Your Guide to Student Loan Servicers

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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Working with student loan servicers can have its pros and cons, and some servicers have had more public challenges or complaints made against them than others. There’s not really such a thing as the “best federal student loan servicer,” but there may be some you’d prefer to work with over others.

You typically cannot choose your servicer when you take out federal student loans, but you may do so in other cases, such as if you refinance your loan.

Let’s take a look at the federal student loan servicers and what you need to know about them. Specifically:

Latest news: the NextGen platform

Before we get into the current list of student loan servicers, it’s important to discuss the NextGen platform, which will change the way borrowers manage their student loan payments. The developing NextGen student loan services platform from StudentAid.gov is promising to ultimately move repayment to one place for all student loan borrowers. This means that the borrower-student loan servicer relationship may change significantly.

To that end, the U.S. Department of Education announced in June 2020 that it signed contracts with five federal student loan servicers who will help to bring the NextGen platform to life.

However, this list of servicers is not going into immediate effect, and Federal Student Aid’s chief operating officer, Mark Brown, has stated that student borrowers will not see a change in servicers before 2021.

It was also announced that all current servicers have had their contracts extended through 2021 or 2022. Nelnet and its subsidiary Great Lakes, part of the current list, have announced that their contract will not be in effect for the long term. But as things stand, there should not yet be any noticeable changes for students.

According to Brown in a blog post: “When the time comes to transition your account into the NextGen environment, you’ll receive emails, messaging on social media and a wide array of other communications about what to expect and how to continue to manage your account.”

List of current student loan servicers

While NextGen plans are still rolling out, the Department of Education continues to work with its 10 current servicers, as well as a Default Resolution Group for students whose loans have gone into default. These student loan servicing companies are responsible for administering all loans issued through the Direct loan program and the Federal Family Education Loan Program (which no longer provides new loans).

Below you’ll find a list of federal student loan servicers, some basic information for all of them and a link to Student Loan Hero’s comprehensive review for each.

CornerStone

  • CornerStone website
  • Telephone number: 800-663-1662, Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m. to 7 p.m. MST, Friday 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. MST.
  • Servicemember number: 844-255-8326
  • Email addresses: General questions: [email protected], Servicemember email: [email protected]
  • Payment address: U.S. Department of Education, CornerStone, P.O. Box 979133 St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
  • Live chat is also available
  • Click here to read our full CornerStone review

FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)

  • PHEAA website
  • Telephone number: 800-699-2908, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST
  • International number: 717-720-1985
  • Hard-of-hearing and speech-impaired: Dial 711
  • Email: You can send a secure email through their website
  • Payment address: Department of Education, FedLoan Servicing, P.O. Box 790234, St Louis, MO, 63179-0324
  • Click here to read our FedLoanServicing review

Granite State (GSMR)

  • GSMR website
  • Telephone number: GSMR has several different phone numbers based on your account number. Check here to find the number that works with your account.
  • Payment address: P.O. Box 3420, Concord, NH 03302-3420
  • Click here to read our review of GSMR

Great Lakes Educational Loan Services

  • Great Lakes Educational Loan Services website
  • Telephone number: 800-236-4300, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CST
  • Email: You can send an email directly through the website
  • General correspondence address: P.O. Box 7860, Madison, WI, 53707-7860. Payment contact information depends on your specific situation, which you can explore further by logging in. StudentAid.gov notes on its website that it is accepting payments for Great Lakes and its parent company, Nelnet, although you can also still make payments directly to the servicers.
  • Click here to read our review of Great Lakes Educational Loan Services.

Nelnet

  • Nelnet website
  • Telephone number: 888-486-4722, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. EST
  • International number: 303-696-3625
  • General correspondence address: Nelnet, P.O. Box 82561, Lincoln, NE 68501-2561. Payment routing information differs depending on your account; check here to see where you should mail a payment. As noted above, StudentAid.gov is accepting payments for both Nelnet and Great Lakes, although you can also still make payments directly to the servicers.
  • Click here to read our Nelnet review.

HESC/EdFinancial

  • HESC/EdFinancial website
  • Telephone number: 855-337-6884
  • Direct loan payment address: U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 4830, Portland, OR, 97208-4830
  • Click here to read more about HESC/EdFinancial

Mohela

  • Mohela website
  • Telephone number: 888-866-4352, Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CST. Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST
  • Address for assistance requests: 633 Spirit Drive, Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243. Log in or call for your payment address, which will differ based upon your account information.
  • Click here for more information on Mohela.

