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Direct Loan Servicing Center - Direct Loan Servicing Center Guide - What are Direct Loans?, The Servicing Center

site federal grants information

Direct loans include many federally-funded student loans and grants in the US, including Pell grants, Academic Competitiveness grants, Stafford loans, and many more. If you have applied for any kind of federal student aid, you have applied for a direct loan.

The Servicing Center

The US federal government’s site for direct loan servicing can be found here. Though at times it can seem a little overwhelming, the site provides a wealth of information and tools for students who have taken out federal student loans. The servicing center is mostly intended for those students who have taken out loans, not grants. It gives these students tools to make online payments, consolidate loans, and receive entrance/exit counseling.

In order to use the servicing center, you will need a federal PIN number, which you probably created already if you filled out your FAFSA online. This will be used to log into you account.

Once in, you can enroll in direct payment plans, view all of your account balances, and change your personal information. But don’t let that be your only interaction with the site – you would be wise to look at their FAQ to find out all kinds of information about your loan. You can also get access to entrance/exit counseling sessions that will teach you what to expect in the future, what your loan entails, your rights and responsibilities, etc.

If you find yourself lost in financial jargon, access their glossary to quickly look up terms. You can also look at their “calculating interest” section to get a firm idea of how your interest rate will be calculated, and just what that means to you in terms of overall costs.

Going through all the information on the Direct Loan Servicing site may feel like cramming for an Accounting class sometimes, but it will be well worth your effort. (The last thing you want is an unpleasant surprise the month after you graduate!) Break it up into small study sessions, and come up with specific questions about your loan that you want answered. If you do this, you’ll find there is much less room for unpleasant surprises in a few years!

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