Having a student loan involves many responsibilities. One main responsibility is understanding your loan servicer and how to contact them. The loan servicer is an approved company that collects payments, and responds to inquiries about your federal student loan on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education. The loan servicer will work with you on your repayment plan and other tasks related to your federal student loan.
Your loan is assigned to a servicer by the U.S. Department of Education after the entire loan amount is disbursed. The loan is usually disbursed in at least two payment and is only allowed to be used to assist you with educational costs. The loan funds may be reduced if you drop, withdrew from classes or stop attending school. If this happens after you have received a refund you may need to return part or all of your refund to the school.
Visit NSLDS. Ed.gov to view information about all of your federal student loans you have received. NSLDS holds the contact information for your loan servicer. You will need your Federal Student Aid PIN to access your information. You received the PIN number when applying for the loan using the FAFSA.
You are required to contact your loan servicer when you:
- Take a break from school, no matter the length of the break
- Change your name, address, or phone number
- Drop below half-time enrollment
- Stop going to school
- Transfer to another school
- Have a question on your bill
- Have a question on the features of your student loan
- Need help making your loan payment
There may be certain advantages to consolidating your federal student loans into one loan. Contact the Direct Loan Consolidation Center for more information at 1-800-557-7392 for more information.
By Tangene Umstead
Senior Default Prevention and Compliance Specialist at American Public University