Navient

  • Naviant website
  • Telephone number: 800-722-1300, Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST. Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. EST.
  • Payment address: Navient – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing, P.O. Box 4450, Portland, OR, 97208-4450
  • Email: You can contact Navient through email by logging in and accessing the “email us” feature
  • Click here to read a comprehensive profile of Navient

Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) Servicing

  • Oklahoma Student Loan Authority website
  • According to OSLA’s website, their contact information is available only after logging in, and depending on the type of account you have. Go here for more.
  • The Department of Education does list a general number at: 866-264-9762.
  • Click here to find out more about OSLA.

ECSI

ECSI website

  • Customer service phone number: 866-313-3797
  • Payment address: Department of Education, ECSI Federal Perkins Loan Servicer, P.O. Box 6200-31, Portland, OR 97228-6200
  • Click here to read more about ECSI

What student loan servicers do

Student loan servicers handle all of the many complex and varied administrative responsibilities associated with managing student loans. The services that student loan companies offer to borrowers include:

  • Collecting loan payments
  • Processing changes in name, address and contact information
  • Setting up automatic payments
  • Enrolling eligible borrowers in income-driven or other flexible repayment plans
  • Providing other assistance to students who cannot afford to make loan payments, such as through forbearance and deferment
  • Providing borrowers with educational resources to better understand their loans and repayment options
  • Providing student loan forgiveness options (FedLoan Servicing is the servicer dedicated to forgiveness programs)
  • Answering questions about student loan bills
  • Providing customer service support to borrowers
  • Issuing a Form 1098-E tax form that you need to deduct student loan interest from your taxes

If you have multiple loans, they may be assigned to different servicers. This means dealing with two different companies, or more, when setting up repayment plans or trying to take advantage of programs like Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

In some cases, the Department of Education might also transfer your student loan from one loan servicing company to another one. You will still owe the Department of Education the same amount of money as you did before the transfer of the loan, but a different servicer will be responsible for helping to facilitate your loan repayment process.

How to find your student loan servicer

You can find all your federal loan information on StudentAid.gov, the comprehensive website for all student loan borrowers. The site displays information from the National Student Loan Data System, a database that has information on federal aid for students and parents across the U.S. You won’t have any kind of history until your loans have been dispersed to you.

You can find the list of all federal student loan servicers here (also detailed in the article above), along with their contact information. You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

What to expect if your student loan servicer changes

If the Department of Education transfers your loan to a new servicer, the assigned servicer who’s taking over the administration of your loan will typically notify you of the change via mail or letter.

Once your student loans are added to the system of the new servicer, you’ll then receive a full welcome packet that includes information about the transition to the new servicer and details about any steps you need to take, such as signing up for an online account with the new servicer.

Your loan terms don’t change when you move to a different student loan servicer. The new servicer receives all of your information from the previous servicer, including up-to-date payment information about your student loans.

Once you’re notified that your loan servicer is officially changed, you’ll need to begin sending your payments to the new servicer. If you have autopay set up through a bank or bill-paying service for your existing loan, you should update the contact information to the new servicer so your financial institution knows where to send the payment.

What to do if you have a problem with your student loan servicer

Student loan servicers are there to help borrowers, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect. The latest Consumer Financial Protection Bureau report from October 2019 logged around 25,000 federal and private student loan complaints overall, and noted the most-criticized lenders. From 2018 to 2019, 71% of complaints were about dealing with a lender or servicer.

Of all the servicers, Navient and the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (which operates FedLoan Servicing) received the most complaints. Navient led in debt-collection-related complaints for both federal and private loans, and in March 2020, it also settled a lawsuit brought by teachers charging that the servicer didn’t adequately explain forgiveness program options.

FedLoan Servicing has also been the subject of lawsuits, with charges including the miscounting of eligible payments and giving bad information about how to obtain forgiveness.

Because you generally don’t have a choice of who your loan servicer is, understanding your rights as a consumer and carefully documenting information provided by your servicer can help you ensure you’re treated as fairly as possible as you pay back your student loans. You can speak up as a consumer and make a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if you believe your servicer is mistreating you or engaging in unethical business practices, although you should try first to handle the issue directly with the servicer.

How to switch your student loan servicer

As noted, your servicer is assigned to you, and you don’t have much choice in the matter. However, if you hate your student loan servicer, you have a couple of options for switching. For one, you can consider refinancing your loans. While refinancing isn’t right for everyone, it’s one of the few ways you can end a relationship with a student loan servicer who’s making your repayment process more difficult than it needs to be.

