If you want to set up a repayment plan, postpone payments, consolidate your loans, cancel a loan, or apply for some other government program, you need to know both what type of loan you have and who holds your loan.
To learn what type of student loan you have, see Types of Federal Student Loans. If you are struggling with student loan payments, or need information about financial aid, see the articles in our Student Loan Debt area.
If you’re in default on your student loan, you’ve probably heard from the holder, because it’s trying to collect the loan. If you’re not in default, it’s often more difficult to find out who holds your loan. Try these sources:
The National Student Loan Data System (www.nslds.ed.gov). This is the Department of Education’s central database for student aid. You can get information about what kind of loan you have, as well as loan or grant amounts, outstanding balances, loan status, and disbursements. Identification information is required to access the database, including a personal identification number (PIN) that you can obtain online. You can also access the database by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (below).
Federal Student Aid Information Center. For help accessing the National Student Loan Data System and to find information about the holder of your loan, as well as information on loans not in default, call the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 or 800-730-8913 (TDD).
FSA Collections Office. For loans in default, call the Department of Education’s FSA Collections Office at 800-621-3115 or 800-730-8913 (TDD). Department representatives are trained to assist borrowers in default. Or, go to www2.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/DCS/index.html.
Student Loan Ombudsman. If you’ve tried all of these places and are still having trouble, consider contacting the Student Loan Ombudsman office at 877-557-2575 or www.ombudsman.ed.gov.
This is an excerpt from Nolo's Solve Your Money Troubles: Debt, Credit & Bankruptcy, by Margaret Reiter and Robin Leonard.