The question of “federal or private” is an important one to answer because different solutions apply based on the type of loan you’ve got.
Federal student loans are controlled by various federal laws, and programs exist to help you manage those loans.
Private student loans, on the other hand, carry with them no federally-mandated programs. There are state and federal collection laws at play, but dealing with them is a far more complex situation.
Federal Or Private? Process Of Elimination.
The first step to figuring out whether your student loan is a private loan is to see whether it is a federal loan. In doing so, you can eliminate those loans that are issued or guaranteed by the federal government.
If something isn’t issued or guaranteed by the federal government then it is more often than not a private loan.
To get a list of your federal student loans, go to the National Student Loan Data Services website maintained by the U.S. Department of Education.
99% of all federal student loans are listed on the National Student Loan Data Services website. If a particular student loan is not listed there, it is most likely a private student loan.
Is There A Cosignor?
The other way to tell if a student loan is federal or private is whether there’s a co-signer involved.
Loans with cosigners are likely private student loans because most federal loans are not credit-based. Therefore, most federal student loans do not call for a cosigner.
The only exception is in the case of PLUS loans, which may call for a cosigner.
Talk to the student loan servicer, lender or debt collector. They have to tell you the truth as to whether it is a private or a federal loan.
Take a look at your credit report and student loan billing statements. Stafford, PLUS, Perkins, and Direct Loans are federal loans.
Any other kind of loan is likely a private loan.
A Little Sleuthing Goes A Long Way.
Once you do the footwork, you’ll have a better idea of the solutions. If you’re a borrower looking for help, a student loan lawyer in your area is going to be in a better position once they have this information. And if you’re a lawyer, you know you can’t get to work on an answer unless you’ve got this at the ready.
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