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How the Type of Loan Could Affect Your Case
How to Find Out Which Type of Student Loan You Have
Are you struggling with student loan debt or being sued by lenders or student loan collectors? If so, you aren’t alone. Most bachelor’s degree recipients borrow from the federal Stafford Loan program or private lenders to complete their schooling. If you’re not sure what kind of student loans you have, you can use the National Student Loan Data System to retrieve information about any federal loans you have taken out.
Federal Student Loans
Federal student loans are offered by various lenders through the U.S. Department of Education and can include:
- Stafford loans
- Perkins loans
- PLUS loans
- HEAL loans
They can be subsidized (the government pays the interest that accrues while the student attends school) or unsubsidized. The largest lender for these loans is the federal government itself, through the Federal Direct Loan Program (FDLP).
The Department of Education also coordinates loans from private lenders through the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, which guarantees the loans (i.e. paying off the lender when a borrower defaults on a loan).
Federal loans are the safest type of student loan, as the government provides a variety of programs to help borrowers who are delinquent or in default, and it is required by law to notify the borrower about these programs.
Private Student Loans
Private loans, on the other hand, are made by lenders without the participation of the Department of Education. As such, they are not subject to the same borrower-friendly regulations as federal loans (e.g. fixed interest rates, income-driven repayment plans, etc.).
Private student loans may come from banks, schools, credit unions, and other private organizations, such as the following:
- Sallie Mae
- National Collegiate Student Loan Trust
- Wells Fargo Bank
- Towd Point
- College Ave
These should not be confused with FFEL loans, which are made by private lenders but are coordinated and guaranteed by the federal government. Private loans are often made by the same financial institutions that make FFEL loans, but they are not subject to the same regulations as federal loans, and lenders are not required to provide the same repayment options to borrowers who are delinquent or in default.
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