Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government and many lenders. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.
* * *
When you’re making payments toward your student loans, your lender may use a third-party servicer to collect. One such servicer is Heartland ECSI. There’s no such thing as an ESCI loan, but you may have a lender who uses the service.
If so, you might have some questions about how ECSI works, and what it can offer you. This ECSI review will try to answer those — specifically:
ECSI is a campus-based loan servicer for colleges and universities. Their services include borrower support, billing statement generation, payment processing, due diligence, accounting, reporting and automated collection agency placement.
ESCI has an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau website, although it is not BBB accredited.
Along with being a third-party loan servicer, ECSI is a customer service agent for the borrower. The company offers software solutions for services beyond student loan servicing as well, including tuition payment plans, document signing (such as promissory notes, entrance counseling and exit interviews), refund disbursements and tax document management. They have advocates who can help students who are having trouble paying their past due tuition. They may also work with students who are having trouble paying back their loans and want to discuss deferment or forbearance.
ECSI can service many types of student loans:
- Perkins loans
- Private student loans
- School institutional loans
- Primary care loans
- Health and nursing loans
You won’t be able to choose ECSI as your servicer; your lender should be the one to notify you if it works with ECSI. Then you can sign up to make payments through ECSI. You may also be able to apply through ECSI for a tuition repayment plan, as long as your school is a participating institution.
ECSI makes paying back your loan as simple as possible. You can make payments through ECSI several ways:
- Online payments. Payments are accepted online via ACH and credit/debit cards.
- Mobile app payments: You can make payments through ECSI’s EasyPath mobile app.
- Phone payments. One-time ACH and credit card payments as well as recurring ACH are accepted via telephone.
- Bill Pay: You may make payments through your bank or another third-party bill pay service.
- Snail mail. You can mail a check or money order to ECSI.
Because ECSI works mainly with colleges and universities, the schools themselves will often direct you to create an account with ECSI. For example, Harvard notes on its website that it uses EasyPath, powered by Heartland ECSI, and it tells users to create an ECSI profile.
Once you know your school or lender works with ECSI, you can follow some simple steps to set up your online account.
- Go to heartland.ecsi.net, click the “Sign In or Register” button. Next, click “Register” in the pop-up window.
- Create your username and password.
- Click “Continue.” Next, you will need to enter your personal information, such as your name, date of birth and address.
- You will then need to choose three security questions and answers to protect your account when logging in later.
- Finally, you will click “Sign In and Accept.”
- You can now use the username and password you created to log in.
- Next, you will have to connect an account, which will require account information, often called a Heartland Key, from your lender.
- From the Your School Accounts screen, click the red plus sign located under “Connect An Account.”
- If you have your Heartland ECSI key, which you can look for on your lender’s billing statement, enter it under “Connect An Account.” On this page, ECSI calls the number “your Heartland account” and notes on its site that “your account number can be located in the upper right hand section of all printed and mailed communication and notifications. The account number is a 17 character alphanumeric number (including a hyphen). A sample account number is 01122-12345678912.”
- Click “Connect.” Your loan accounts should now be connected.
You can call ECSI Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST. Speciality numbers are as follows:
- Student loans: 888-549-3274
- Tuition Payment Plans: 866-927-1438
- Unpaid tuition and fees: 888-454-6100
- Refund disbursements: 844-760-6052
- Tax Documents: 866-428-1098
You can also live chat with a customer service representative. They may chat with you about a variety of topics:
- 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. And if you feel like a newbie to the world of student loans, see Student Loan Hero’s beginner’s guide to paying off student loans.
Rebecca Safier and Rebecca Stropoli contributed to the reporting of this article.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2021!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.89% – 5.99%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 5.64%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 6.84%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.91% – 5.25%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.25% – 6.53%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.17% – 4.47%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews! |
1 Important Disclosures for Splash Financial.
Splash Financial Disclosures
Terms and Conditions apply. Splash reserves the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. Rates and terms are also subject to change at any time without notice. Offers are subject to credit approval. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. If approved, your actual rate will be within a range of rates and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, income and other factors. Refinancing or consolidating private and federal student loans may not be the right decision for everyone. Federal loans carry special benefits not available for loans made through Splash Financial, for example, public service loan forgiveness and economic hardship programs, fee waivers and rebates on the principal, which may not be accessible to you after you refinance. The rates displayed may include a 0.25% autopay discount.
The information you provide to us is an inquiry to determine whether we or our lenders can make a loan offer that meets your needs. If we or any of our lending partners has an available loan offer for you, you will be invited to submit a loan application to the lender for its review. We do not guarantee that you will receive any loan offers or that your loan application will be approved. Offers are subject to credit approval and are available only to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who meet applicable underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers will receive the lowest rates, which are available to the most qualified borrowers. Participating lenders, rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice.
To check the rates and terms you qualify for, Splash Financial conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, the lender will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull and may affect your credit.
Splash Financial and our lending partners reserve the right to modify or discontinue products and benefits at any time without notice. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen and meet our lending partner’s underwriting requirements. Lowest rates are reserved for the highest qualified borrowers. This information is current as of Feburary 1, 2021.
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 2.98% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.49% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.34% 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 October 26, 2020, 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 10/26/2020. 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 protected], or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2020 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 CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change and state law restriction. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900), NMLS Consumer Access. 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 0.15% effective Jan 1, 2021 and may increase after consummation.
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.
Subject to floor rate and may require the automatic payments be made from a checking or savings account with the lender. The rate reduction will be removed and the rate will be increased by 0.25% upon any cancellation or failed collection attempt of the automatic payment and will be suspended during any period of deferment or forbearance. As a result, during the forbearance or suspension period, and/or if the automatic payment is canceled, any increase will take the form of higher payments. The lowest advertised variable APR is only available for loan terms of 5 years and is reserved for applicants with FICO scores of at least 810.
As of 02/17/2021 student loan refinancing rates range from 1.91% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.95% APR – 7.63% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
6 Important Disclosures for PenFed.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is the cost of credit calculating the interest rate, loan amount, repayment term and the timing of payments. Fixed Rates range from 2.99%-5.15% APR and Variable Rates range from 2.17%-4.47% APR. Both Fixed and Variable Rates will vary based on application terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. For Variable Rate student loans, the rate will never exceed 9.00% for 5 year and 8 year loans and 10.00% for 12 and 15 years loans (the maximum allowable for this loan). Minimum variable rate will be 2.00%. These rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.