08 Jul Five Quick Steps to Navigating the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS)
By Jessie Barth, Inceptia Marketing
The world of financial aid is broad and complex. From policies that span federal requirements to internal guidelines and everything in between, financial aid professionals are challenged to provide all of this information to students in a way that makes sense and engages them in managing their educational finances. Easier said than done, right?
Luckily, there are tools like the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) that empower students to manage their federal loan borrowing as they progress through school. To help you guide your students towards utilizing this site we thought this quick overview on the basics of NSLDS may be a helpful resource for you to share with students.
1. Visit www.nslds.ed.gov and click on the “Financial Aid Review” box on the front page menu to proceed.
2. Click “accept” on the next two pages. These pages simply provide details regarding privacy rights and the NSLDS’s security measures, as students will be entering sensitive information – like their social security number – into the system. NSLDS wants to assure you their website has a safe and secure online setup.
3. Student borrowers may log in to the system by entering their social security number (SSN), the first two letters of their last name, their birthdate, and the same federal PIN used in order to sign up for FAFSA. Click “submit” to enter.
Please note – many student borrowers may not remember their assigned PIN, but don’t fret. It is easy for them to recover their pin by visiting www.pin.ed.gov. By simply clicking on “request a duplicate PIN,” entering ID information and answering a quick security question, they can gain immediate access to their PIN.
4. Student borrowers can now view their profile, including all federal loans and grants in their name. Something important to note: this summary isn’t all inclusive. If a student also has private loans, or if their parents have outstanding parent PLUS loans, these will not be listed on NSLDS, so borrowers will need to tally these debts separately.
Under the profile page, simply click on the number icon to the left of each loan to view the details associated with each loan (see below for more info). Keep in mind that each loan may have a different servicer, so you should advise borrowers to familiarize themselves with each of their loans’ specific details.
5. Once the number icon to the left is clicked, borrowers can view details like which type of loan it is, the current status (i.e. in grace period, in repayment, loan originated, etc.), the principal amount of the loan, and any interest that has accumulated.
Details on the “current servicer” of each loan are also available. This is notable because student borrowers are able to reach out to this contact for any questions regarding that particular loan and to discuss repayment options. Many student borrowers aren’t keenly aware that their loan servicers are often willing to proactively work with them to provide a multitude of repayment options to help prevent default.
Paying off student loan debt can feel like a long and complicated process for the students you advise. So give them all the goods! By guiding students towards useful online tools like NSLDS, it is easier than ever for them to keep tabs on the details of their loans so they may repay their debts successfully. They can feel more confident about their loan status with just a few quick clicks. Be sure you advise them to log on today to get started!