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Student Loans

What if I don't know what kind of loan I have?

How to find out whether your student loan is federal or private -- a key factor that affects terms and repayment options.
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Updated: 2021-11-08

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.

The FSA ID replaced the Federal Student Aid PIN on May 10, 2015. If you haven’t logged in to a U.S. Department of Education (ED) online system since then, you’ll need to create an FSA ID before you can use U.S. Department of Education online systems.

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.

Legal Consumer - Law. Jurisdictional relevance: The content of this article pertains to all US states and counties.