How To Get And Use Your Student Loan Account Number?
If you are looking to check the status of your student loan, you need your account number. This guide will show you how to find it. You may need it for the purpose of keeping track of your balance or if there are any recent changes to federal student loan services.
You will learn how to get your student loan account number in two different ways. This guide will show you why a student loan account number is important. With that said, let’s get started with what you need to know.
Table of Contents
Your Student Loan Account Number Explained
Your student loan account number is a ten-digit number that is unique to you. This will be given to you by a student loan provider. This will be your identification number for as long as needed.
The purpose of this student loan account number is to check your balance. You may be paying off your student loans and want to keep track of how much of it is left. If you are also using related services, this account number will be needed.
If you are using mobile banking or need to check past statements, your account number and password will be needed. Some banks may acquire you to provide them with this number before using some of their services, such as loans or applying for credit cards.
If you plan on refinancing your student loans, you’ll need this number before anything needs to be done. This account number will apply only if you have federal student loans. Those who have utilized private student loans will not have this identification number.
Your student loan number can also be useful whenever you’re filing your taxes. That’s because you may be utilizing your 1098-E tax form, which is your student loan interest statement. This will only apply if you have paid a minimum of $600 in student loan interest.
The 1098-E form will be provided to you by the lender. Or you can download it directly from their website. It should be noted that those who didn’t pay student loans due to the COVID-19 pause will not receive a 1098-E.
Likewise, you will not need a 1098-E if you paid less than $600 in student loan interest. Keep in mind that this form should not be confused with 1098-T, which focuses on educational expenses such as tuition, books, and other items.
How To Use Your Student Loan Account Number
Once you know your student loan number, you will need to keep it handy. In case you lose it, you’ll be able to locate it on any online or paper statement related to your student loan payments. You’ll be able to find it in the top right or left corner.
The number will allow you to access the FSA website.
You can use the ID number and a password to check the following:
- The number of federal student loans you have
- Type of loans
- Original balance for your loan(s)
- Current balances
- Interest rates
- Which loans are in default
- Name of loan providers (including contact information)
Who Are Your Lenders?
The United States Department of Education assigns student loans to nine different service providers. You will be able to identify who they are when you access their website and check the statement. If you need to make payments, you will need to send them to the providers themselves.
These lenders include:
- FedLoan Servicing
- Granite State-GSMR
- Great Lakes
- OSLA Servicing
Keep in mind that the Department of Education is the lender, but the service providers listed above will handle the administrative tasks. These include sending bills, consolidating loans, and setting up repayment plans.
Again, private student loans are provided by banks and financial institutions. You can contact them using the information provided in your statements. You won’t need to contact the Department of Education since they are not in partnership with private lenders.
If you need any additional information on your private student loans, the financial aid office of your college or university will be the best place to go.
How To Pay Back Your Student Loan
Paying back your student loans can be done in a few ways.
Let’s take a look at what your payment options are:
This will be a repayment plan that will last ten years. This will allow students to pay less over time. So you can pay a minimal amount as much as possible until the loan itself is paid off. You may not want to use this option if you intend on pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness.
Payments will increase every two years if you go this route. If you have a source of income that is expected to increase, this might be a good option. However, they may pay more in interest compared to the standard repayment plan.
Income-Based Repayment Plan (IBR)
This is broken down into four separate plans, each based on the income of the borrower. If you plan on using PSLF, this may be something worth considering. Compared to the standard repayment plan, there is a possibility that you will pay more.
Extended Repayment Plan
This is a payment program that will last 25 years. This will allow you to make monthly payments over the life of the loan. This will be much longer compared to standard repayment. You may be paying a little more over the course of time.
What Is PSLF?
Public Service Loan Forgiveness or PSLF is designed for borrowers that work for the government or a non-profit organization. If you have been denied in the past, you may want to consider a Temporary Expanded Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, which has some similarities to the original PSLF plan.
Refinancing Your Loan: What To Expect
If you plan on refinancing your loan, you’ll need to know the advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at the advantages first:
- Consolidation: You can be able to consolidate your loans into a single one. From there, you can manage them and make a payment.
- Adjustable terms: If you want to lower payments, you can adjust the terms to where you’ll be able to pay off the loans over a lengthy period of time. A shorter term will mean a reduction of the interest paid back during the life of the loan.
- You may lose benefits if dealing with a private lender: If you are refinancing through a private lender, you may lose your benefits that are linked with federal student loans. These include repayment options based on your income or even certain loan forgiveness programs.
- You may lose federal protections: These include deferment or forbearance, meaning you may not be able to pause your payments even if there is a greater need to do so (such as financial hardship).
On paper, refinancing may sound like a good idea. However, you want to consider what you’re willing to give up should you go down this route. Student loan repayments will need to be done in the best way you see fit.
At the end of the day, you’ll want to take the best course of action based on your financial situation.
Student Loan FAQs
If you are wondering what steps you need to take based on your student loans, this FAQ section can help. Let’s take a look now at the following questions:
What If I Can’t Make My Student Loan Payments?
Financial hardship is a real thing. If you can’t make your loan payments, you will need to contact your loan service provider immediately. They will provide you with options such as a different repayment schedule, forbearance, or deferment. You can choose an option that fits your needs at the time.
What If I Don’t Repay My Loan?
If you fail to repay your loan, the loan is delinquent. You may even risk defaulting on your loan. If the loan is delinquent within 270 days or more, you submit requests for deferment or cancellation on time, or you fail to repay the loan, a default will occur.
At that point, the US Department of Education will purchase the loan. However, you won’t receive any federal or state tax refunds until the loan is paid off. Likewise, you may also face a garnishment of wages. It may also damage your credit rating in the process.
Your student loan account number will be useful in so many ways. Be sure to keep it on file in case you need to check the status of your loan. Furthermore, you will also need it to keep track of how much of the loan you have left to pay.
This identification number will be your unique identification for everything related to your student loans. You can keep past student loan statements (including paper copies) in case you forget your number. After paying off your student loan, you might not need it ever again.
We hope this guide on your student loans has been helpful.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.