Student Loan Servicers: Who They Are and What They Do

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Stanley tate

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A student loan servicer is a company that processes your payments over the life of the loan, helps you enroll in a repayment plan, reviews your eligibility for loan forgiveness and discharge programs, and answers any questions that come up. The US Department of Education typically doesn’t let borrowers choose their loan servicer. It assigns you to a servicer when your loan is first disbursed.

Let’s learn how federal student loan servicers work and what you need to know about them.

What is a student loan servicer?

A federal student loan servicer is a company the Department of Education hired to handle the billing and other services for your federal student loans. Your loan servicer’s job is to provide you details about your student loans, such as the loan balance and payment history, and help you stay in good standing. Unfortunately, loan servicers are privately owned businesses, which means they may not always offer the best choices for you. Before you call your servicer for help, it’s worth it to take time to understand your repayment options.

Next Generation FSA Platform

The Department of Education has been working on a project to create a single phone number, email, and mailing address for communications between the loan servicers and borrowers. The goal is to ensure that you get consistent messages about your loans, no matter which servicer was assigned to your account. The Department refers to this effort as NextGen Federal Student Aid (Next Generation FSA).

Five servicers were selected to be a part of this new platform:

  • Edfinancial Services, LLC.
  • F.H. Cann & Associates, LLC.
  • Maximus Federal Services, Inc.
  • Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)
  • Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corp

The NextGen platform has not yet fully launched. However, a handful of changes have made their way to studentaid.gov.

Who is the new federal student loan servicer? The Department of Education has begun moving student loan borrowers’ accounts from FedLoan and GSMR to Nelnet and Great Lakes. Navient has already started to send its Department-held accounts to Maximus.

What student loan servicers do

Student loan servicers handle billing, customer support, repayment plans, and other services for federal student loan debt, including:

  • Tracking your loans while borrowers are in school
  • Collecting monthly student loan payments
  • Processing requests to pause payments using deferment or forbearance and to change repayment plans
  • Helping you understand your student loan repayment options
  • Setting up autopay using bank account routing and account number (doing this gives you a 0.25% interest rate reduction)
  • Processing applications for cancellation, discharge, and loan forgiveness programs
  • Maintaining loan records and answering questions about student loan bills
  • Providing customer service support to borrowers
  • Issuing From 1098-E tax forms to deduct student loan interest on tax returns

Note: Applying for a student loan forgiveness program could mean getting a new servicer. For example, certifying your employment for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program will cause your loans to be assigned to FedLoan Servicing.

How to find your federal student loan servicer

You can find your loan servicer by logging into My Federal Student Aid. You’ll need an FSA ID to sign in. Once logged in, you’ll not only be able to see which companies are servicing your loans but also:

  • review the financial aid (grants and loans) you received
  • estimate your monthly payment using the Loan Simulator tool
  • apply for a Direct Loan Consolidation
  • ​determine whether you qualify for the PSLF program

While all servicers do the same things, you may find yourself wanting to work with another company. Thankfully, the Department of Education allows you to change loan servicers when you apply for loan consolidation and certify employment for the PSLF Program.

Loan servicers for private student loans

Private student loans don’t appear on the Federal Student Aid website. You’ll need to contact the lender to find out if it is servicing the loans or if it hired a third-party loan servicer.

Another way to find out who has your private student loans is to check your credit report. The servicer should be listed next to the loan, along with contact information.

What to expect if you get a new servicer

When federal student loans are transferred, you will receive a notice from your current student loan servicer and the Department of Education letting you know your loans will be moving to a new servicer. You will also get a welcome letter from that new company.

Your repayment plan, monthly payment amount, interest rate, and the loan balance will stay the same. However, you will see a different servicer on your credit reports.

How to complain about your student loan servicer

It’s not uncommon to have problems with your loan servicer. The federal student loan program is complex, and there are a lot of student loan borrowers. Your first thought may be to hire a student loan lawyer to sue. But that’s usually not your best option.

Instead, if you run into a problem with your servicer, file a complaint with its highest customer service unit (e.g., customer advocacy or ombudsman). Maintain records of conversations with your servicer along with letters, emails, and billing statements. If you’re unable to fix the problem with your servicer, you can use that information to file a complaint with:

List of student loan servicers

Learn more about each of the 10 federal student loan servicers for Department of Education held loans, including some basic information for all of them. e.g., what they can do and how to contact them.

Note: Borrowers with FFEL, Perkins, and HEAL loans may have other loan servicers not listed below (e.g., American Education Services (AES). Check studentaid.gov or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-433-3243 to find your servicer.

FedLoan Servicing

  • FedLoan Servicing review
  • FedLoan website
  • Phone: 800-699-2908 | International: 717-720-1985
  • Fax: 717-720-1628
  • General correspondence address: FedLoan Servicing, P.O. Box 69184, Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Note: In the summer of 2021, FedLoan, through its parent company PHEAA, notified the Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid it would not renew its contract. The announcement will result in over 8 million borrowers moving to a different company.

Navient

  • Navient review
  • Navient website
  • Phone: 800-722-1300
  • Fax: 866-266-0178
  • General correspondence address: Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing, P.O. Box 9635, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9635

Note: In the fall of 2021, Navient announced it would not renew its contract to service Department of Education held federal student loans and that it would transfer those borrowers to Maximus. The Department has approved this move.

Nelnet

  • Nelnet review
  • Nelnet website
  • Phone: 888-486-4722
  • Fax: 877-402-5816
  • General correspondence address: Nelnet, P.O. Box 82561, Lincoln, NE 68501-2561

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

  • Great Lakes review
  • Great Lakes website
  • Phone: 800-236-4300
  • Fax: 800-375-5288
  • General correspondence address: Great Lakes, PO Box 7860, Madison, WI 53707-7860

MOHELA

  • MOHELA review
  • MOHELA website
  • Phone: 888-866-4352
  • Fax: 866-222-7060
  • General correspondence address: Great Lakes, PO Box 7860, Madison, WI 53707-7860

Granite State Management

  • Granite State Management review
  • Granite State Management website
  • Phone: 888-556-0022
  • Fax: 603-227-5415
  • General correspondence address: Granite State Management & Resources, P.O. Box 3420, Concord, NH 03302-3420

Note: GSMR announced it would not renew its contract with the Department of Education when it ends in 2021. Borrowers will have their loans moved to a new servicer in the coming months.

HESC/EdFinancial

  • HESC/EdFinancial review
  • HESC/EdFinancial website
  • Phone: Direct Loans - 855-337-6884 | FFEL Loans - 800-337-6884
  • Fax: Direct Loans - 800-887-6130 | FFEL Loans - 800-887-5936
  • General correspondence address: Direct Loans - EdFinancial Services
  • P.O. Box 36008, Knoxville, TN 37930-6008 | FFEL Loans - EdFinancial Services, P.O.Box 36014, Knoxville, TN 37930-6014

Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) Servicing

ECSI

  • ECSI review
  • ECSI website
  • Phone: 866-313-3797

Default Resolution Group

Note: The Default Resolution Group handles collections for Department of Education-held loans that have defaulted. Your loans may stay with DRG or be sent to a private debt collection agency.

Ready to deal with student loans fast?

If you want help choosing the right repayment plan, checking your eligibility for loan forgiveness, or deciding how to pay off your student loans fast, you might benefit from speaking with an attorney. Schedule a free 10-minute call with me to figure out if I can help you using my years of legal experience.

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I'm a student loan lawyer that helps people like you with their federal and private student loans wherever they live.

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