How to read your federal student loan statement

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A federal student loan statement provides a summary of loan details, including the last payment received, the current amount owed, and where to send the payment. If you took out federal student loans to pay for your college education, it’s important to understand this statement to responsibly manage the repayment of that debt.

Typically, you will receive a monthly student loan statement from your loan officer approximately three weeks before each payment is due. Student loan servicers collect monthly loan payments and administer student loan accounts on behalf of the federal government.

[READ: Where Do Federal Student Loans Come From?]

If you have multiple federal student loans, you can have more than one manager and will receive separate student loan statements from each. You can find information about your federal student loan officers on StudentAid.gov.

Where to find your student loan statement

Unless you set up electronic statements, your first student loan statement will come to you in the mail from your student loan officer.

If you have loans that will be coming into repayment soon, you should create an account on your loan officer’s website and verify your address, especially if you recently graduated from college or moved.

If you didn’t receive your first statement in the mail or are unsure if you received it, you can log into your account on your student loan officer’s website and view it. You can also set up e-statements and sign up for automatic payment if these tools help you manage your monthly payments.

Avoid fraud

Whether you choose to view your statements online or continue to receive them by mail, it is important to identify your loan servicers and note their remittance addresses. This will help you spot fraud and avoid student loan scams.

Fraudulent debt relief companies often send statements that mimic the official documents you will receive from your loan officer and attempt to give the impression that they are affiliated with the Department of Education. You should always look for your provider’s logo, payment address and official Department of Education seal on any mail you receive.

[READ: How to Pay Off Multiple Student Loans.]

Remember that Federal Student Loans Services will never ask you for your username and password. And you should never pay for the help your loan officer gives you for free.

Key Details About Student Loan Statements

The statements provided by each student loan officer may look a little different, but they all include the same key details.

First, your statement provides a payment summary that includes your current payment amount and due date. The total monthly payment will be the same each month unless you change your repayment plan or make payments more than what’s due.

[Read: What to Know About Federal Student Loan Repayment Options.]

While your total monthly payment remains the same, how it’s applied to principal and interest will change over time. Your student loan repayment follows an amortization schedule, and you can check your student loan statement each month to see how your payment is being applied.

If you’re concerned about your ability to pay, your statement includes information on how to change your repayment plan and possibly lower your total monthly payment. Use the contact information provided on the statement to contact your student loan officer to learn more about your options.

The last key detail your statement provides is detailed loan information, such as your current balance, your starting balance, the interest rate for each loan, and the amount of interest you paid for each loan. This information will help you understand how you are paying down your debt over time.

You can use this information to consider changes like making payments beyond what’s due to pay off specific loans with higher interest rates or adjusting your monthly payment to pay off your loans faster.

If you have questions about your student loan statement, the best thing to do is call your loan officer. You can call your servicer directly or contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center, also known as FSAIC, at 800-433-3243.

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