How Much Do I Owe In Student Loans: Ways to keep track!

This article gives you a better knowledge on the importance of knowing how much you owe in your student loan, what are the ways to check your federal and private student loan balances and why it is more important to keep track of the student loan balances.

Updated by Anuroop C on 5th September 2020

Having a student loan is a huge responsibility and there can be times where you can lose track of the number of student loans you should pay, especially when you are in college. You can use the NSLDS website and private loan providers to know the amount you owe. Once the hat flies off your head, the ground reality of your student loan debt can be daunting. Or you can have a student loan that you are paying for quite some time, it can get tricky to know how much amount is left or how many more days you have left to pay. You can have a whole bunch of student loans that can comprise of both Federal and Private Student Loans. Knowing how much you owe can allow you to get the big picture and you can plan a good strategy on how to tackle your debt.

To plan an efficient strategy, it is plausible that you question yourself “How much do I owe in student loans?”. 

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How much do I owe in student loan debt? 

You can have Federal student loans or private student loans. If you have both Federal Student Loans and Private Student Loans, a little more work might be required from your end, as you must find both of them to calculate the total amount by combining them. If you are a fresh graduate, the loan amount you borrowed may be more than the amount you borrowed as the interest accumulates over your period of study or grace period(in case you have one). Though your school’s financial office may be of some help in getting some terms and figures, here are a few ways in the article with which you can answer the above question yourself.

How do I check my Federal Loan Balances? 

You can access your student loan information by logging into your Federal Student AId account on the Federal Student Aid official website. Or you can also find your student loan balances by going to the National Student Loan Data System. This is the official website from the U.S. Department of Education’s central database for student aid and it keeps track of all your student loans belonging to the Federal Government.

Here are simple steps used to find your federal student loan balance on the NSLDS database.

  1. You will need to log in using your FAFSA credentials.

  2. Once you create your FAFS ID login to NSLDS

  3. Under the option Financial Aid Review you can view your loan details, like balance amount, loan date, overpayments, grants, interest rates, and principal amount.

This the official federal student aid website to get details regarding your federal loan.

It will also tell you if your loans are subsidized or unsubsidized. NSLDS gains information from different sources such as guaranty agencies, loan servicers, and other government loan agencies. Your school sends information regarding your student loans to NSLDS as soon as you enroll in your school. NSLDS is very useful because it gives complete details regarding your student loans like when you took out the loan when your grace period ended and even when you paid it off. However, there are some disadvantages to NSLDS and they are.

  • Does not include your private student loans

  • Does not list your old loans( For eg., loans borrowed before the 1980s)

  • Does not list medical or nursing school loans( As they do not come under Title IV- eligible loans.)

If you are halfway through paying your student loans and want to know the balance amount, you can always contact your servicer.

How do I check my Private Student Loan Balances? 

It is a little tough to figure out your private student loans and their balances as there is no particular database such as NSLDS. It can also be particularly tricky as your loan servicers might have transferred your loans from one to another. Here are some ways in which you can check out your Private Student Loans:

You can check your credit report

You can review your annual credit report to check as it reports all of your current and past credit listings, including your student loans. It will report your loan servicer or lender and the amount you borrowed. You can use this to find the status of your account or make payments. You can get a free credit report from three main reporting agencies. They are:

  • Experian 

  • TransUnion 

  • Equifax

Approach your original lender

In case you have kept the documents of your loan given by your original lender because one phone call to the original can give you all the details regarding your current loan status.

Ask the Financial Aid Office in your school

If you are still in school or can contact your University’s Financial Aid office easily, you can ask them details regarding your loan, including who currently owns the debt.

For medical related student loans, may have to approach HRSA(Health Resources Services Administration). You can get all the necessary details of your loans from HRSA, in case your student loans may have been administered by them.

This little work can give you an overview of how much student loan debt you owe.

Why is it important for you to keep an eye on how much debt you owe in student loans? 

It is important to keep an eye on your student loans- whether you are in college or you are working after graduation because with every passing day, your interest amount keeps on increasing. For Federal Student loans your servicer is your source for all the necessary details. But if your servicer is not responding properly or miscommunicating, you can opt to change your servicers.

It is particularly helpful if you are in your grace period and beginning your budgeting process for your future. For Federal Student Loans, you can choose to opt for income-driven repayment plans. These are plans which aim towards making your payments student loan debt more affordable. Upon making on-time payments you can also build your credit score.

 You might also want to know how much you owe in student loan debt if you are about to refinance your student loans. Refinancing your student loans can be an important part of your repayment journey and you must know the amount you owe and how to refinance your student loan. Find the best companies to refinance your student loans with. Refinancing also plays a crucial role in making your debt more manageable. Finding the best student loans suited for you isn’t hard if you know the parameters you have to consider. Always be well aware of all your options available before making a decision.