What Is a Student Loan Servicer and Why Should I Care?

repayment plan imageSo you took out a federal student loan and now it’s time to pay it back. I was in your exact position 2 years ago and even though I was working at Federal Student Aid, the student loan repayment process had me overwhelmed.

One of my first questions was: Why am I receiving federal student loan bills from a company rather than the U.S. Department of Education? If you have asked yourself a similar question, this may help:

What is a loan servicer?

A loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your federal student loans. So those bills you get in the mail? There is a good chance they are coming from a loan servicer on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education.

How do I find out who my loan servicer is?

To view information about all of the federal student loans you have received and to find contact information for your loan servicer, visit www.nslds.ed.gov and select “Financial Aid Review.” You will then be prompted to log in using your Federal Student Aid PIN, so make sure you have that handy.

Note: If you have multiple federal student loans, you may have more than one loan servicer, so make sure you click through each loan individually for information specific to that loan.

Why should I care?

There are lots of reasons you should care!  Among many other things, your loan servicer

Moral of the story: Keep in contact with your loan servicer.

The student loan repayment process can be confusing, especially if you’re new at it, but your loan servicer is there to help. Make sure you stay in touch with them and use the resources they have available for you.

Nicole Callahan is a new media analyst at the Department of Education’s office of Federal Student Aid.

Last Chance to Test Personal Finance Knowledge in Annual Challenge

Cross-posted from the Department of the Treasury

Tens of thousands of high school students from across the country have already tested their knowledge about personal finance through the National Financial Capability Challenge.  And this is the final week to take part!  The voluntary online exam is available to students through this Friday, April 13.

Piggy BankHere’s how it works:

Educators can sign up for free at challenge.treas.gov to administer the Challenge to their students.  It is a fun, free, and unique opportunity to help prepare our nation’s students for financial independence.

  • It’s quick.  It takes only about 30 minutes to administer the Challenge online, but the lessons our students will learn in preparing will last a lifetime.
  • It’s easy.  Comprehensive lesson plans and sample questions are available in the online Educator Toolkit to help prepare students for the Challenge.
  • It’s rewarding.  Educators and top-scoring students in each school will earnpersonalized award certificates.  States with the highest participation will also be recognized.
  • Any high school educator can do it.  Even if you’re not a math or personal finance educator, all educators of high school-aged children are encouraged to participate.

The annual Challenge, administered in conjunction with the Department of Education, enhances students’ financial capability by strengthening their understanding of saving, budgeting, and investing, among other central personal financial concepts.  From saving for college to managing expenses like cell phones, the Challenge helps students learn about a wide array of topics that together constitute a basic understanding of personal finance.  To learn more about the Challenge or to register for this year, educators should visit Challenge.Treas.gov.​

Melissa Koide is Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Access, Financial Education, and Consumer Protection.