As a student loan borrower, you probably don’t have a very positive opinion of your student loan servicer. After all, you fork over hundreds of dollars each month — of course you’re not crazy about them.
But your loan servicer plays an important role in managing your student loans. It manages your payments, processes your paperwork, and can even help you if you can’t afford your payments.
CornerStone Education Loan Services — commonly referred to as CornerStone student loans — is a federal loan servicer. The company might be who you end up with when you take out federal student loans. If you have loans with CornerStone, here’s what you need to know to take advantage of all the company has to offer.
CornerStone Education Loan Services: The basics
When it comes to federal student loans, you don’t get to choose your loan servicer. Instead, the U.S. Department of Education appoints one to you after you receive your loan.
CornerStone is one of nine federal loan servicers. It’s a nonprofit organization run by the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority and is headquartered in Salt Lake City. Despite the name, the company services federal loans nationwide, not just the loans of Utah residents.
If CornerStone is your loan servicer, you will receive a letter from it once your loan is disbursed. CornerStone only works with federal student loans, not private student loans. That means you might end up with it if you have any of the following loans:
- Direct Subsidized Loans
- Direct Unsubsidized Loans
- Direct PLUS Loans
- Direct Consolidation Loans
- Perkins Loans
If you’re struggling with your student loans, CornerStone Education Loan Services might be able to help in the following ways.
1. Alternative payment plans
Making your payments on time and in full each month can be difficult when you have a small salary. If you’re in danger of falling behind, contact CornerStone right away.
If you can afford to put some money toward your loans each month — but not the full payment that’s due — you might be able to work out an alternative payment option. Depending on your situation, you might qualify for an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan.
With an IDR plan, the loan servicer caps your monthly payments at a percentage of your discretionary income and extends your repayment term. You’ll pay more in interest over time, but an IDR plan can dramatically reduce your payments to give you more breathing room in your budget.
You can download the IDR plan request forms on the CornerStone website.
2. Deferment or forbearance
If you can’t afford to make any payment at all, you might qualify for a loan deferment. During a deferment, you can pause payments on your debt for up to 36 months.
If you have subsidized loans, the government will cover the interest that accrues on your debt. You might be eligible for deferment if you’re unemployed, have a financial hardship, or are currently enrolled in school.
Entering forbearance is similar to deferment. It allows you to postpone payments on your loans for up to 12 months at a time. Unlike deferment, you’re responsible for paying the interest that accrues on your debt, regardless of the types of loans you have.
3. Forgiveness and discharge
If you’re eligible for federal forgiveness or discharge programs such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness, closed school discharge, or total and permanent disability discharge, you can download the necessary forms on CornerStone’s website.
What we like about CornerStone Education Loan Services
If CornerStone Education Loan Services is your federal loan servicer, some benefits can help you manage your loans.
Automatic payment discount
Keeping up with your payments is important to ensure you stay on track to pay off your debt and to protect your credit. To avoid late fees and other issues, you can set up automatic payments on your account. You won’t have to worry about manually making payments each month, and you’ll receive a 0.25% interest rate reduction.
If you have CornerStone loans, the company is one of the few loan servicers that offer in-person help. You can walk into their headquarters Monday through Friday during normal business hours to discuss your loans and any questions you might have. The building’s address is:
Board of Regents Building, The Gateway
60 S. 400 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84101-1284
If you aren’t close to Salt Lake City, the CornerStone call center is open Monday through Friday but is unavailable on weekends. You can speak to a representative by calling 800-663-1662.
Are CornerStone student loans right for you?
If you have CornerStone student loans, it’s wise to check out its website and see all the resources it has available. From financial literacy primers to alternative payment plans, CornerStone provides information you can use to take charge of your loans and become debt-free.
Unhappy with your loan servicer? Find out what you can do to get a new servicer.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
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1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.81% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|