How to find your student loan balance

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With the typical graduate having up to 12 different federal and private student loans, it can be difficult to keep track of them all. But knowing exactly how much you owe is essential to managing and paying off your debt.

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Find out how much you owe in student loans

When you took out your student loan, you agreed to borrow a fixed amount and pay it back with interest. Your interest rate can cause your loan balance to increase over time, so you could end up owing thousands of dollars more than you originally borrowed.

To make matters even more confusing, your loans can sometimes change hands. Some lenders will sell your loans or transfer them to other loan servicers, so the person you originally had as your loan servicer may no longer be the right one. Your loan officer is the person you make payments to and direct questions to, so it’s important to find out who your current loan officer is for repaying your debt.

How to Find Your Federal Student Loan Balance

If you have federal student loans, there are several ways to track your balance.

1. Use the National Student Loans Data System

To find your current federal student loan balance, you can use the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), a database maintained by the Department of Education.

When you enroll in a college or university, the school administration will send your loan information to the NSLDS. The database also pulls information from loan services and government agencies, so it’s a comprehensive overview of all federal student aid you’ve received.

To find your federal student loan balance on the NSLDS:

  1. Create an account with a Federal Student Aid ID and log in
  2. Check a list of all federal student loans in your name, including original amount, current balance, interest rate, payment status, and loan service
  3. Visit your loan officer’s website to create an account, make payments online, and ask any questions you may have
Although the NSLDS is useful, there are some limitations:
  • Not always up to date: NSLDS information may be 120 days old, so this may not be the most recent view of your loans.
  • Not all loans are listed: The NSLDS only contains information on eligible Title IV loans and grants. Therefore, if you have other federal loans, such as loans for medical or nursing education programs, they will not appear on the NSLDS. Private student loans will also not be listed.

2. Contact your school’s financial aid office

If you have federal loans that do not appear on the NSLDS, another option is to contact your school’s financial aid office. Staff can view your past loan information, including what you originally borrowed and who the loan officer was. With this information, you can contact the repairer to obtain the current balance of your loan.

Find out your loan score

If you’re wondering how competitive your loan is, the loan assessment tool below can help. Simply enter your APR, credit score, monthly payment, and remaining balance (estimates are good) to see how your loan stacks up.

Loading widget – loan score tool

How to find your private student loan balance

Since the NSLDS is only for federal loans, your private student loans will not appear in the database. If you have refinanced federal loans, these will also not appear, because once you refinance your student loans, they will become private loans.

To find private student loan balances (or check who your lender is):

  1. Get your credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion – at (you can do this once a year for free)
  2. Check your credit report to see a list of all your current obligations, including student loans. It will show how much you have borrowed and who the loan officer is.
  3. Contact the loan manager to start making payments or start the student loan refinance process

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Check Out: The Best Student Loan Refinance Companies

Managing your student loans

Although it may seem complex, learning to answer “How much do I have in student loans?” is an important first step in managing your debt. Once you know how much you owe and who your loan managers are, you can come up with a repayment plan that’s right for you.

If you’re wondering how long it will take you to pay off your student loans, enter your current loan information into the calculator below to find out. Use the slider to see how increasing your payments can change the payment date.

Enter loan information

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Total interest

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If you increase your payments by

monthly on your

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%you will pay

per month and repay your loan in
Jan 2021.

Does refinancing make sense to you?
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Checking rates will not affect your credit score.

About the Author

Kat Tretina

Kat Tretina is a freelance writer who covers everything from student loans to personal loans to mortgages. His work has appeared in publications such as the Huffington Post, Money Magazine, MarketWatch, Business Insider, etc.

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