Who Is My Student Loan Holder or Servicer?

Here's how to find the holder or servicer for your loans.

By , Attorney · UCLA School of Law
Updated by Amy Loftsgordon, Attorney · University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Student loans that the federal government provides or guarantees usually fall into two categories: Federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFELs).

  • Direct Loans. The Department of Education makes Federal Direct Loans.
  • FFELs. Before July 1, 2010, the federal government also guaranteed loans that private lenders made. These loans are also considered federal student loans.

Perkins Loans, another kind of federal student loans, were previously available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who had exceptional financial need.

No matter what type of federal student loans you have, you might need to know, and deal with, the loan holder or loan servicer.

What Is a Student Loan Holder?

A loan "holder" is the entity that owns your student loan, such as the U.S. Department of Education in the case of a Direct Loan. For an FFEL, the holder might be a lender, secondary market, guaranty agency, or the Department of Education.

What Is a Student Loan Servicer?

The loan holder may choose to employ a loan servicer to manage the day-to-day activities of handling your loan account. The servicer takes care of billing, processing payments, providing repayment options, and sending communications to borrowers.

If you want to set up a repayment plan, postpone payments, cancel a loan, or apply for some other government program, you need to know who services your federal student loan. Basically, the servicer is a third party that acts as a liaison between you and the holder of the loan.

You don't get to choose your loan servicer. The loan holder assigns one. So, if you have federal student loans, the Department of Education picks your loan servicer.

Who Is My Student Loan Servicer?

To find out who your loan servicer is, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243.

Here are some other ways to find out the servicer (or holder) of your federal student loans:

  • If you have Direct Loans or FFELs that the Department of Education owns, go to the National Student Loan Data System to find out your loan servicer's information.
  • If you have privately-owned FFELs, contact the lender to get details about your account.
  • If you have Federal Perkins Loans, contact the school where you got the loan to get information. Your school might be the servicer for the loan. If you know that your Federal Perkins Loan has been assigned to the Department of Education, contact the ECSI Federal Perkins Loan Servicer at 866-313-3797.

Getting Information About Your Federal Student Loans

To get information about your federal student loans, use these sources.

The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)

The Department of Education's central database for student aid, the National Student Loan Data System, provides 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. You'll need a user ID and password to get into the system, which you can get online.

Department of Education's 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 other information on your loans, call the Department of Education's Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 or 800-730-8913 (TDD). You can also go to the "Contact Us" page.

For loans in default, contact the Department of Education's Default Resolution Group at 800-621-3115 or 877-825-9923 (TDD).

Federal Student Aid Ombudsman office

If you've tried all of these places and are still in need of help, consider contacting the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman office. The Department of Education's student loan ombudsman helps borrowers with student loan problems.

The ombudsman is a last resource; usually, it will help you only after you've tried to resolve your issue yourself. You can contact the student loan ombudsman office at 877-557-2575.

Talk to a Lawyer

If you need help dealing with your servicer or need information about available student loan repayment and forgiveness options, consider consulting with a student loan attorney or debt settlement attorney who deals with student loans.

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