There are millions of students newly joining schools and colleges every year. Once ingressed in schools, you will be looking for loans to manage your educational expenses. Learning to cope up with organizing studies, travel and expenses can be challenging. But fortunately, there are numerous resources where you can seek help and make the process easier. This guide introduces you to manage your federal student loans efficiently. The loan provided by the government is the federal student loan, which comes along with many benefits and protection for the loan borrowers. Ideally, if you apply for federal student loans, you must fill the FAFSA form and submit them to your financial aid department at school. Once the result of FAFSA is known, the school will guide you to accept the loan, that you need to complete your education.
Table of contents
- Steps to view the details of your federal loan
- Service providers for federal student loans
- NSLDS changes
Steps to view the details of your federal loan
After the financial aid department provides you with information about your loans. You can track them online by using your login credentials to the Federal Student Aid website. These are the steps to view the details related to your federal loans.
Login to the Federal Student Aid website to view your details like interest rates, principle amount, service provider related to federal student loans.
Once you’re on the Federal Student Aid page, log in with your FSA ID.
If you don’t have one, click on -create an FSA ID which is the second tab in the Login page.
Once FSA ID is created, enter the User name/email along with the password and on login to NSLDS.
The page is directed to the disclaimer page, read the details in the disclaimer page, if you agree to, click on Accept.
In the dashboard, you can see your loan on top. Go to My Aid-view details - download my aid data from the right corner of the page.
You can confirm to download and further check the details on your loan.
If you have any questions relating to federal Student Loans and Grants on the NSLDS you can drop a mail to Studentaid@ed.gov for more assistance.
In the early months of 2020, ED moved to a new database that has more efficient versions on the federal student aid page.
Service providers for federal student loans
Service providers are the intermediate private agencies/company helping you manage your loans and keeping track of them. These intermediate private agencies act as a mediator between the students and the loan provider. The responsibilities of a service provider are as follows :
A loan servicer is responsible to collect student loan bills.
Manage your payments and keep a track of them, for example, they check if your loans are paid on time so that your loans are not in default or delinquent.
Provide you details on repayment plans and advise you to choose the right repayment plans suiting your financial situation.
If you are unaware to go about the payment of your loans. Login to the Federal student loan Aid website and create FSA ID. Once the ID is created, use the same to login and view your loan details that also include the servicer details. Once you know your servicer, contact them to know the different repayment plans and relief they offer to benefit their borrowers. Also, register online to their website right away so you can check your monthly payments, etc.
Once you know your servicer, contact them to know the different repayment plans and relief they offer to benefit their borrowers. Also, register online to their website right away so you can check your monthly payments, etc. Examples for student loan servicers are:- Cornerstone, Fedloan servicing, granite state, GreatLakes, MOHELA, Nelnet, OSLA, ECSI, and many more.
Who do you reach? if you face issues with your service providers?
Since all loan servicers are private, they can misguide you with plans which can affect you poorly in financial terms. In such cases, when servicers function without considering measures in your best interest, you can contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With the history of complaints received at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it is well observed that some borrowers were not satisfied with the service being provided. In the year 2018, the number of complaints reached approximately 10,500. Many complaints revolved around, users being guided with wrong information and repayment plans that were not economical.
Initially, when loans are provided, the servicer cannot be selected by the borrower. If you are unhappy with their service you can consolidate your loans to choose the loan servicer of your choice.
Applying for Public Service Loan Forgiveness also can help you change the company that manages your loans. And when you apply for a disability discharge, Nelnet provides you the loan servicer as they are the only service provider for Total Disability Discharge. Though not advised, another way to change your servicer is to refinance with a private lender. Remember that, private loans can have relatively high-interest rates and also do not cover any protection provided by federal aid to the borrowers. Many programs like student loan forgiveness etc, cannot be applied if you own private student loans. There are cases where the department of education also transfers your loans to a different servicer.
NSLDS is the central database for student aid. National Student Loan Data System is owned by the ED to gather and manage information received from schools, agencies, etc. In June 2020, there were changes made to the existing database. Many users report the ambiguity caused by it. If you need assistance regarding the same you can email to firstname.lastname@example.org.