Maximus Federal Services, Inc & Aidvantage: What student loan borrowers need to know

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Maximus Federal Services, Inc. is a publicly-traded company that provides government services at the local, state, and federal levels. Among its many contracts with the federal government, Maximus handles the Debt Management and Collections System for federal student loans in default and is helping to develop the Department of Education’s Next Generation Financial Services Environment (NextGen). It has also recently agreed to take over the 5.6 million accounts Navient manages for the Department.

Here’s a closer look at Maximus Federal Services, Inc. and what you need to know if it becomes responsible for managing your federal student loans.

What is Maximus Federal Services, Inc.?

Founded in 1975, Maximus is a private, for-profit company that partners with government agencies of all levels to provide services to millions of people. The company has contract vehicles with 15 federal agencies, including:

  • The Department of Education - operates collection call centers for defaulted federal student loans and services loans in good standing.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services - provides a medical review of health care claims.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs - offers peer review services.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services - serves as a Qualified Independent Contractor (QIC), offering independent reviews of denied Medicare appeals.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - support a national hotline for COVID-19 vaccination assistance.

Maximus is headquartered in Reston, VA, and has offices in Falls Church, VA, and eight other countries.

Maximus and defaulted student loans

The Department of Education contracted Maximus Federal Services to be the loan servicer for defaulted federal student loans. Under this contract, Maximus manages the call center responsible for helping defaulted borrowers get out of default, Default Resolution Group.

Types of defaulted federal student loans serviced by Default Resolution Group:

  • Direct Subsidized Loans
  • Direct Unsubsidized Loans
  • Direct Parent PLUS Loans
  • Direct Graduate PLUS Loans
  • Direct Consolidation Loans

The DRG also services Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) and Perkins Loans owned by the Department of Education.

Maximus and the NextGen Platform

In 2017, the Department of Education announced a significant initiative called Next Generation Financial Services Environment, or NextGen. This change promises to modernize the student loan services platform from studentaid.gov and move repayment to one place for all federal student loan borrowers.

In June 2020, the Department announced that it signed contracts with five federal student loan servicers who will help bring the NextGen platform to reality:

Student loans won’t immediately be moved to these services. The Department announced it had extended the contracts for its current servicer through 2021/2022.

Maximus will service federal student loans as Aidvantage

On October 21, 2021, the U.S. Department of Education announced that 5.5 million Direct Loan borrowers currently serviced by Navient will have their accounts moved to Maximus Education, LLC, a subsidiary of Maximus.

Specifically, this winter, borrowers will be moved to the federal loan servicing unit of Maximus Education, LLC, Aidvantage.

Is Aidvantage owned by Navient? Navient does not own Aidvantage. Instead, Aidvantage is owned by Maximus Federal Services. In October of 2021, the Department of Education agreed to let Navient end its loan servicing contract with the federal government and send most of its federal student loan accounts to Aidvantage.

What Aidvantage/Maximus can help you with

As your student loan servicer, Aidvantage can help you:

  • Register for online access to your account. Once you have access, you can contact Aidvantage, access your monthly billing statements and pay bills.
  • Enroll in autopay. Aidvantage can deduct your payments automatically from your bank account. Signing up for autopay will reduce your interest rate by 0.25%.
  • Sign up for income-driven repayment. You can request income-driven repayment, which caps your student loan payments to a percentage of your discretionary income, by completing applying online on studentaid.gov. You’ll need to complete an annual recertification to remain in that plan each year.
  • Process deferment and forbearance requests. Aidvantage can help you temporarily stop making payments or reduce your payment amount if you qualify. This helps you stay in good standing and avoid default. But interest continues to build during any periods of deferment or forbearance.
  • Process monthly payments and extra payments. Aidvantage will track and collect your payments. You can make additional payments and instruct Aidvtange to apply the extra payments to your current balance.

Your servicer is there to help you. But Aidvtange is a private company. It may offer you choices that are best for the company, not you, the borrower.

How do I know if Aidvantage/Maximus is my servicer?

If you’re not sure who services your student loans, there are a few ways to find out. First, log in to studentaid.gov and check your account dashboard. Here you’ll find information about your federal student loans, including the name of your student loan servicer.

Another option to find who services your loans is to call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 800-4-FED-AID (800-433-3243).

Aidvantage Student Loan Forgiveness Programs

Do Aidvantage loans qualify for loan forgiveness? The federal student loans AES services may be eligible for the following student loan forgiveness programs:

  • Closed School Discharge: wipes out the balances for student loan borrowers who attended a school that closed while they were in attendance or shortly after they left.
  • Income-driven repayment: promises to discharge your remaining debt after making 20/25 years of payments under one of the IDR payment plans (e.g., the income-based repayment plan).
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness: forgives the balance owed on Direct Loans if you work full-time for a government or nonprofit entity and make 120 qualifying payments. If you have federal loans with AES, you will likely need to apply for student loan consolidation to qualify for PSLF. For a limited time, the U.S. Department of Education is giving borrowers credit for payments made before the consolidation.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: allows teachers working in Title I schools to eliminate up to $18,500 of federal student loan debt after 5 years.
  • Total and Permanent Disability: cancels your entire student loan debt if a medical doctor, or the SSA, VA determine that medical issues prevent you from working.

Need help with Aidvantage/Maximus? Let’s talk

If you want to go over your options, schedule a free 10-minute phone call with me. I’ve got years of experience helping people like you with their student loans.

Let’s talk. I can help you find a way to finally tackle your student loan debt for good.

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