How Do I View My Federal Student Loans?

By Carolyn Desalu · October 18, 2023 · 5 minute read

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How Do I View My Federal Student Loans?

Whether you’re a new grad who wants to get a grip on how much you owe and set up a payment plan or a working professional who wants to find out how much you’ve paid off of your total balance, keeping tabs on your student loan numbers is an important part of financial wellbeing. But for something that is so important, it can be surprisingly confusing to locate all your student loan information.

Student loan holders can view their federal student loans via the Federal Student Aid website (FSA), which is run by the Office of the U.S. Department of Education. It offers a convenient option for getting a comprehensive picture of all federal loans.

The FSA website can show you information on your federal student loans like:

•  The number and types of loans you have

•  The initial amount of your loans

•  Your current loan balances

•  The interest rates on your loans

•  If any of your loans are in default

•  The name of your loan service provider and their contact information

Using the Federal Student Aid website

In order to see your loan information on FSA, borrowers will need to create a new account; current registrants can log in with their email, phone number, or FSA ID username and password. In addition to student loans, the site also has valuable resources including repayment plans and loan counseling.

💡 Quick Tip: Get flexible terms and competitive rates when you refinance your student loan with SoFi.

Where Do I Pay My Student Loans?

Even though you can obtain all the information about your student loans through the FSA website, that is not actually where you pay your student loans. Once you’re logged in, borrowers should be able to see the name and contact information for their student loan service provider. The student loan service provider is the entity charged with collecting loan payments.

Once you know who your student loan servicer is, you should be able to set up an online account directly with the loan servicer. Some student loan servicers also offer the option to set up automatic bill pay.

If you’d rather go old school, don’t worry, your student loan servicer’s website should also have information about making payments in other ways, like check or bank transfer.

Looking to save money on your
monthly student loan payments?
See how refinancing could help.

How Do I Pay My Student Loans?

Once you know how to view your federal student loans, you may still be wondering how exactly to pay them off. Viewing your federal loans is just the first step; next, you need to strategize your student loan repayment. One of the first things you may want to do is consider your different repayment plan options. As a note, you can use our student loan calculator to get estimates of what your monthly payments could look like under the various plans.

The federal government offers a handful of options when it comes to federal student loan repayment. These repayment plans are designed for people with different types of financial situations and priorities, from those who want a straightforward way to pay off their loans in a 10-year period to those looking for income-driven repayment plans.
Here’s a quick rundown of the repayment options offered for federal student loans:

•   The Standard Repayment plan is the default loan repayment plan for federal student loans. Borrowers pay a fixed amount every month within 10 years in order to pay off their loan(s).

•   The Extended Repayment is similar to the Standard Repayment plan but instead of making payments over 10 years, the payments are extended up to 25 years.

•   The Graduated Repayment Plan also offers a 10-year repayment option. Under this plan, monthly loan payments start at a lower amount and are then increased every two years for up to 30 years.

There are also four income-driven repayment plans–— Pay As You Earn (PAYE), Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE), Income-Based Repayment (IBR), and Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR). Under these plans, monthly payments are determined as a percentage of the borrower’s monthly income. Depending on the plan, borrowers have up to 25 years to repay their loans.

If you’re just starting to pay back your student loans after graduation, you’ll likely be automatically assigned to the Standard Repayment plan. You can change the repayment plan you are enrolled in at any time.

The federal government may also have options for you to consolidate your student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, which would allow you to group all your loans together into a single loan from the government, with an interest rate that’s the weighted average of all your loans’ interest rates, rounded up to the nearest eighth of a percent.

In addition to the repayment plans offered by the federal government, you might also consider refinancing your student loans with a private company. Loan refinancing pays off your current federal and private student loans with a new loan from a private lender.

The private lender will review factors like your credit history and income potential to determine your new terms. For some borrowers, student loan refinancing may result in a lower interest rate, lower monthly payments, or even a shorter repayment term—which could mean you spend less money in interest over the life of the loan. Conversely, if you refinance with an extended term, you may pay more interest over the life of the loan.

Looking to lower your monthly student loan payment? Refinancing may be one way to do it — by extending your loan term, getting a lower interest rate than what you currently have, or both. (Please note that refinancing federal loans makes them ineligible for federal forgiveness and protections. Also, lengthening your loan term may mean paying more in interest over the life of the loan.) SoFi student loan refinancing offers flexible terms that fit your budget.

With SoFi, refinancing is fast, easy, and all online. We offer competitive fixed and variable rates.

SoFi Student Loan Refinance
If you are a federal student loan borrower, you should consider all of your repayment opportunities including the opportunity to refinance your student loan debt at a lower APR or to extend your term to achieve a lower monthly payment. Please note that once you refinance federal student loans you will no longer be eligible for current or future flexible payment options available to federal loan borrowers, including but not limited to income-based repayment plans or extended repayment plans.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


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