CFPB Tool for Student Loan Payments

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Falling behind on your student loan payments?

Know your options
Before you start, it will be helpful to have a list of your loans, as well as the required monthly payment amounts and any written documents you have received from a debt collector. If you don’t have this information, don’t worry.

While this tool can’t give you advice for your exact situation, we hope it can point you in the right direction and help you learn about some of your options.

Question 1: Federal, non-federal?

Are your student loans federal or private (non-federal)?

If you aren’t sure what kind of loans you have, visit the National Student Loan Database System for Students (NSLDS) and select “Financial Aid Review” for a list of all federal loans made to you. Click each individual loan to see who the servicer is for that loan (this is the company that collects payments from you). It’s very important to know your servicer. This might be a different company from the original lender.

Tip: You will be required to use your U.S. Department of Education PIN in order to access NSLDS. Additional information is available through NSLDS.

Federal loans

  • Probably has a name like Stafford, Grad PLUS, Direct, or Perkins
  • Older federal student loans could be issued by a bank, credit union, your school, or other lending institution through the Federal Family Educational Loan (FFEL) Program

Private (non-federal) loans

  • Issued by a bank, credit union, your school, or other lending institution
  • Could also be issued by a non-profit or state agency
  • Might use names like “private” or “alternative”
  • Not issued or guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Education

If you’re not sure whether you have non-federal loans, contact your school’s financial aid office since they may have this information.


Use the tool directly from the CFPB Web portal.

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