loan Balance (2024)

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If you’ve taken out federal student loans to pay for school, you might have multiple loans that spanned across different years. You might have even more loans to look out for if you’ve also borrowed private student loans.

Unless you’ve consolidated or refinanced your loans, you might not be able to keep up with them all. Here’s why knowing your loan balance matters, and how to find it.

Why It’s Important to Know How Much You Owe

It’s important to keep track of your student loan balance, especially if you’re responsible for multiple loans. If you lose track of just one due date, you could fall behind on loan payments. Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO score, and one missed or late payment can cause your credit score to drop.

Federal student loans come with loan limits, which depend on the year and the type of loan you borrow. For instance, first-year students are allowed to borrow up to $3,500 in federal direct subsidized loans. Third-year students can borrow up to $5,500 in subsidized loans.

If your subsidized loans don’t cover your costs, you might have to take out additional loans. These could be federal direct unsubsidized loans, federal PLUS loans or private student loans. Each year you need to borrow, you’ll take out at least one student loan—if not more.

When you borrowed your student loans, you agreed to repay that amount, plus interest, when you graduated or dropped below half-time enrollment. By the time you start repayment, your debt could’ve changed loan servicers (which is the company that collects your payments), making it even more confusing to find out how you can start payments. But finding out how much you owe and what companies manage your loans is a crucial step in tracking your loan repayment.

Checking Your Federal Student Loan Balances

If you borrowed money from the U.S. Department of Education, there are a few different ways you can check out your student loan balance.

1. Head to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The Department of Education runs the NSLDS. From here you can create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) or log in with your existing account.

The NSLDS will tell you:

  • How much you’ve borrowed
  • The type of loans you have (for example, whether it’s subsidized or unsubsidized)
  • Each loan’s interest rate
  • Payment status
  • Your loan servicer (you could have more than one)

2. Contact Your School

Sometimes not all loans show up in the NSLDS. For example, loans that you didn’t take out yourself—like parent PLUS loans—would show up under your parent’s report. Along with that, not all loan entities report to the NSLDS frequently. This means you might not find all your loans, especially if you’ve recently borrowed.

If you want to make sure all your loans are accounted for, contact your school’s financial aid office. They’ll be able to look up your account information, including all loans processed under your name.

Keep in mind that while you might be able to get information about the lender who provided your loan when you were in school, there’s a chance your loan has changed hands since then. You can still contact the loan servicer on file, but you might have a little bit more digging to do if you find out your loan has moved to a different company’s portfolio.

Checking Your Private Student Loan Balances

Each private student lender handles loans differently; there’s no national database for private loans. If you’re unsure where to start, use these tips:

  1. Reach out to your college or university. Your school’s financial aid office will have your original loan details and can let you know what company originated your loan.
  2. Contact your original lender. Your original lender might still be your current loan servicer, but that’s not always the case. Contact the originating lender to see if they can point you in the direction of who has your loans now. You might have to reach out to many servicers to find the most up-to-date one.
  3. Review your credit report. If you don’t know the original lender or where to find them, use AnnualCreditReport.com. This lets you pull credit reports from the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’ll see details on your original loan servicer, giving you a starting point.

Should You Refinance or Consolidate to Simplify Repayment?

Staying on top of all your loans can be like a part-time job. You have to keep tabs on your borrowed amount, interest rate, due date and the minimum amount due every month.

To streamline your payments, you might want to think about consolidating or refinancing your loans.

Federal Loan Consolidation

A federal direct consolidation loan brings all your federal loans together into one easy-to-manage loan. Your interest rate is fixed and averaged out between all your loans, then rounded up to the nearest one eighth of a percentage point. This is only available for federal student loans; private student loans aren’t eligible.

You should consolidate if you:

  • Have many different loan servicers
  • Want to enroll in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan or Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), and you must consolidate certain loans to make them eligible
  • Want to lower your payments. Repayment terms on consolidation loans stretch up to 30 years.

You should skip consolidation if you:

  • Want to pay off your loans sooner
  • Want a lower interest rate
  • Have interest rate discounts or other repayment perks with your current lenders
  • Are already on track for an IDR plan or PSLF; consolidation will restart your clock on these programs*

*The Department of Education announced temporary changes that allow PSLF-eligible borrowers to consolidate certain loans without restarting the clock. If you consolidate qualifying loans by Oct. 31, 2022, previous payments may still be eligible for PSLF. Find full details of the action steps you must take on the Federal Student Aid site.

Private Student Loan Refinancing

Refinancing is similar to consolidation in that you bring all your loans into one manageable loan. But refinancing is only done with private lenders; the federal government doesn’t offer student loan refinancing. That means you’ll lose federal loan protections when you refinance federal loans into a private one.

You can refinance both private and federal student loans together. You’ll complete an application with a lender and detail all the current student loans you want to refinance. When you’re approved, you’ll start making one monthly payment on your new loan to your new lender.

You should refinance if you:

  • Have good or excellent credit and can secure a lower interest rate than what you’re paying now.
  • Have multiple loans with many different lenders, especially private loans.
  • Can secure a lower monthly payment by stretching out your loan term.

