Are My Student Loans Private or Federally-Guaranteed?

canstockphoto11618702Many people who call us have questions about their student loans and repayment programs but they don’t yet know which of their loans are private bank loans and which are federally guaranteed.

The best way to find out is to go to the National Student Loan Data System website (NSLDS) provided by the U.S. Department of Education.  If you do not already have an Federal Student Aid ID, create one, and when you get access, any loan activity you see on the NSLDS deals with federally guaranteed loans.

Any other student loans you have are private loans.

One difference is that federally-guaranteed loans can be collected against you without regard to how old they are (no statute of limitations) and can be collected from your paycheck by means of an Administrative Wage Garnishment Order, no lawsuit or judgment necessary.

For private student loans, statute of limitations defenses DO apply, meaning that the lender has a limited period of time to file a lawsuit against you after you went into default. The amount of time depends on the applicable state law for enforcement of contracts.

Another big difference is that there are good repayment programs for federally guaranteed student loans, such as IBR, and Public Service Loan Forgiveness, which do not apply to private loans.

Go to NSLDS website to find out which you have and to plan accordingly.


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