How Can I Find, Track, and Manage My Student Loans?

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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You’ve left college and are now the proud owner of student loans. Unfortunately, student loans don’t come with an owner’s manual – so you might be feeling kind of clueless about what comes next.

You might be asking yourself some questions. What’s the easiest way to manage my student loans? How can can I find, view, track, and ultimately pay off my student loans?

These are common questions recent graduates have about their student loans. Luckily, we’re here to help at Student Loan Hero – and we even have tools for all that.

4 ways to find my student loans

Many students take out a student loan or two each semester while they’re in school. That means you will likely have several student loans by the time you leave school.

However, transitioning from college to the real world can be a busy and chaotic process. Between applying for jobs, starting a career, or moving to a new city, it can be all too easy to lose track of student loans.

Here’s how you can locate your student loans and make sure you’ve found them all.

1. Contact the financial aid office

Before you leave college, reach out to your financial aid office. It can give you a report of the federal student loans you borrowed there since it is in charge of disbursing those loans to students.

However, keep in mind that if you attended multiple schools and transferred, your financial aid office might not have records of loans you borrowed at other colleges.

You should also make sure the financial aid office has the most up-to-date contact information for you (including a non-student email address).

2. Pay attention to notifications from servicers

Closely watch your email and mail for notifications from student loan servicers. They will reach out to you with updates.

For instance, they should contact you to let you know when your post-college student loan grace period is up and when you should begin making payments.

If you lose track of even one student loan, it could go into default – which can add big fees to your student loan debt and destroy your credit.

3. Get an NSLDS financial aid review

The National Student Loan Data System, or NSLDS, is the database the Department of Education uses to keep track of all federal student loans. Any federal student loans you took out in college will be in this database.

As a student loan borrower, you can use the NSLDS to get a complete list of your student debt – also known as a financial aid review. It lists every federal student loan you borrowed in college as well as the following information:

  • Current balance and interest rate of each loan.
  • Status of each loan, including whether it is current or overdue on payments.
  • Type of student loan, such as subsidized or unsubsidized.
  • Student loan servicer that holds each loan.

To get your financial aid review, you’ll need to use (or get) your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID and PIN and log in to the NSLDS. From there, you can request your financial aid review. For more in-depth information, use our guide to finding student loans with the NSLDS.

4. Review free annual credit reports

The NSLDS is the best way to see all your federal student loans, but it won’t list any private student debt you might have. To see these student loans, you can request your free annual credit report.

Your credit report will include the following information:

  • All the student loans you have, including both private and federal student loans.
  • The lender or student loan servicer that holds each loan. You should also be able to see if a student loan was transferred or sold to a new servicer.
  • The student loan’s initial balance and most recent balance.
  • Payment history, including any missed payments and the date of the most recent payment on the loan.

While a credit report will likely list all your student loans, there are no guarantees. You might want to pull reports from all three major bureaus to be sure no loans are missed.

Managing student loans in repayment

Although finding all your student loans may take only a few days, repaying them may take 10 years or longer. How can you track and manage your student loans in the meantime?

Take advantage of the Student Loan Hero dashboard

Well, that’s where the Student Loan Hero dashboard can help – and it’s 100 percent free. This tool puts all your student loans in one place so you can easily view and track your progress.

Here are some important features:

  • Import and sync all your student loans within the Student Loan Hero dashboard. You can sync all federal student loans from the NSLDS system and many private lenders as well.
  • View all student loans in one place. You can log in and see all your student loans at once – even those with different servicers. And you can view private student loans alongside federal student loans.
  • Track your student debt progress in real time. The Student Loan Hero dashboard automatically updates student loan balances each month, giving you an up-to-date view of your progress.
  • Calculate different repayment actions. This tool includes several calculators that show you how different actions might affect your loans. You can use this tool to see how much you can save if you make extra student loan payments, refinance student loans, and more. You also can figure out what payments you need to make each month to be debt-free by a particular date.
  • Explore federal student loan repayment options. This tool allows you to see how consolidation, income-driven repayment, or other federal student loan options might affect your debt. You can even check if you’re eligible for different repayment plans or forgiveness.
  • Apply for consolidation of your federal student loans. We will help you see what your loans will be like if you consolidate. And if you decide to do so, you can use our tool to quickly fill out and submit an application to consolidate federal student loans.

The Student Loan Hero dashboard is a robust tool. You can start using it to explore different student loan strategies. And you can continue using it to track your progress and keep an eye on your student loan accounts.

Figure out your own student loan needs and goals

Ultimately, finding a repayment plan that works for you depends on your financial situation and your repayment personality.

That’s why it’s important to figure out your student loan needs and goals. Ask yourself:

  • Do I want to pay off my debt as quickly as possible?
  • Are there other financial goals I should put before student loan repayment?
  • Are my student loan payments affordable right now?
  • Can I refinance my student loans to lower my interest rate?

