Federal student loans
You can find a copy of your Master Promissory Note online at the Federal Student Aid website, studentaid.gov. That site replaced the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and studentloans.gov. It has a lot of the information you need to learn about the disbursement date for your loans and what school the loan funds were sent to.
Step 1: Log in to studentaid.gov. You’ll need an FSA ID to access the site.
Step 2: Click on “My Documents”. The link is a hidden selection under your name in the upper right-hand corner of the menu bar.
Step 3: Select “Master Promissory Note (MPN)” from the dropdown.
Step 4: Download a pdf copy of the MPN.
You’ll have an MPN for your undergraduate studies. It will cover any Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans you borrowed. You’ll have a second note if you borrowed Direct PLUS Loans for graduate school or a Parent PLUS Loan to pay for your child’s education.
The Master Promissory Note is a contract that specifies the fixed interest rate, repayment terms, and conditions of your loans. It doesn’t contain your payment history, interest capitalization, or periods of deferment or forbearance that have been applied to your loans.
If you want copies of that information, you’ll need to submit a Privacy Act request to the U.S. Department of Education. Review the department’s Privacy Act checklist before submitting your request.
Learn More: Ways to Lower Student Loan Payments
Private student loans
Unlike the federal government, there isn’t a website you can visit to request a copy of your private student loan promissory notes. You’ll need to ask the creditor or loan servicer contacting you about the debt to provide you with a copy. Depending on the loan holder, it can take several attempts, and you may have to wait many weeks to get that paperwork.
If your loan has been transferred or sold to a new company, the packet that you get from the creditor should have documents showing each time the loan has changed hands. If it doesn’t, you may be able to attack the “chain of title” in a student loan lawsuit.
The documents you get may also have a copy of the account history that shows the monthly payments you’ve made towards the loans. If it doesn’t, ask the creditor to send it to you so you can verify the current loan balance.
Learn More: What Happens if You Default on Private Student Loans?