Struggling with student loan debt? Or just trying to figure out what loans you have and your options for repayment? These websites will provide all the information you need to understand your rights, options, and obligations when it comes to student loans. (For tips and resources on finding laws and doing legal research online, check out Nolo's Legal Research section.)
Nolo's Student Loan Section
Takes you through the whole quagmire of student loan debt, from figuring out what kinds of loans you have to providing details about different repayment plans. Includes information on ways to postpone payments when you are struggling financially, what happens if you default on a student loan, and whether bankruptcy might help. This handy site also runs through the many loan forgiveness programs.
Federal Student Aid Office
The Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office provides information about student loans, loan repayment plans (and accompanying repayment calculators), loan forgiveness for public service, postponing repayment of your loans, and more.
NCLC's Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project
This project of the National Consumer Law Center is dedicated to helping consumers who already have student loans. The website has lots of information on student loans, repayment options, getting out of default, and the like. The project's blog reports on student loan legislation and other newsworthy topics.
National Student Loan Data System
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is the U.S. Department of Education's central database for student aid. By plugging in your information, you can access information on your loans and federal grants, including the name of the company that services your loan, your loan status, and loan disbursements. You will need a FSA (Federal Student Aid) ID to get this information -- go to the FAQs to learn how to get one.
Student Loan Ombudsman Office
This office, run by the Department of Education, helps borrowers with student loan problems. Follow the instructions on the site to try to resolve your problem yourself first. If that doesn't work, the Ombudsman will assist you. The office will research your complaint and, if it finds the complaint to be justified, work with you and the Department of Education to resolve the problem. The website also has excellent information about student loans, including options for repayment.
The Project on Student Debt
This website provides tips on student loan debt, describes fees and rates, compares private loans to government loans, and more. It also has recent news about student loans and student loan legislation, state-by-state statistics on student loan debt, and a handy chart summarizing federal student loan interest rates and terms for 2015-2016.
Nolo's Debt, Bankruptcy & Foreclosure Section
One-stop shopping when it comes to coping with financial trouble. The website includes comprehensive information on bankruptcy, surviving foreclosure, dealing with debt and credit problems, handling collection agencies, repairing credit, and more.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
You can submit a complaint about a private student loan through the CFPB, which has a Private Education Loan Ombudsman to assist private student loan borrowers. Go to www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint to send your complaint.