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Finding Your Student Loan Debt
August 6, 2015
5:04 pm
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If you have a series of loans of varying kinds from three or four different institutions going back decades and you no longer have access to all the paperwork, how can you find who the loanholders are, how many of them there are, how much you owe on each one, etc.?

And how can you tell that those who claim to be the loanholders actually are?

August 6, 2015
7:48 pm
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This is a great question. Given how often loans change hands, finding out who you actually owe money to can be kind of tricky.

Like most student loan issues, federal and private loans are different.

For federal loans, just go to the governments website that stores all of your data regarding your federal loans: https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/ At this site you can pull up a list of all of your federal loans, and contact information for all of the proper parties.

The private loans get a little trickier. The most efficient way would be to pull your credit report. Take a look at all of your debt, and you should be able to pick out all of your student loans. There will be information about each company as well as contact information. Based upon the credit report info, it should be pretty easy to track down each company. They don’t really have any reason to hide or make it difficult… especially if you are looking to pay them.

The credit report will also list total loan balances and monthly payments. If you see huge monthly payments that seem absurdly high, remember that for many of these loans there are options to get the monthly payments lowered.

Good Luck!

August 19, 2015
2:04 pm
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If I am unsure of how many loans I have outstanding, is there any problem in speaking with my loan holders?

Is there any chance that if I negotiate a repayment scheme I would be in trouble if more loans came to light later?

How can I make sure that a claimed loan holder is not a scam?

August 19, 2015
10:34 pm
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There is definitely not a problem with speaking with the lenders that appear on the federal student loan database: https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds/nslds_SA/

As for negotiating repayment, that is rarely an option. On federal loans you are limited to the existing repayment plans and nothing further. Private loans are generally limited to the terms of the contract, though some lenders do show some flexibility. As far as loans “coming to light later”, this is a situation that you should hopefully be able to avoid. Using the federal database and your credit reports, there shouldn’t be any new loans. If you do have some questions, you might try reaching out to your school, they would likely have records of where the loans came from and you can follow them from there.

Making sure someone is not a scam is tricky. The key is to make sure you get information from them to verify the authenticity of the debt. Ask questions about when the loan was generated, how much it was originally for, etc. If you suspect that something is up, look into the company calling you, check into every detail you can, and ask around. At a certain point, if you still do not know who is legit and who isn’t, it might be worth your time to meet with an attorney who specializes in debt collection.

August 20, 2015
6:08 pm
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When I speak of “repayment plans” I am speaking about long defaulted on loans…

August 21, 2015
8:03 am
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That makes sense.

If you negotiate repayment on a long defaulted loan, you really don’t want to fall behind yet again. Before you agree on any numbers, be sure that you have tracked down all of your debt. I know it is a concern of yours, but the lenders that are owed money by you will not keep their existence secret.

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