Managing student loans without the National Student Loan Data System is not advisable for multiple reasons which is why many students use their assistance on how to go about the login process and more. See the full guide!
Overview of the National Student Loan Data System
The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) keeps a record of all the federal student loans you took out while in school.
The database breaks down each type of loan and your student loan repayment status (e.g., in repayment, default, forbearance, or paid in full).
What is the National Student Loan System (NSLDS)?
The NSLDS is a database maintained by the U.S. Department of Education to aggregate loan and grant data. That is for all students who utilize federal funds to pay for school—both while you’re in school and once you’re repaying your loans.
The NSLDS allows borrowers to see a snapshot of all their federal loans and grant data.
When you log into the NSLDS, you’ll be able to see; which types of loans you have, the original amount borrowed for each loan, current loan balances and statuses, and the servicer or holder of the loan.
While this information seems fairly straightforward, keep in mind that, in many cases, you’ll take out loans before even starting your degree, and won’t start paying them back until after you’ve graduated.
Information Provided by the NSLDS
NSLDS first receives information directly from:
- Agencies that guaranty loans
- The Direct Loan program
- Other U.S. Department of Education programs
The information collected above will now aid NSLDS in giving you exactly what you need. When accessing the NSLDS, you’ll find the following information on your student loans:
- The loan type
- The number of loans you have
- The individual loan amount
- When the loan was taken out
- If any portion of your loan was canceled
- Your total principal
- Your outstanding interest
- The status of your loan
- Your loan servicer
- Any kind of federal payment plan you may be on
Any details you don’t find on the main page can be found when you click on the number on the left-hand side. A page like the example below will fill in any missing information regarding your loan.
Each individual loan tells you its entire history. The database is helpful in determining how much you owe and your loan details. Once you have this information, you can begin tackling your student loan debt.
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What to Do with the Information Provided by the NSLDS
The information provided by the NSLDS can set you up to begin creating your debt payoff plan. Start by considering the following details of your loans:
- Your student loan disbursement dates: This helps determine what kinds of repayment plans you’re eligible for.
- Your student loan types: Certain types of loans, like the Perkins Loan, can be eligible for cancellation. Federal student loans can also be eligible for forgiveness. Spend some time looking into which forgiveness plans you may qualify for.
- Your total interest owed: The interest you owe should be calculated into your debt payoff plan. When making student loan payments, you first pay interest and a fee before the money is paid to your principal balance.
- Your student loan servicer: Knowing your loan servicer is essential to making on-time payments and managing your student loan debt.
Steps to Log in to the NSLDS
Getting into the NSLDS is fairly painless if you know where to go.
1. Start by going to the NSLDS home page on your home computer using a secure connection.
2. Click on “Financial Aid Review” to access the details of all your student loans.
4. You’ll be redirected to a new page that looks a bit different.
Here you’ll log in with your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. This replaced the old FSA PIN and Social Security number in order to protect your identity.
If you don’t have one, create an FSA ID from the same page. Make sure it’s something you’ll remember. You can now log in with your FSA ID for several purposes.
If you need to apply for an income-driven repayment plan or Direct Loan Consolidation, you’ll also use your FSA ID.
5. Once you log in, you’ll find a report of all your federal student loans that looks something like the image below.
This is an overall view of your student loans. Your total can be found in the bottom right-hand corner.
There’s an option to download your student loan data in the blue button. This exports a .txt file that’s hard to read and not helpful for most individuals.
Looking at the web page itself and taking a screenshot if needed will be easier to decipher.
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To Round Up
Any student loan you’re responsible for will show up on this report. It’s free to obtain every 12 months.
Using the NSLDS to access and organize your loans is the first step in taking control of student loans. Creating a plan can be the next step to offer some serious relief.
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