It can be confusing trying to determine if your student loan is a private student loan or a federal student loan. You can always ask the student loan company to clarify which type of student loan you have.
The difference between the two types of student loans is immense. Federal student loans come with many more options for repayment. Additionally, the companies who collect on federal student loans tend to have contracts with the United States Department of Education. These debt collectors are required to follow certain procedures. They also offer various options to borrowers under the aegis of the Department of Education.
Private student loans can be collected in almost any manner as any other private debt. They do not have the options and protections of federal student loans.