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Staying on top of your debt is nearly impossible if you don’t know who owns your student loans.
Knowing your loan balance, monthly payment and repayment options is critical if you want to pay off the loans faster, need to lower payments or temporarily stop making them altogether.
Here’s how to determine who owns your student loans, so you’re prepared for whatever comes next.
Lenders vs. loan servicers
The federal government or a commercial entity owns your student loans.
Private companies own all private loans. The Department of Education holds most federal loans.
Both the Department of Education and private institutions partner with third parties called loan servicers. Loan servicers manage your student loans by handling billing statements, payment inquiries and other administrative tasks. If you have any questions about your account, they are who you call.
Loan servicers can change often, so keep your contact information current to stay up to date on who services your loan.
How to find out who owns your student loans
To determine who owns and services your student loans:
Contact your school. Your college's or university’s financial aid office can give you details on who owns your loan. Additionally, you might discover that the school holds your loan.
Pull your credit report. There is no central database for private student loans. Instead, TransUnion, Experian and Equifax credit reports have the latest information on your loan servicers, including contact information.
What to do after finding out who owns your student loans
Once you know who owns your student loans, there are a few steps you can take to stay up to date on your loan terms and repayment plan:
Make sure your contact information is current.
Discuss repayment options with your loan servicer.
Ask what additional programs are available to you.
Many federal loan programs offer benefits like income-driven repayment and public service loan forgiveness that you’ll want to discuss with your loan servicer.
If you have an FFELP or Perkins loan, consider consolidating them into a federal direct loan to qualify for some federal relief programs.
You can apply online for direct loan consolidation by visiting studentaid.gov.