Before we dive into your possible options, you first need to determine if you have actually defaulted on your loans or if you are just behind on payments (yes, there is a difference—for a little while at least).
How To KNOW Your Loans Are In Default
Log Into StudentAid.Gov. ALL student loan borrowers have an account on this site and can access it with their FSA ID (it’s created for you when you get a loan). If you have never logged in or don’t remember your FSA ID, there are links to recover your login and password. Once logged in, you’ll be able to see all of your federal student loans—and what their status is—and who your loan servicer is. If it is labeled as “defaulted”, then you’ll know for sure.
Pull your full credit report. You can do this once a year at no cost and is beneficial to do anyways to stay on track of your score and accuracy of the reporting. All of your federal and private student loans will be listed on your full credit report (along with who your loan servicer is)—but these aren’t necessarily real-time indicators because it can take up to 30 days for credit agencies to send an update to the credit reporting agencies. So, if this doesn’t show your loans as defaulted, it is possible they could be but haven’t reflected yet in your credit as such.
Contact your loan servicer. If you aren’t sure who this is, you can check the StudentAid.Gov site or your credit report for loan servicer information. You could also look through old mail or bills for indications of your loan servicer. While contacting them may seem intimidating since you are late (possibly to the point of defaulting) it is one of the best ways to verify beyond a doubt if your loans have reached defaulted status.