Considering payments have been paused on federal student loans since March 2020, not knowing who services your loans is not as crazy as it sounds. This is more the case given that the U.S. Department of Education announced it will change up loan servicers at some point in the future.
Plus, it’s not like you picked your loan servicer based on their user reviews or their standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Your federal student loan servicer is automatically assigned to you, so you really have no say in the matter.
Either way, you are likely here because you need to know who is servicing your loans now. There are nine possible answers to that question. At the moment, companies servicing federal student loans are FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA), Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc., Edfinancial, MOHELA, Aidvantage, Nelnet, OSLA Servicing, ECSI, or Default Resolution Group.
If you need to find out which of these companies is servicing your federal loans and what this actually means, read on to learn more.
- Since March 2020, payments on federal student loans have been paused and interest rates have been fixed at 0%. While this deferment period could be extended again, it’s currently set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022.
- At that point, borrowers with federal student loans will need to begin making payments once again.
- While the federal government backs federal student loans, they hire out the servicing aspects to third-party companies.
- If you want to prepare for having to make payments later this year, it’s smart to figure out your loan servicer, how much you owe, and what your monthly payment will be on Jan. 1, 2023.
Student Loan Servicing: What Does This Mean?
You may be wondering why a third-party company is servicing your student loans at all. Plus, what does “servicing” really mean in this context, anyway?
According to the U.S. Department of Education, a loan servicer is “a company that we assign to handle the billing and other services on your federal student loan on our behalf, at no cost to you.”
In other words, government offices have made the decision to outsource the grunt work of loan processing to other companies.
This company is not only charged with sending out your monthly bill and tabulating any payments you make on your federal student loans but also can help you get situated 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 Servicer
There are two primary means of figuring out which company is currently servicing your federal student loans. These include:
- Visiting your account dashboard at studentaid.gov and scrolling down to the “My Loan Servicers” section.
- Calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243.
Either of these steps will reveal which company is currently assigned as the servicer of your federal student loans. Once you have this information, you can also contact your respective student loan servicer using the information in the chart below.
If you have federal student loans, such as direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, direct PLUS loans, or a direct consolidation loan, then one of the servicers we list above is in charge of sending you bills and tracking your payments.
However, what if you have private student loans? In this case, the company from which you are borrowing 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 that you use to oversee your private student loans to confirm which company is sending you bills and keeping an ongoing tally of how much you owe.
You Found Your Loan Servicer: Now What?
If you were trying to nail down your federal student loan servicer before payments resume later this year, and you’ve found the information that you needed, then there’s nothing else you have to do right now.
However, there are steps you can take if you want to. 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 is how your loan servicer can contact you should anything happen to your loans in the future.
- Research payment plans: Look at your current payment plan to see if it aligns with your goals and provides a monthly payment that you can afford. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to keep up with your monthly payment, you can consider switching payment plans.
- Check for discounts: Sign up for auto-pay, which can help you secure an interest rate discount (usually 0.25%). You’ll need to submit your banking information to set this up.
- Consider refinancing: Student loan refinance companies frequently offer lower rates than federal student loans. Just know that refinancing with a private lender will make you ineligible for federal loan benefits, including income-driven repayment plans, deferment, and forbearance.
How Do I Find Out Who My Student Loan Servicer Is?
The two main ways of finding out your federal student loan servicer’s identity are by either scrolling down to the “My Loan Servicers” section in your studentaid.gov account dashboard or calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243. If you have a private student loan, then the lender is likely also your servicer, but you can look at your monthly loan statements or check the relevant online portal to confirm this.
Is Navient a Federal Student Loan Servicer?
In 2014, private student lender Sallie Mae split into two entities, with its student loan servicing offshoot becoming Navient. Navient used to service federal student loans as well as private ones; however, as of 2021, all federal Navient borrowers have been successfully transferred to Aidvantage.
Are Nelnet and FedLoan the Same?
Although Nelnet and FedLoan are both student loan servicers, they are two distinct entities. One of the main differences between the two is that FedLoan is the official servicer of the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office.
The Bottom Line
Knowing your loan servicer is the first step required to get back on track with monthly payments. Plus, taking stock of your balance and new loan payment can let you know if you need to make any changes or if you’re perfectly fine picking up with your loans where you left off.
At the end of the day, federal student loan payments will resume eventually, even if the current deferment period were to be extended again in 2023. Knowing where you stand is always going to leave you better off. The earlier you find out, the better.