How to Check on Student Loans & Your Balance

#1 Student loan lawyer

Updated on March 9, 2023

Managing student debt can be daunting, especially when dealing with multiple federal and private loans. It’s not uncommon to lose track of how much you owe at any given time. And with loans often changing hands between companies, staying on top of it all can be a real headache.

Thankfully, there are ways to navigate these murky waters.

Ahead learn how to find your student loans and how much you owe.

How to check on student loans has all of your federal student aid information. After you log in with your FSA ID, you can use that site to find:

  • Your student loan amounts, balances, and disbursement dates.

  • The types of loans you have — i.e., Direct Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, FFEL Loans, Perkins Loans, and so on.

  • Your loan servicer(s) and their contact information.

  • Your interest rates.

  • Your current loan status (in repayment, default, etc.).

  • The Pell Grants you received.

You can also download your promissory note and Student Aid file from the site, which has important details about your time spent in repayment, deferment, and forbearance. This information can be helpful when estimating how much credit you might receive under Income-Driven Repayment Plan Forgiveness and the IDR Waiver.

Note: The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) website was previously the go-to site for federal student loan borrowers seeking information about their loans. That changed after the federal government folded that central database into a few years back, making it the new home for all federal student loan information.

Related: What Happened to NSLDS?

How do I discover where all my student loans are?

Finding all of your student loans is easy if you only borrowed federal student loans, but things get complicated if you borrowed private student loans or if you’re not sure what type of student loans you borrowed.

Contact your servicer or use to check your federal student loan balance

To discover how much you owe for federal student loans, contact your student loan servicer or visit Servicers such as Aidvantage, MOHELA, Nelnet, and others can tell you your current loan balance and the 30-day payoff amount.

The Federal Student Aid website is where you’ll find the motherlode of all federal student loan information.

This comprehensive database — courtesy of the U.S. Department of Education — details all your loan amounts and balances. It’s also where you can see if you got a Pell Grant, explore different student loan repayment options, apply for loan consolidation, and submit paperwork for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Note: Loan balances are updated only once a month, which means there could be variations in the amounts listed on and your servicer’s website. So, ensure you’re keeping track of the latest numbers to avoid surprises.

Related: How to Find Out How Much I Owe On Defaulted Student Loans?

Your credit report can help you find your private student loans

When it comes to finding your private student loan balance, things get a bit trickier than doing the same for federal loans. There’s no national student loan locator to help you find your private loans.

Your best bet is to start by checking your credit reports. Any student loan on your credit report that’s not in the National Student Loan Data System is likely a private student loan.

To get your hands on your report, head over to and request a copy from each of the three major credit reporting agencies — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. And here’s the good news — you can pull a free credit report from each bureau once a year.

Once you have your credit report in hand, look closely at the list of your current obligations, including student loans. It will tell you how much you borrowed, the interest rate, and who the loan servicer is. From there, you can contact the servicer to make monthly payments or, if your interest rate is high, explore student loan refinance options to get a lower interest rate and better repayment term.

Finally, you can also try contacting your school’s financial aid office. The helpful staff there can pull up your payment history and see if private lenders such as Laurel Road, Sallie Mae, SoFi, and others deposited any money into your account. Armed with this information, you can contact the lender and get your current loan balance.

Things to do after you find your loans

Now that you have a clear understanding of your loans, it’s time to develop a strategy to pay them off quickly and smoothly — or get them forgiven ASAP. Here are some tips to get you started.

Tip 1: Know your loans

First, make a comprehensive list of all your student loans, including whether they’re private or federal, monthly payment and due date, current and principal balances, interest rates, and servicer information.

For federal loans, it’s also helpful to know the loan type. Eligibility for certain student loan forgiveness and repayment options change depending on whether you borrowed loans from the Direct Loan Program, Federal Perkins Loan Program, or Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Tip 2: Review your budget

Next, assess your budget and explore different strategies for reducing debt to determine how your student loans fit into your finances. If necessary, request a different due date that aligns better with your pay schedule and makes it easier for you to make your payments on time and in full.

Tip 3: Check your repayment options

Make sure your federal repayment plan is the best one for your situation by using the Education Department’s Loan Simulator to compare plans by monthly payment, total interest, and more.

Tip 4: Enroll in autopay

Set up a direct debit or autopay to save time and money. Most federal loans and many private lenders offer a 0.25% interest rate discount for borrowers who sign up for automatic payments.

Tip 5: Make extra payments when you can

Consider making extra payments to get out of debt faster and save money on interest. If you can afford to do so, tell your servicer to apply extra payments to your principal only to maximize the benefit. While you won’t get a discount for paying student loans early, you can save money in interest.

Keep in mind that this strategy only makes sense if you’re not enrolled in an income-driven repayment plan. Making extra payments while in an income-based repayment plan likely won’t help you get rid of your debt sooner because the money would go almost entirely to interest, depending on your loan balance and payment amount.

Tip 6: Keep your information updated

Stay in touch with your servicer by keeping them updated with your current contact information. Make sure to open their mail and answer their calls promptly to discuss issues before they escalate.

Tip 7: Keep good records

Maintain good records by saving all mail from your servicer and taking notes during phone conversations, including the date, name of the person you spoke with, questions asked, and the responses they gave you.

Tip 8: Claim the tax deduction

Don’t forget to claim your student loan interest on your tax return, as you may be eligible to claim up to $2,500 of the student loan interest you paid in a given year.

Tip 9: Check your interest rates

Private student loans can come with either fixed or variable interest rates. While variable rates can be attractive in a low-interest environment, they can become problematic during inflationary periods.

Banks and credit unions increase the cost of borrowing money during such times, leading to a spike in variable rates.

In the last two years alone, many borrowers have seen their variable rates soar from 3% to over 11%, causing a surge in their student loan payments and putting them at risk of delinquency.

Refinancing into a new loan with a lower, fixed interest rate can avoid adding thousands of dollars in interest to your student loan debt. To do so, use an online marketplace such as Credible to shop for multiple lenders simultaneously without damaging your credit score.

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