You should avoid refinancing if you:

  • Don’t have strong enough credit to get a lower interest rate.
  • Have federal loans that are eligible for an IDR plan or you’re on track for PSLF.
  • Want to keep federal protections and benefits, like deferment and forbearance, in case you experience financial hardship.

While consolidation and refinancing might simplify your payments, they’re not necessarily the best decision for everyone. Review your loans, including your interest rate, repayment terms, how much you pay every month, and how much you could save if you choose either of these options. If you’re not saving money or you could end up paying more over time, you may want to stay on your current repayment schedule for now.

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How To Find Your Student Loan Balance (2024)

FAQs

How To Find Your Student Loan Balance? ›

Quick Answer

How can I find my student loan balance? ›

You can access your federal student loan information—including your loan and/or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan statuses, disbursem*nts, and servicer information—by logging in to your StudentAid.gov account. You can contact your servicer directly with questions regarding your federal student loans.

What increases your total loan balance fafsa quiz? ›

When interest capitalizes, the unpaid interest is added to the principal amount of your student loan. Capitalization increases your loan's principal balance, and interest is charged on the new, larger balance.

Why does my Mohela balance say zero? ›

MOHLEA will report your loan as "Paid in Full" to the consumer reporting agencies at the end of the month that your loan reflects a zero balance. The consumer reporting agencies may take additional time to update their reporting.

How to find out how many qualifying payments PSLF? ›

After you submit your PSLF form, we will process it and you will receive a count of the number of qualifying payments you have made toward both PSLF and TEPSLF. You can see updates by logging into StudentAid.gov and visiting My Activity.

How to check loan balance? ›

You can visit the nearest branch of the bank from whom you availed the personal loan to get your personal loan statement. Make sure you carry all the relevant documents with you to the bank. A representative from the bank will help you with the process and will provide you with your personal loan statement.

How to check if student loans are forgiven? ›

Your student loan servicer(s) will notify you directly after your forgiveness is processed. Make sure to keep your contact information up to date on StudentAid.gov and with your servicer(s). If you haven't yet qualified for forgiveness, you'll be able to see your exact payment counts in the future.

Is my income too high for FAFSA? ›

There are no FAFSA income limits, meaning there's nothing stopping even the richest college students from submitting a FAFSA.

How do I maximize my FAFSA money? ›

Basic Principles
  1. Reducing income during the base years.
  2. Reducing “included” assets. ...
  3. Increasing the number of family members enrolled in college and pursuing a degree or certificate at the same time.

How do I increase my student loan amount on FAFSA? ›

If you need more financial aid, contact your school's financial aid office. Here are other options you can consider if you didn't receive enough financial aid: searching and applying for scholarships. working at an on-campus part-time job.

Why did my student loan balance disappear? ›

If your student loan balance is suddenly showing zero, some of the many reasons could be: Your federal student aid or private student loans were forgiven. You've completed one of the student loan forgiveness programs. You qualify for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF), or.

Will my MOHELA loan be forgiven? ›

If you work in certain public service jobs and have made 120 payments on your Direct Loans, you may be eligible to have your loans forgiven. If some or all of your payments were not made on a qualifying repayment plan for PSLF, you may be able to receive loan forgiveness under a temporary opportunity.

What was the mistake with MOHELA student loans? ›

“The Department found that MOHELA failed to meet its basic obligation by failing to send billing statements on time to 2.5 million borrowers — some within only seven days of their payment date — and over 800,000 borrowers being delinquent on their loans as a result,” the Department said in a press release.

How far back do PSLF payments count? ›

If you have not consolidated your Direct Loans, you can buy back months starting with Oct. 2007, when the PSLF program was established by law. If you have Direct consolidation loans, you can buy back starting with whichever is most recent: Oct. 2007 or the earliest disbursem*nt date of your Direct Consolidation Loan.

What happens when I have 120 qualifying payments for PSLF? ›

If you made payments after your 120th qualifying payment, those payments will be treated as overpayments and refunded to you if you have no additional outstanding loans. If your qualifying payment total is at 120 or more, your account is eligible to be placed into forbearance and no payment is due.

Do I have a student loan balance? ›

You can check your statement online (www.sltf.gov.gh) with your Social Security Number. We will also send you statements through your email, once a year. Q. How can I repay my Loan?

How do I figure out my student loan payments? ›

Your loan servicer will provide you with a loan repayment schedule that states when your first payment is due, the number and frequency of payments, and the amount of each payment. Your billing statement will tell you how much to pay. Your monthly payment amount depends on your repayment plan.

Do student loans affect credit scores? ›

Having a student loan will affect your credit score. Your student loan amount and payment history are a part of your credit report. Your credit reports—which impact your credit score—will contain information about your student loans, including: Amount that you owe on your loans.

What is the total student loan debt balance? ›

Americans own $1.77 trillion in federal and private student loan debt as of the second quarter of 2023. That's up 1.25% from the second quarter of 2022. $128.77 billion of that total through March 31, 2023, is private student loan debt.

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