Paying back student loans can be a complicated process for both you and the lender. There’s a lot of numbers, timelines, and fancy words to deal with, not to mention some personal budgeting that needs to happen on your end.
That’s why student loan lenders might consider using a student loan management company such as Firstmark.
Read on to learn about Firstmark’s student loan services.
Who is Firstmark?
Firstmark is a part of Nelnet, a large student loan servicer that serves 5 million borrowers who have private and federal student loans. However, Firstmark doesn’t lend out money to students. Instead, Firstmark helps borrowers organize their payments and provides customer service to answer any questions you might have.
The company has been in business since 1997. It has developed technology specifically designed to help organize paying off student loans through tools such as an autopay system.
What does Firstmark do?
Firstmark is in charge of collecting monthly student loan payments on behalf of the bank that originated the loan. Much like a debt collector, lenders will partner with Firstmark to help collect monthly payments. The lenders set the interest rates and eligibility terms, and Firstmark handles the day-to-day to make sure borrowers are repaying their student loans.
The reason lenders would opt to use Firstmark’s services rather than doing it themselves is to focus on seeking new borrowers. That way, they don’t have to allocate time and resources tracking down existing borrowers. If your lender has partnered with Firstmark, then you must use them; you have no choice as a borrower.
It’s also important to note that Firstmark deals with repayments on private student loans, not federal loans. Firstmark services both new and refinanced private student loans and work with a number of lenders, but the biggest is Citizens Bank.
Firstmark acts as the primary contact for customer service-related issues and is in charge of reporting payment information to the credit bureaus. Additionally, Firstmark will help with other tasks, such as pulling a document if you need to show the status of your payments for any reason.
How does Firstmark help student loan borrowers?
Firstmark student loan services help simplify the process of paying back your student loan. Services include KwikPay, a service that deducts your monthly payments from your bank account automatically, and reports your repayment status to credit bureaus. Firstmark also provides access to an online account where you can see the status of your loan, payment schedule, and completed payments.
Trained customer service agents are on hand to answer any questions you may have. The company has specialized representatives who focus on particular areas of loan repayments such as repayment schedules, releasing a co-signer, late fees, and interest-only or partial payments.
Who is eligible?
Firstmark doesn’t determine who is eligible for personal student loans as they are simply a payment collector. You would need to borrow loans from a private student loan lender that works with Firstmark, such as Citizens One and Citibank.
Multiple factors determine your eligibility, including whether you have a co-borrower, your choice of school and major, and your credit history.
If a private student loan lender confirms your eligibility and approves the student loan, your lender will indicate who your student loan servicer is once the first loan is paid out to you.
However, if you haven’t heard from the lender or servicer, ask your lender, or look at your credit reports or your most recent student loan statement to see if Firstmark is listed.
You’ll want to figure out this information as soon as possible to make sure you’re on top of any payments. Also, lenders can switch servicers, so it’s important to read all correspondence that comes through regarding your student loan.
How do you sign up for Firstmark?
Once you’ve determined your lender works with Firstmark, you can follow a few simple steps to set up your account.
1. Go to www.firstmarkservices.com and click “Register Now” below the login.
2. You’ll need to enter your Social Security number, full name, email address, and date of birth.
3. Create a username and password and click “Submit.”
4. Verify that your contact information is correct and make any necessary changes and submit.
5. Select an image from those displayed to help you recognize that you are logging into a secure Nelnet website.
6. Next, select three security questions and answer them. These will be used in the future to confirm your identity upon login when signing in from a new device.
7. Review the terms and conditions.
8. If you agree to the terms and conditions, select the checkbox, and click “Go to My Account.”
What are customers saying about Firstmark student loan services?
Reviews from student loan borrowers on these services are mixed. Firstmark has a B+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Some customers, on the other hand, said it was hard to make payments, and Firstmark’s customer service was not reliable.
“Firstmark Service preys on students at college,” wrote one BBB reviewer. “They have deceptive and dishonest practices, their loans for students are at ridiculously high rates. Very poor customer service and neither of the service agents provide the same information. They care nothing about people and only money.”
There are also complaints about changing due dates, changing monthly payment amounts, and incorrect balance amounts when loans transfer from a private lender to Firstmark.
How do I contact Firstmark?
You can call Firstmark at 888-538-7378 from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, or email them at email@example.com.
Interested in a personal loan?Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2019!
|Lender||APR Range||Loan Amount|
|1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.
3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.
4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.
6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.
All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.95% to 35.89%*. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% of the original principal balance and is deducted from your loan proceeds. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at the time of application. The average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. In Georgia, the minimum loan amount is $3,025. In Massachusetts, the minimum loan amount is $6,025 if your APR is greater than 12%. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months. Borrower must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or be in the United States on a valid long term visa and at least 18 years old. Valid bank account and Social Security number are required. Equal Housing Lender. All loans are subject to credit approval. LendingClub’s physical address is: LendingClub, 71 Stevenson Street, Suite 1000, San Francisco, CA 94105.
†Per reviews collected and authenticated by Bazaarvoice in compliance with the Bazaarvoice Authentication Requirements, supported by anti-fraud technology and human analysis. All reviews can be reviewed at reviews.lendingclub.com
**Based on approximately 60% of borrowers who received offers through LendingClub’s marketing partners between January 1, 2018 to July 20,2018. The time it will take to fund your loan may vary.
7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
8 Important Disclosures for Avant.
* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.
** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.
Upgrade Bank Disclosures
** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.
|5.72% – 16.99%1||$5,000 - $100,000|
|7.54% – 35.99%||$1,000 - $50,000|
|7.99% – 35.89%*||$1,000 - $50,000|
|5.99% – 24.99%2||$5,000 - $35,000|
|5.99% – 29.99%3||$7,500 - $40,000|
|6.79% – 20.89%4||$5,000 - $50,000|
|9.99% – 35.99%5||$2,000 - $25,000|
|6.95% – 35.89%6||$1,000 - $40,000|
|6.99% – 18.24%7||$5,000 - $75,000|
|9.95% – 35.99%8||$2,000 - $35,000|