Student Loan Repayment
National Student Loan Database
College is over. The six month grace period before student loan repayment begins is just about over. Many students lose track of their college loans after signing the paperwork to approve them. Student loan repayment is stressful. Time passed and student loans get transferred or sold to other companies. Some students get letters about student loan repayment, but not from the original lender. What do you do? Who holds all of your student loans now? Many are unemployed or underemployed and cannot afford any student loan repayment. They need to call the loan guarantors asap about deferring student loans. What is the first step to get a forbearance, defer payment, consolidate college loans, or refinance student loans? The National Student Loan Data System can help.
National Student Loan Database Helps Students Track College Loans
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) is a huge student loan database for federal student loans and grants. The NSLDS keeps track of every federal student loan and grant that is awarded. Using the National Student Loan database to track your college loans is essential if you want to stay on top of your student financial aid status. Student loans go through multiple changes throughout a year and one of the first loan databases updated is the NSLDS. The student loan database is used by lenders, creditors, and the Department of Education for the most updated information about your student loans. Even if the information is incorrect, the student loan database is what they will use to find out if you are in repayment or the sum of the student loan debt, plus whether or not you have deferred or defaulted student loans. Private student loans are not listed in the student loan database.
Borrowers (you, people with outstanding student loans) have access to the student loan database; use it. To access your loan information on the NSLDS you need your social security number and your Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) pin number. You received a FAFSA pin number when you applied for federal financial aid. Go to the FAFSA website to retrieve a lost of forgotten pin number. If you have student loans then you should have a pin number unless you had private student loans. In that case your loans are not listed in the NDLDS. Federal grants are the exception because they are listed and tracked in the database. A student with private student loans and federal college grants is listed in the NSLDS.
Checking the NSLDS routinely is just as important as pulling up your annual credit report. Both of these things are offered for free because they are important to your financial health. Checking the NSLDS for accuracy is essential because the data is input by humans. An error can mean incorrect reporting on your credit report which then lowers your credit score and impacts your life. When you log on to the student loan database your grants and loans are listed numerically, up to the total number of loans. For example, if you had 12 student loans then there will be a list of 1-12, with each number representing a loan. Under each number is the information about the loan, including the current owner, total student loan amount, and the lender's contact information. Click on the number to find out all of that information.
Consolidate College Loans
Use the student loan database if you decide to consolidate college loans. Consolidating college loans requires tracking down each loan's current information. All loans must be included on the college loan consolidation application. Tracking student loans is essential when you consolidate college loans, whether it is done to lower loan interest rates or to lower the overall loan payment. During consolidation you must write every single loan you owe from every lender or guarantor, which includes any defaulted student loans, otherwise you risk an incomplete college loan consolidation. Take your time when filling out the application and consolidating college loans because it can only be done once.
Student Loan Database Errors
It is important to verify that the information listed on the student loan database is the same as what the lender/guarantor shows in their records. Sometimes the student loan database is inaccurate. You can fix student loan database errors, but to find them you have to verify its information with the lenders. Get the guarantor's phone number from the database then call them for loan information. Make sure you document the whole process. Write everything down, including the loan balance, the name of the person you spoke with, the date and time, and anything else pertinent. Compare this information with the student loan database. While checking mine I found mistakes. Updates to the student loan database takes a few weeks when they need to change the information. Using the student loan database to track your student loans is smart and can save a lot of time. Check it out regularly.
Back when you read the lender agreements, took the financial aid quiz, and signed the agreement to repay the government for your college education, things seemed easier. Student loans were part of your student financial aid, the only way you could go to college, and it is unlikely that you considered the long term, the down economy, and the difficulties borrowers face with student loan repayment. Sometimes students face tough times and will need to learn about filing student loan bankruptcy, others can qualify for the Income Based Repayment Plan, and others still qualify for student loan forgiveness because of disability.