MOHELA services federal and private student loans for the Education Department and other lenders like SoFi and Laurel Road. Find what type of loans you have and options to lower payments and forgive the balance by checking your online account.
MOHELA is a nonprofit company hired by the U.S. Department of Education to manage the accounts of federal student loan borrowers. It also services private student loans for SoFi and other lenders.
Ahead, learn repayment and forgiveness options for MOHELA student loans.
MOHELA, short for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, is a nonprofit company created by state lawmakers to collect payments for federal and private student loans. It is one of seven federal student loan servicers the Education Department hired to manage its loan portfolio.
The company’s responsibilities also include:
Helping you enroll in repayment plans.
Postponing payments with deferments and forbearances.
Tracking your progress towards income-driven repayment plan forgiveness.
MOHELA services Direct Loans, PLUS Loans, Stafford Loans, and Federal Family Education Loans (FFELP) owned by the Education Department. It also services CASHLoans and refinanced student loans for SoFi and Laurel Road for private lenders.
What MOHELA can help you do:
Review eligibility for loan forgiveness. Federal student loan borrowers have several opportunities to rid themselves of their debt, including the student loan forgiveness after 20 years. In 2022, MOHELA will become the designated servicer for borrowers enrolling in Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, according to a department update. Borrowers with FFEL Loans applying for the PSLF Waiver should consider choosing MOHELA as the servicer for the consolidation to minimize disruption.
Accept monthly payments. As your income changes, you can quickly switch repayment plans to pay off student loans or get a lower payment with an income-driven repayment plan. If all of your loans are Direct Loans, you can self-report your income when applying for IDR or completing your annual student loan recertification. This option to skip submitting your income information lasts until July 31, 2022. To use the self-report option, visit studentaid.gov/app/ibrInstructions.action. When you get to Step 2, select “I’ll report my own income information.”
Process account changes. If you need to stop making payments and IDR doesn’t help, MOHELA can apply a deferment or forbearance to your account. Interest will continue to build in most cases, leading to student loan interest capitalization. But the brief pause will help keep you out of default and in good standing.
Enroll in autopay. Allowing MOHELA to deduct student loan payments from your bank account with auto-debit makes sure you avoid late payments. Plus, it reduces your interest rate by 0.25%.
Register for online access. Setting up an online account lets you access your 10-digit account number and billing statements, make payments, and upload documents to modify your loan status.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness: clears 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 FFELP Loans, you will need to consolidate your loans to qualify for PSLF. If you do that before Oct. 31, 2022, you can get credit towards forgiveness for payments made while working full-time in public service using the department’s limited PSLF waiver.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness: allows teachers working in Title I schools to eliminate up to $18,500 of federal student loan debt after five years.
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.
Cosigner release. While technically not a forgiveness option, MOHELA lets cosigners off the hook for private student loans in some situations. The primary borrower can apply for a MOHELA SoFi cosigner release after making 24 consecutive on-time full principal and interest payments. CASHLoans have similar release requirements.
You can find your MOHELA student loan account number and interest rate on your billing statement and online at mohela.com. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number, full legal name, and birth date to create an online account. You’ll then have to choose a username and password.
MOHELA tax information is available for borrowers who paid $600 or more in student loan interest. It will mail you a 1098E on January 31st by US Postal Service. You can find the document on your online account by choosing “Tax Documents” under “My Account”.
The Education Department moves loans from one servicer to another from time to time based on contracts and performance. Following announcements from FedLoan and Navient that the companies were calling it quits on federal student loan servicing, the department is overhauling its servicing platform. The departures will cause more than 15 million borrowers to move to new servicers — a process that hasn’t in the past always gone smoothly.
Here are two things you can do to minimize errors with your account:
Download your payment history from your online account or ask your servicer to mail you a copy.
Update your contact information with your most recent address, phone number, and email address.
You’ll be notified before your loans are moved to or from MOHELA. Despite the changes, your student loan repayment options and forgiveness will remain the same with the new servicer. But the quality of customer service may be different.
If you’re dissatisfied with MOHELA’s performance, you can move your loans to a new servicer by consolidating at studentaid.gov.
Federal Student Aid Ombudsman: 877-557-2575 or by mail at U.S. Department of Education, FSA Ombudsman Group, P.O. Box 1843, Monticello, KY 42633
FSA Feedback Center: You can submit a complaint to the Feedback Center after you’ve worked with the Ombudsman group.
State consumer protection office: You can file a complaint with your state’s consumer protection division. That office is responsible for making sure you’re protected from fraud, deception, misrepresentations, and false promises.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: If all else fails, you can also submit a complaint to the CFPB. They are a third-party government agency that helps consumers solve issues with financial products, including student loans.