The CARES Act pauses payments and waives interest on federal student loans that are held by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) through September 30, 2020. How do you tell if your federal student loans are held by the U.S. Department of Education?

The Loan Servicer Name Does Not Always Identify ED-Held Loans

Distinguishing government-held student loans from student loans that are held by commercial lenders can be difficult. Some of the lenders that service loans in the Direct Loan program also service loans in the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) as well as private student loans. Some FFELP loans are owned by the U.S. Department of Education and some are not.

The U.S. Department of Education required some loan servicers to adopt different names for use when servicing federal student loans in the Direct Loan program. For example, AES/PHEAA operates under the name FedLoan Servicing when servicing loans in the Direct Loan program and under its own name when servicing private student loans. But, Navient and Nelnet operate under their own names, without special aliases in the Direct Loan program.

So, the name of the loan servicer does not always distinguish between loans held by the U.S. Department of Education and loans held by other lenders.

An Easy Way to Identify ED-HELD Loans

There is, however, a simple way to tell if a loan is held by the U.S. Department of Education.

To tell if a loan is owned by the U.S. Department of Education, follow these steps:

  1. Login to StudentAid.gov.
  2. Click on “view details”, then look for “Loan Breakdown” on the Aid Summary page to see a list of your federal student loans.
  3. If the servicer name begins with “DEPT OF ED”, the loan is owned by the U.S. Department of Education.