What You Need To Know About The National Student Loan Data System

Money with text: what you need to know about the National Student Loan DatabaseThe National Student Loan Data System (or NSLDS) is a centralized database for student aid. Managed by the U.S. Department of Education, the NSLDS maintains details of all your federal student loan borrowing and repayment activity. This information is collated from the various organizations that administer and service federal student loans.

Why You May Want To Use the NSLDS

Most students borrow loans but have difficulty keeping track of how much they’ve borrowed or how much interest has been accruing. If you’ve followed this trend, by the time you graduate and it’s time to start making your payments, you would have forgotten all the details.

It’s impossible to make a solid financial plan for your repayments or to avoid defaulting on your loan if you don’t know the extent of your debt. You need to know how much you owe, how much interest has accrued, and how much you have to repay every month.

You could go through all of your receipts and agreements that you’ve signed to extract the important details, but this could take you a while. An easier way to get all of the information you need is by checking the National Student Loan Data System.

You’ll find the details of all your federal student loans collected here in one place. The Department of Education collects all that information. The NSLDS receives details about your most recent loan activity within 30 days, so the information you see in the system is up to date within 30 days.

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Information You Can Find At the NSLDS

The NSLDS contains all records of your active federal student loans, as well as the federal student loans you’ve already paid off or consolidated.

This is the information you will find when you access the NSLDS database:

  • The total amount of your Title IV loans and grants
  • The types of federal loans you’ve taken—direct, consolidated, subsidized, or unsubsidized
  • The date each loan was approved
  • The disbursement history of each loan
  • The type of interest rate on each loan—fixed or variable
  • The outstanding principal of each loan
  • The outstanding interest amount on each loan
  • The repayment start date for each loan
  • The status of each loan—whether it is paid in full, still in repayment, or in default
  • Name and contact information of the loan servicer assigned to your loan

Information You Won’t Find At The NSLDS

Because there are so many variables involved with each loan, it’s not always possible for the NSLDS to have every little detail.

Information related to your federal student loans that you won’t find at the National Student Loan Data System include:

  • The repayment plan you’ve chosen—standard, extended, or one of the income-based
  • Your monthly payment amounts for each loan—this would depend on the amount you’ve borrowed and the repayment plan you’ve chosen
  • Federal loans your parents or guardians may have taken on your behalf

You can get all the details of your repayment plans and monthly payments by contacting the federal loan servicer assigned to administer your loan. You will find this information in the NSLDS database.

The National Student Loan Data System does not provide any details of your private student loans as this is a federal system. To get information about your private student loans, you will have to contact the private lender that you borrowed from.

How to Access the National Student Loan Data System

You will need a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) to access the NSLDS. If you’ve taken out a federal student loan you already have an FSA ID. This would have been generated when you filled the FAFSA, which is mandatory for receiving any type of federal aid. All you need to do is go to the Federal Student Aid website and log in using your FSA ID to access your federal student loan details.

To see more details of each loan, click the number to the left of that specific loan. This will give you more details of that loan, from the type of loan and the disbursement history to the outstanding principal and interest amounts, the payment start dates, the status of the loan, and the loan servicer assigned to it.

How To Use the National Student Loan Data System

When it comes to student loans, information is power. Having the details of your loans readily available for you not only saves you time but also acts as a very useful first stop when you are trying to figure out your finances after graduation. It helps you determine how much you owe, how much you need to pay back every month, and when you will finally be debt-free.

Use this big-picture view of your loans to help you map out a financial plan that works for you. Taking into account your income and your outgoings.  

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