When it comes to paying back your student loans, lenders will often use a third-party servicer to collect the payments.
One of the more popular servicers is Heartland Educational Computer Systems, Inc., commonly referred to as ECSI. If your lender uses ECSI, then you likely have some questions about their inner workings.
Since using an outsourced student loan servicer can be confusing, here’s everything you need to know about ECSI’s student loan services.
Who is ECSI?
ECSI doesn’t offer student loans. It manages the repayment process for colleges and universities, as well as lenders that offer private education loans. ECSI also provides flexible repayment terms for college graduates who have entered the workforce.
The company has been in business since 1972. It’s one of the largest servicers in the student loan industry. They partner with over 2,200 colleges and universities, handle 11 million payments daily, and collect over $100 million in payments annually.
The company services nearly any type of student loan, as well as provides customer service to borrowers.
What does ECSI do?
ECSI does not offer student loans; it strictly manages the collection and processing of the monthly payments.
Lenders will use servicers such as ECSI so they can focus their efforts on finding new borrowers. Using a third party servicer also helps lenders cut down on labor costs for tracking repayments. Colleges and universities function similarly, as they might not have the staff or capability to handle all of the repayments, and therefore hire outside help.
ECSI is also the customer service agent for the borrower. It will pull important tax documents if needed, keep you posted on the status of your account, and answer any other questions you may have regarding your loan.
ECSI can handle many types of student loans, including:
- Perkins loans
- Private student loans
- Institutional loans
- Primary care loans
- Health and nursing loans
- Virtual student loans
- New and refinanced student loans
You won’t be able to choose ECSI as your servicer; your lender will likely notify you if it works with ECSI once repayment begins.
How does ECSI help student loan borrowers?
ECSI makes paying back your loan as simple as possible. You can make payments several ways:
- Online payments. Three types of payments are accepted online, including direct payment (future or recurring ACH Payments), eCheck (single ACH payments drawn today), or credit card.
- Phone payments. ACH and credit card payment methods are both accepted via telephone.
- Snail mail. Borrowers can mail a check or money order to ECSI.
ECSI’s online capabilities help student loan borrowers have access to more efficient systems when it comes to paying tuition and loans. ECSI’s software handles electronic payments, e-signatures for master promissory notes, online entrance and exit interviews, a credit bureau reporting mechanism, and IRS 1098 processing.
How do you sign up for an ECSI online account?
Since the company works mainly with colleges and universities, those school’s financial websites often direct you to create an account with ECSI. Once you know your school or lender works with ECSI, you can follow a few simple steps to set up your online account.
1. Go to heartland.ecsi.net, click the “Sign In or Register” button. Next, click “Register” in the pop-up window.
2. Create your username and password.
3. Click “Continue.” Next, you will need to enter your personal information such as your name and date of birth.
4. You will then need to choose security questions and answers to protect your account when logging in later.
5. Click “Sign In and Accept.”
6. You can now use the username and password you created to log in. Click “Continue.”
7. You will need to answer one of the security questions you chose. This will only need to be done once unless you login in from a new device in the future. Click “Continue.”
8. Next, you will have to connect an account, which will require information including your ECSI key or your school code, account number, and ECSI PIN.
9. From the Your School Accounts screen, click the red plus sign located under “Connect An Account.”
10. Enter the ECSI login information you received from your lender.
- If you have your ECSI key, enter it on the left side under “Connect An Account.” Click “Connect.”
- If you have your ECSI PIN, enter it on the right side of the following box, along with the school’s code, and your social security number (U.S. citizens) or your Loan Account number (international borrowers). Your ECSI Key will be displayed and you’ll enter it on the left side of the following box. Click “Connect.
11. Your loan accounts should now be connected.
What are customers saying about ECSI student loans?
Borrowers give using ECSI mixed reviews, but they have an A- rating on the Better Business Bureau website.
Some customers say the customer service is awful, the website is hard to navigate, and ECSI charges fees for online payments. Others complain about missing payments while the site was under construction.
However, one Yelp reviewer — C.S. from Charlotte, North Carolina — had a better experience than others after their 40-minute phone call abruptly cut out just minutes before the end of business hours.
“I would have given them 1 star had I not spoken to Leander Johnson,” C.S. wrote. “I called back and manager Leander came to the phone and assisted me. He apologized for the customer service … Thank God some folks care.”
How do I contact ECSI about my student loan?
You can call ECSI Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Speciality numbers are as follows:
- Loan Servicing: 888-549-3274
- Tuition Payment Plans: 866-927-1438
- Financial Aid Refunds: 855-250-3230
- Tax Documents: 866-428-1098
You can also live chat with a customer service representative Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST. They can chat with you about:
- Customer service and general questions
- Signing into your account
- Making a payment
- Deferment, forbearance, and cancellation forms
- Your student loans
- Your tuition payment plans
- Your financial aid refunds
- Your tax statements
If you have any questions about your student loans, take advantage of ECSI’s customer service. Make sure you have all the information you need to stay on top of your payments or even pay off your student loans ahead of schedule.
Rebecca Safier contributed to the reporting of this article.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 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 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% 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 Month/Day/Year, 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 08/21/18. 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 ourstudent 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.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
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.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
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 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 6.30%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.51% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.21%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|