how much do you owe? stragegies to paying off loans

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How Much Do I Owe in Student Loans? Where to Look for Student Loan Balances

In addition to keeping in touch with your college classmates and friends, you also need to keep track of your student loan balance. With the average college graduate owing up a record amount in student loans, you don’t want to miss a payment as the interest will accrue quickly. It pays to take a few minutes to find out how much you owe in student loans to each lender.

If you borrowed from several different lenders for your student loans, this process could be a little tricky. The best place to start is by gathering your original loan documents. If you didn’t keep these documents, you could also try these other options below.

It is rather easy to find your federal student loans balances. All you need to do is visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) that records all your federal loans, grants, and aid receipts.

It doesn’t matter who services your federal loan, you will find your balance, interest rate, and payment status here. To get started, you will need your FSA user id number. If you don’t have one, they are easy to obtain from the Department of Education.

If you have already started making federal student loan payments, the data can be delayed up to 120 days from the time you make a payment to when it is reported to the NSLDS. Don’t worry, if you overpay your total loan principal and interest balance, you will receive a refund for the overpayment amount. If you know who your loan servicer is, then you can use your login credentials (hopefully you didn’t forget!) directly with your servicer’s student loan portal to find your balance.

The process of checking your student loans can be challenging. This is because the original lender could have transferred it to a servicer before it even entered repayment status. When it comes to finding your private loan balances, check with your original lender or the loan servicer if you have that information.

You can contact the original lender by phone or accessing your online account. If your loans have been transferred to a servicer, they can tell you the name of the servicing company and their contact information. Once you create an online account with the servicer, you will be able to view your balance, interest rate, payment status, and schedule future payments.

When you have already received a piece of mail from your lender stating your loan has been transferred to a servicing company, go directly to the servicer. They are the ones that will collect your student loan payments and report them to the credit bureaus.

Another option to find your student loan balance is to view your credit report. Each lender or servicer should report your federal and private student loan activity to the main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) even if your loans are still in deferment status.

You can pull your credit report from each bureau for free once a year from certain websites. It is a good idea to look at your report from multiple different sources. In some cases, student loan lenders and servicers do not always report your loans to all three credit bureaus. If you only view one bureau report, there is a decent chance that a few of your loans will be overlooked.

One final place to inquire is your college financial aid office. Most offices record the name, dollar amount, and date of receipt for each student loan they receive. This is partially so they can keep records that you are paid in full for each semester and also to report borrowing statistics.

Your financial aid office won’t be able to tell you how much you currently owe based on accrued interest or any payments you might have made, but they can tell you how much the original check was written out for.

Not knowing how much you owe on your student loans can be overwhelming. By gathering this information as soon as possible, preferably before graduation, it will be one less thing to do after you move away and enter the workforce. The good thing is that even if you start the process of finding out how much you owe in student loans after graduation, most of the information can be easily accessed online or by making a phone call.

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If you know your current payment, the interest rate and the term remaining, you can calculate your outstanding loan balance. Use this calculator to determine the loan balance along with an amortization schedule.

How much student loan do i owe

While credit stimulates the economy, it does have to be used judiciously. Credit is not money. Derived from the Latin word for "trustworthiness," credit is based on faith that the borrower will repay the debt with real money. One should not use credit in place of money when there is little or no likelihood that payment in real money will be made—using credit without the intent or ability to pay is theft.

Today, credit has become a business in its own right. Credit is issued by banks, savings and loans, credit unions, public utilities, and even merchants. According to the Federal Reserve, there was more than $2.5 trillion of consumer debt outstanding by late 200&9mdash;this is more than double the amount outstanding in 1994. This represents hundreds of billions of dollars in interest earnings to lenders. This is why credit card companies aggressively compete to get you to use their credit cards and services. The marketing is so aggressive that consumers may lose sight of the fact that this is not free money and make excessive purchases to the point where they find themselves in financial difficulty.

How much student loan do i owe

Without credit, the global economic system would grind to a stop. Credit allows borrowers to immediately buy things they could not afford now. Most persons would not be able to purchase a house without credit. Most young adults do not have sufficient savings to afford the cost of even the most humble of homes. Yet, credit allows them to purchase a home that they can gradually pay off over time as their earnings increase. Without credit, many individuals would not be able to purchase an automobile. Credit also makes it convenient to make spontaneous purchases without the need to carry large sums of cash or checks.

Businesses rely upon credit to manage their cashflow. Manufacturers borrow money to buy raw materials. Merchants buy goods on credit from manufacturers. Consumers buy goods from merchants on credit. Without credit, the process would slow to a halt.

How much student loan do i owe

While credit is very important to the economy, its abuse is harmful. Credit is extended with the faith that borrowers will repay the debt. Goods and services are provided on credit with the expectation that they will be paid for with money in the future. Credit makes commerce more convenient. When credit is abused, everyone loses. Credit abuse increases the cost of credit to everyone.

One should never use credit to purchase things for which one will not be able to pay in the future. Many impulse purchases are made on credit with little thought given to how the debt will be repaid in the future. If one calculated the true cost of goods bought on credit, one would have second thoughts about making the purchase in the first place. Here is an example: a new television flat-screen HDTV model retails for $5,000. If purchased on a credit card with a 12% annual percentage rate (APR) compounded daily, and with minimum monthly payments of $166 paid over three years, it winds up costing over $5,980. Is it worth almost $1,000 more to have it now (furthermore, the retail price in 3 years will probably drop)? That is like going into a store that advertised "SALE--ADD 20% TO EVERY PURCHASE."

This information may help you analyze your financial needs. It is based on information and assumptions provided by you regarding your goals, expectations and financial situation. The calculations do not infer that the company assumes any fiduciary duties. The calculations provided should not be construed as financial, legal or tax advice. In addition, such information should not be relied upon as the only source of information. This information is supplied from sources we believe to be reliable but we cannot guarantee its accuracy. Hypothetical illustrations may provide historical or current performance information. Past performance does not guarantee nor indicate future results.