When it comes to managing student loan debt, most of your choices depend on whether your loans are federal or private. If you're not sure what kind of loans you have, use the National Student Loan Data System. Choose "Financial Aid Review" and supply the requested information to get a list of all federal loans made to you.
To use the system, you will need to supply:
- your Social Security number
- the first two letters of your last name
- your date of birth, and
- your U.S. Department of Education PIN number.
If you need to establish a PIN number, visit www.pin.ed.gov. (The PIN website can be frustrating. If you're having problems setting up, retrieving, or changing your PIN online, call 800-433-3243 for assistance. Press "0" to speak to a live person.)
Once you get to the list of your loans, you can click on each loan to get details about it, including exactly what kind of federal loan it is and who services it.
If you have student loans that aren't on the national database list, it means they are private loans. For more information, you'll need to contact the financial institution that made the loan.