Where to Get Help with Student Loan Problems
The U.S. Department of Education’s FSA Ombudsman (1-877-557-2575) can help resolve conflicts involving federal student loans. The CFPB’s Private Student Loan Ombudsman (1-855-411-2372) can help resolve conflicts involving private student loans and provides a complaint form for private student loan problems. Individual lenders and guarantee agencies may have their own student loan ombudsmen, who can help cut through bureaucracy to solve problems.
Non-profit credit counselors can sometimes help you deal with your financial problems. You can find one at the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) or the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies (AICCCA).
You can check the status of your federal student loans by logging into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). You can also access this information through StudentLoans.gov. Both federal and private student loans are reported to the three major credit bureaus. You can obtain a free copy of your credit reports, which should list all of your student loans, at annualcreditreport.com.
If your student loans are already in default, the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-433-3243) and the U.S. Department of Education’s Default Resolution Group (1-800-621-3115, TDD/TTY 1-877-825-9923) may be able to help.
You can stop the harassing telephone calls and letters by sending a letter to the collection agency or guarantee agency that is trying to collect your loans. Learn how to do this at the FTC’s web site about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).
When financial aid and federal student loans aren't enough to cover all college costs, consider financing the gap with private student loans. Shop around to find the loans that best fit your needs.