I don’t know if my student loan is federal or private. How can I tell?

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The Credible Money Coach helps the reader understand how to determine if their student loan is federal or private. (Credible)

Dear Credible Money Coach,

How do I know if my student loan is federal or private? — Bryan

Hello Bryan and thank you for your question.

Student loans can be complicated, and determining whether you have a federal or private loan requires a little investigation. Fortunately, it’s not difficult and there are plenty of resources available to help you.

How to know if you have a federal student loan

Check your most recent student loan billing statement for the name of your lender. If you see any of the following federal programs, you have a federal loan.

  • Federal William D. Ford Direct Lending Program (subsidized direct loans, unsubsidized direct loans, and direct consolidation loans)
  • Federal Perkins Loan Program (commonly referred to as Perkins Loans)
  • Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) Program (FFEL Loans)

If you don’t have a billing statement or are still unsure, the following indicates that you have a federal loan:

  • Your payments are pending. Due to the pandemic, many federal loans are not due for repayment until after August 31, 2022.
  • Your current interest rate is 0%. Federal loan relief includes zero interest payments through August 31, 2022.
  • Your monthly payment has changed. An income-contingent repayment (IDR) plan is a benefit available to most federal borrowers.

If you have a username and password for the US Department of Education’s online system, known as an FSA ID, you can access your loan details, including your loan amount. loan, interest rate, status and outstanding balance.

How to know if you have a private student loan

You probably have a private loan if you don’t see a federal program name on your loan billing statement. You can visit the lender’s website or call them for more information.

The following also indicates that you have a private student loan:

  • Your interest rate varies from federal rates. Until July 1, 2022, interest rates on federal loans can range from 3.73% to 6.28%. Private rates may be higher or lower, depending on your credit and the type of loan.
  • You receive monthly invoices. While many federal loans are forbearance, this does not apply to private student loans.
  • You have a student loan co-signer. Most federal loans do not require a co-signer or credit check. However, private loans require borrowers or co-signers to have minimum credit standards for approval.

How to find your student lender

If you’re still unsure whether your student loan is private or federal, follow these tips to find your lender:

  • Contact your school’s financial aid office and ask who issued your loan.
  • Call loan managers who handle loans for the Department of Education using the information on StudentAid.gov.
  • Check your credit report for the name and contact information of your lender.

Ready to know more? Check out these articles…

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About the Author: Laura Adams is a personal finance and small business expert, award-winning author and host of silver girl, a weekly audio podcast and top notch blog. She is frequently quoted in the national media and millions of readers and listeners benefit from her practical financial advice. Laura’s mission is to empower consumers to live richer lives through her work as a speaker, spokesperson and advocate. She earned an MBA from the University of Florida and lives in Vero Beach, Florida. Follow her on LauraDAdams.com, instagram, Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

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