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A student loan servicer is the company you will send your student loan payments to, and is where you will ask all questions about your loan. Your student lender is the bank or financial institution that issues your student loans (federal loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education), and the student loan manager handles billing, customer service, and other tasks. management for your student loans.
This guide will help you understand who your student loan manager is, how to find your loan manager, what to do once you find your loan manager, and why you might have more than one student loan manager.
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Who is my student loan agent?
Your loan officer is the third-party company or organization that issues your monthly bill, tracks your payments, and manages your student loan account. You do not choose your repairer; the lender assigns one to your account. If you have a federal student loan, the Department of Education will assign a student loan manager to your loan.
It’s important to know who your student loan officer is because they’ll be the ones you’ll go to for help, including postponing a loan payment, changing your repayment plan, and other loan issues.
The process of identifying your loan officer, which we’ll cover below, is different depending on whether you have a federal student loan or a private student loan.
What do student loan managers do?
Student loan managers perform many different functions, including:
- Submit your student loan invoices and track payments — After graduating and student loan repayment term begins, you will begin working with your loan manager to pay off your loan debt.
- Processing your requests for adjournment or abstention — If you are experiencing financial hardship and have federal student loans, you can request a temporary deferral or loan forbearance. You can also apply for forbearance with some private loan servicers, although the time frame is usually shorter.
- Adapt your additional payments — If you’re paying more than your monthly student loan bill, you can tell your loan officer how to apply the extra money. For example, if you have multiple student loans, you can ask the manager to apply the extra funds to your loan with the highest interest rate instead of spreading the money equally across all of your loans.
- Offer repayment and refinancing options — If you have federal student loans, your loan manager can help you determine if you qualify for income-based repayment plans. If your loans are taken out through a private lender, your manager may be able to reduce your student loan repayments by refinancing your loan into a new loan with a lower interest rate or a longer repayment period.
- Refinance your student loans — You cannot transfer private student loans to the federal government. But you can refinance federal and private student loans with a private lender. Keep in mind that if you refinance federal loans into a private loan, you will lose federal benefits, such as civil service loan forgiveness and access to income-tested repayment plans.
- Confirm your eligibility for federal student loan forgiveness programs — Eligibility for partial or full student loan forgiveness programs depends on your income, occupation, and various other factors. Check with your federal student loan officer to determine your eligibility.
How Do I Find My Federal Student Loan Officer?
If your student loans go through the federal government, you can quickly identify your loan officer by logging into your Federal Student Aid account with your FSA ID. Your account dashboard contains the name of your student loan manager and other valuable information about your account, including the types of student loans you have, loan balances, and accrued interest on those loans.
Another method to find your federal student loan service is to call 1-800-433-3243 or TTY 1-800-730-8913 for the deaf or hard of hearing.
Federal Student Loan Officers
The student loan servicers for US Department of Education (ED) loans are:
- Aidvantage (formerly Navient) — 1-800-722-1300
- ECSI — 1-866-313-3797
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) — 1-800-699-2908
- Granite State Management and Resources (GSM&R) — 1-800-719-0708
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.— 1-800-236-4300
- HESC/Edfinancier — 1-855-337-6884
- MOHELA — 1-888-866-4352
- Nelnet— 1-888-486-4722
- OSLA interview — 1-866-264-9762
- Default Resolution Group (only for federal student loans in default) — 1-800-621-3115 or TTY 1-877-825-9923 for the deaf or hard of hearing
Changes underway for federal student loan servicers
You may have heard rumors in the news about the Federal Student Loans Service over the past few months. In October 2021, the Ministry of Education extended the service contracts of six loan officers until December 2023, while proclaiming that these companies will be held to higher standards in the future. The six companies with new federal contracts are Great Lakes, HESC/Edfinancial, MOHELA, Navient, Nelnet and OSLA Servicing.
For its part, Navient announced that it is now transferring its student loan portfolio – the 5.6 million federal student loan accounts – to a company called Maximus. Maximus applied for and was awarded a contract to service federal student loans under its service division, Aidvantage. As of December 2021, Navient no longer handles student loans.
Granite State (GSM&R) also transferred its student loan portfolio to Edfinancial in December 2021. And FedLoan Servicing, which handles all PSLF applications, will continue to work with borrowers until its contract expires. Meanwhile, FedLoan Servicing is currently transferring loan accounts to Aidvantage (formerly Navient), Edfinancial, MOHELA and Nelnet.
If your the student loans department closesthere are things you can do to prepare for the changes.
Pay particular attention to communications regarding your transfer. Once your student loan account is transferred, you should receive notifications from the Department of Education and your new and old managers, informing you of the change and the next steps.
Save or print important checking account information, such as your payment history and loan balances. Once the transfer is complete, check your records to make sure your essential loan details are correct. At this point, you can direct your loan payments to the new servicing agent.
How do I find my private student loan manager?
To find your private student loan manager, log into your loan accounts or view your most recent student loan statement.
You can also request a credit report, which should list your private lenders and their contact details. You can request free copies of your credit reports each year from the three major credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have information about your lenders, contact them to find out who is handling your student loans.
With Credible, you can compare student loan refinance rates from various lenders without affecting your credit.
What should I do once I find my student loan agent?
Once you find your student loan agent, you can create an online account and link your bank account so you can make payments directly from your bank account. You can set up payment alerts or, even better, get a rate reduction when you agree to make automatic payments.
If you have federal student loans, you can contact your student loan officer if you wish to request a deferral, forbearance, or verify your eligibility for loan forgiveness. Your student loan manager can also help you consolidate multiple federal student loans into one direct consolidation loan, which will give you one monthly payment to track.
You can also contact your loan manager if you want to refinance your federal loans, private loans, or a combination of both into a new private loan. But keep in mind that it may not be wise to refinance federal student loans through a private lender, as this will cause you to lose access to federal benefits, such as retirement plans. income-based reimbursement and student loan forgiveness programs.
Why might I have multiple student loan managers?
If you have multiple student loans, chances are you have multiple student loan managers. For example, if you have two or more federal student loans, the Department of Education may assign more than one loan officer to manage your accounts.
Likewise, if you have private student loans from different lenders, you can have a different manager for each loan. When dealing with multiple student loan servicers, you may want to consider automating payments to ensure you don’t miss any payments.
Can I change student loan officers?
You cannot change student loan officers because you are unhappy with your current loan officer. But you might get a new loan manager when you refinance, consolidate, or make other changes to your student loans.
If you are consolidating multiple federal student loans into one loan, you can select the loan servicing company you want to work with during your application. Similarly, if you are an employee of a public entity and enroll in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, FedLoan Servicing will become your servicing agent until their contract expires.
Also, when you refinance your student loans with a private lender, you will work with a new lender and servicer.
Remember that no matter who your loan servicer is, they’re a private company whose options aren’t always right for you. Look out for your own interests by understanding the terms of your loans and always ask questions if you are unsure of your loan service options.
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