A grouping of one or more Direct loans distributed by the U.S. Department of Education. Borrowers can have one or more accounts. Each account has a unique number assigned to identify it. The format of an account number is your Social Security Number (SSN) plus a one-digit identifier added to the end (e.g. 123-45-6789-1), if you receive a notice that affects all of your possible accounts, the account number on the notice may be abbreviated to the SSN only.