An excellent resource for Federal Student Aid (FSA) loan borrowers is the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). Unfortunately, many students do not realize that this resource even exists. Indeed, I never logged into NSLDS until after I completed my master’s degree and I was ready to sign a mortgage. If you are borrowing or have borrowed FSA loans in the past, you should visit NSLDS occasionally to make sure all of your loan information is accurate.
NSLDS is an online database that houses all FSA information for all student loan borrowers. When you visit NSLDS, click the link that says Financial Aid Review. After accepting the terms and conditions, you login with your FSA ID and password. Once you enter into the system, you will be able to view all of your FSA information, including, but not limited to, the following information:
- All of your loan information.
This will include the loan amount of each individual loan, as well as your aggregate total. In addition, you can find out who your loan servicer is and all of their contact information.
- Any alerts that you should be aware of.
If you are closing in on your maximum loan eligibility, an alert will show up in NSLDS letting you know.
- Pell grant information.
If you have or are receiving the Pell Grant, that information will be available, including how much of your lifetime eligibility remains.
- Information on any other FSA that you may be receiving.
This includes the Teach Grant and PLUS loans. If a parent is taking out a PLUS loan for you, they will be able to view that information in their own account.
If you decide to take out FSA loans to aid you with your college expenses, you will have to complete entrance counseling. Entrance counseling explains how NSLDS can be used as a resource, but many students frankly do not take the time to read all the sections. If you are an FSA loan borrower, you should seriously considering visiting NSLDS every once in a while to make sure you understand your financial situation. This extra step may help you out in the long run.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS