Since payments have been suspended on federal student loans since March 2020, not knowing who is handling your loans isn’t as crazy as it sounds. This is especially the case as the US Department of Education has announced that it will change its loan servicer at some point in the future.
Plus, it’s not like you chose your loan agent based on their user reviews or their standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Your Federal Student Loans Officer is automatically assigned to you, so you really have no say in the matter.
Either way, you’re probably here because you need to know who’s handling your loans now. There are nine possible answers to this question. Currently, companies that service federal student loans include FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc., HESC/Edfinancial, MOHELA, Aidvantage, Nelnet, OSLA Servicing, ECSI, or Default Resolution Group.
If you need to know which of these companies handles your federal loans and what that actually means, read on to learn more.
Key points to remember
- Federal student loan payments have been suspended since March 2020 and interest rates have been set at 0%. Although this deferral period can be extended again, it is currently set to expire on August 31, 2022.
- At that point, borrowers with federal student loans will have to start making payments again.
- While the federal government supports federal student loans, it leases the services to third-party companies.
- If you want to prepare for making payments later this year, it’s a good idea to find out from your loan officer, how much you owe, and what your monthly payment will be on September 1, 2022.
Student Loans Service: What Does It Mean?
You might be wondering why a third-party company handles your student loans. Also, what does “maintenance” really mean in this context anyway?
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a loan agent is “a company we hire to handle billing and other services related to your federal student loan on our behalf, at no cost to you.”
In other words, government offices have made the decision to outsource the tedious work of loan processing to other companies.
Not only is this company responsible for sending out your monthly bill and accounting for all payments you make on your federal student loans, but they can also help you get on with your chosen repayment plan, whether you want to stick with the standard 10-year repayment or switch to an income-driven repayment plan.
How to find your student loan agent
There are two main ways to determine which company currently handles your federal student loans. These include:
- Visit your account dashboard on studentaid.gov and scroll down to the “My Loan Officers” section.
- Call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.
Either of these steps will reveal which company is currently assigned to service your federal student loans. Once you have this information, you can also contact your respective student loan service using the information in the table below.
|Federal Student Loan Service Corporations|
|FedLoan Service (PHEAA)||1-800-699-2908||myfedloan.org|
|Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc.||1-800-236-4300||mesgrandslacs.org|
|Default resolution group||1-800-621-3115
1-877-825-9923 (For the deaf or hard of hearing)
If you have federal student loans, such as Direct Subsidized Loans, Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Direct PLUS Loans, or Direct Consolidation Loan, one of the services we list above is responsible for sending you invoices and track your payments.
However, what if you have private student loans? In this case, the company you are borrowing from is likely your loan servicer, although you can verify this fact by looking at your monthly loan statements. You can also log into the online portal you use to oversee your private student loans to confirm which company sends you bills and keep track of how much you owe.
You’ve Found Your Loan Agent: Now What?
If you were trying to reach your federal student loan officer before payments resumed later this year, and found the information you needed, then there is nothing else you to have for do now.
However, there are steps you can take if you wish. For example, you can:
- Check your details: Confirm that your contact information is correct, including your current address, phone number, and email address. After all, this information allows your loan officer to contact you should anything happen to your loans in the future.
- Find payment plans: Review your current payment plan to see if it meets your goals and provides a monthly payment you can afford. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to afford your monthly payment, you might consider changing your payment plan.
- Check discounts: Sign up for autopay, which can help you get a discount on interest rates (usually 0.25%). You will need to submit your banking information to set this up.
- Consider refinancing: Student loan refinance companies often offer lower rates than federal student loans. Just be aware that refinancing with a private lender will make you ineligible for federal loan benefits, including income-based, deferment, and forbearance repayment plans.
How do I know who my student loan officer is?
The two main ways to find out who your federal student loan officer is is to either scroll to the “My Loan Officers” section in your studentaid.gov account dashboard or call the Center Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243. If you have a private student loan, the lender is probably also your servicing agent, but you can check your monthly loan statements or visit the corresponding online portal to confirm this.
Is Navient a Federal Student Loan Officer?
In 2014, private student lender Sallie Mae split into two entities, with its student loan service offshoot becoming Navient. Navient used to handle federal student loans as well as private loans; however, as of 2021, all federal Navient borrowers have successfully transitioned to Aidvantage.
Are Nelnet and FedLoan the same?
Although Nelnet and FedLoan are both student loan servicers, they are two separate entities. One of the main differences between the two is that the FedLoan is the official agent of the US Department of Education’s Federal Office of Student Aid.
Knowing your loan manager is the first necessary step to getting back on track with monthly payments. Additionally, taking stock of your balance and new loan repayment can tell you if you need to make any changes or if you’re perfectly fine to pick up your loans where you left off.
Ultimately, federal student loan repayments will be resume eventually, even if the current deferment period were to be extended again until 2023. Knowing where you stand will always be better for you, and the sooner you find out, the better.