For example, if you work in public service and don’t make much money, you might want to pursue the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Or if you make a decent income and can afford to pay extra on student loans, you might be more focused on paying them off.

Explore different student loan strategies

As you think through your loans, income, and other financial factors, you can identify the plan of attack that best fits your situation. You can use the Student Loan Hero dashboard or student loan calculators to explore different possibilities and compare outcomes.

The nice thing about these features is they take the focus off doing math and place it on creating a strategy that works for you.

With so much information out there and so many decisions to make, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Don’t let fear about your student loan situation paralyze you and prevent you from making decisions that will make your life easier in the long run.

With a little bit of ingenuity, hard work, and help from Student Loan Hero, your student loans can be conquered!

Haven’t signed up for a free Student Loan Hero account yet? Click here to get started.

Or click here to sign in if you already have an account.

Honey Smith contributed to this article.

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
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Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

  1. VARIABLE APR – APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes.

2 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student Loan RefinanceFixed rates from 3.999% APR to 7.804% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.480% APR to 7.524% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.480% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 2.07% plus 0.91% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

3 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures


4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Education Refinance Loan Rate DisclosureVariable rate, based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of August 1, 2018, the one-month LIBOR rate is 2.07%. Variable interest rates range from 2.72%-8.17% (2.72%-8.17% APR) and will fluctuate over the term of the borrower’s loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Fixed interest rates range from 3.50%-8.69% (3.50% – 8.69% APR) based on applicable terms, level of degree earned and presence of a cosigner. Lowest rates shown require application with a cosigner, are for eligible, creditworthy applicants with a graduate level degree, require a 5-year repayment term and include our Loyalty discount and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. The maximum variable rate on the Education Refinance Loan is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change. Please note: Due to federal regulations, Citizens Bank is required to provide every potential borrower with disclosure information before they apply for a private student loan. The borrower will be presented with an Application Disclosure and an Approval Disclosure within the application process before they accept the terms and conditions of their loan.
  2. Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer with the Education Refinance Loan. Borrowers should carefully review their current benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans and replace those with the benefits of the Education Refinance Loan. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision at http://www.citizensbank.com/EdRefinance, including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.
  3. Citizens Bank Education Refinance Loan Eligibility: Eligible applicants may not be currently enrolled, must be in repayment of their existing student loan(s) and must make the minimum number of payments after leaving school. Primary borrowers must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or resident alien with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. Resident aliens must apply with a co-signer who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The co-signer (if applicable) must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a valid U.S. Social Security Number residing in the United States. For applicants who have not attained the age of majority in their state of residence, a co-signer will be required. Citizens Bank reserves the right to modify eligibility criteria at anytime. Interest rate ranges subject to change. Education Refinance Loans are subject to credit qualification, completion of a loan application/consumer credit agreement, verification of application information, certification of borrower’s student loan amount(s) and highest degree earned.
  4. Loyalty Discount Disclosure: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower or their co-signer (if applicable) has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower and their co-signer (if applicable) have submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, or other student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, and VT and some products may have an associated cost. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate disclosed in the Loan Approval Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  5. Automatic Payment Discount Disclosure: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their student loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. Discount is not available when payments are not due, such as during forbearance. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account three or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.
  6. Co-signer Release: Borrowers may apply for co-signer release after making 36 consecutive on-time payments of principal and interest. For the purpose of the application for co-signer release, on-time payments are defined as payments received within 15 days of the due date. Interest only payments do not qualify. The borrower must meet certain credit and eligibility guidelines when applying for the co-signer release. Borrowers must complete an application for release and provide income verification documents as part of the review. Borrowers who use deferment or forbearance will need to make 36 consecutive on-time payments after reentering repayment to qualify for release. The borrower applying for co-signer release must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. If an application for co-signer release is denied, the borrower may not reapply for co-signer release until at least one year from the date the application for co-signer release was received. Terms and conditions apply.
  7. Average savings based on 18,113 actual customers who refinanced their federal and private student loans through our Education Refinance Loan between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017. The calculation is derived by averaging the monthly savings of Education Refinance Loan customers whose payments decreased after refinancing, which is calculated by taking the monthly student loan payments prior to refinancing minus the monthly student loan payments after refinancing. The borrower’s savings might vary based on the interest rates, balances and remaining repayment term of the loans they are seeking to refinance. The borrower’s overall repayment amount may be higher than the loans they are refinancing even if their monthly payments are lower.
2.57% – 5.87%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Earnest
2.80% – 6.38%1Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Laurel Road
2.48% – 7.52%2Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit SoFi
2.47% – 7.99%Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Lendkey
2.57% – 6.65%3Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit CommonBond
2.72% – 8.17%4Undergrad
& Graduate
Visit Citizens
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.