Research any student loan companies you are considering to make sure they have a good reputation and won’t cause you more hassle as they administer your loan during repayment. You can check our guide on where to refinance student loans as a good starting point to find a student loan lender who will hopefully treat you better than the federal servicer you had trouble with.

Understand that if you do refinance, you’ll be working with a private lender, which means you’ll give up some of the privileges attached to having student loans, such as forgiveness programs, income-driven repayment plans and easier deferment or forbearance options.

If you have several loans, you also might choose to apply for a consolidation loan on StudentAid.gov. When you consolidate, you may also choose your loan servicer. Readers thinking about going this route can check out our post on how to ditch your student loan servicer.

Rebecca Stropoli contributed to this report

Interested in refinancing student loans?

Here are the top 6 lenders of 2020!
LenderVariable APREligible Degrees 
1.99% – 5.64%1Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Earnest

1.89% – 5.90%2Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Laurel Road

2.25% – 6.09%3Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit SoFi

1.89% – 6.77%4Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Splash

2.39% – 6.01%Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit Elfi

1.99% – 5.41%5Undergrad
& Graduate

Visit CommonBond

Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

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 5.79% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 1.99% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.64% 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 July 31, 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 7/31/2020. 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.


2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.

Laurel Road Disclosures

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.

As used throughout these Terms & Conditions, the term “Lender” refers to KeyBank National Association and its affiliates, agents, guaranty insurers, investors, assigns, and successors in interest.

  1. Checking your rate with Laurel Road only requires a soft credit pull, which will not affect your credit score. To proceed with an application, a hard credit pull will be required, which may affect your credit score.
  2. Savings vary based on rate and term of your existing and refinanced loan(s). Refinancing to a longer term may lower your monthly payments, but may also increase the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Refinancing to a shorter term may increase your monthly payments, but may lower the total interest paid over the life of the loan. Review your loan documentation for total cost of your refinanced loan.
  3. After loan disbursement, if a borrower documents a qualifying economic hardship, we may agree in our discretion to allow for full or partial forbearance of payments for one or more 3-month time periods (not to exceed 12 months in the aggregate during the term of your loan), provided that we receive acceptable documentation (including updating documentation) of the nature and expected duration of the borrower’s economic hardship. During any period of forbearance interest will continue to accrue. At the end of the forbearance period, any unpaid accrued interest will be capitalized and be added to the remaining principle amount of the loan.
  4. Automatic Payment (“AutoPay”) Discount: if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically from a bank account, the interest rate will decrease by 0.25% and will increase back if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically from the borrower’s bank account. The 0.25% AutoPay discount will not reduce the monthly payment; instead, the discount is applied to the principal to help pay the loan down faster.

Assumptions: Repayment examples above assume a loan amount of $10,000 with repayment beginning immediately following disbursement. Repayment examples do not include the 0.25% AutoPay Discount.

Annual Percentage Rate (“APR”): This term represents the actual cost of financing to the borrower over the life of the loan expressed as a yearly rate.

Interest Rate: A simple annual rate that is applied to an unpaid balance.

Variable Rates: The current index for variable rate loans is derived from the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) and changes in the LIBOR index may cause your monthly payment to increase. Borrowers who take out a term of 5, 7, or 10 years will have a maximum interest rate of 9%, those who take out a 15 or 20-year variable loan will have a maximum interest rate of 10%.

KEYBANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE.

This information is current as of September 9, 2020. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
 


3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Student loan Refinance: Fixed rates from 2.99% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 2.25% APR to 6.09% APR (with AutoPay). Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at either 8.95% or 9.95% depending on term of loan. See APR examples and terms. Lowest variable rate of 2.25% APR assumes current 1 month LIBOR rate of 0.18% plus 2.32% margin minus 0.25% ACH discount. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, the fixed or variable interest rate offered will depend on your creditworthiness, and the term of the loan and other factors, and will be within the ranges of rates listed above. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. See eligibility details. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. *To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit inquiry. Unlike hard credit inquiries, soft credit inquiries (or soft credit pulls) do not impact your credit score. Soft credit inquiries allow SoFi to show you what rates and terms SoFi can offer you up front. After seeing your rates, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit inquiry. Hard credit inquiries (or hard credit pulls) are required for SoFi to be able to issue you a loan. In addition to requiring your explicit permission, these credit pulls may impact your credit score. Terms and Conditions Apply. SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. 

4 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 September 10, 2020.


5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.

CommonBond Disclosures

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 0.16% effective August 10, 2020.

Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print to help you understand what you are buying. Be sure to consult with a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time.