With 43 million federal student loan-holders to track, the Department of Education (ED) employs third-party servicers such as Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R) to collect payments.
GSM&R is a longstanding federal — and private — loan servicer that helps borrowers manage repayment. But with its government contract expiring in 2020, it’s more important than ever to keep tabs on your Granite State student loans.
Here are some questions to answer:
What is Granite State Management & Resources?
How do you manage Granite State student loans?
How do you create a Granite State Management & Resources account?
Is Granite State Management & Resources legit?
Why might GSM&R not be your servicer much longer?
GSM&R is part of the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) Network Organization, a group consisting of three independent nonprofit loan servicing agencies.
Established in 1986, GSM&R services both federal and private student loan programs. It is one of several federal loan servicers that work with ED to service the federal direct loan program, so you’ll need to check if GSM&R is your servicer once the repayment process starts.
GSM&R is in charge of enforcing monthly loan repayments on behalf of the lender, which includes both ED and private student loan lender EdvestinU. The company also acts as the borrowers’ customer service contact to resolve any payment-related issues, and it provides assistance through agents who specialize in various loan types.
GSM&R reports your repayment status to the credit bureaus, while also helping borrowers:
- Apply for deferments and forbearances if needed
- Work with you to evaluate income-driven repayment plans
- Review loan relief options for military members or veterans
You would just need to contact them to discuss the options for your Granite State loans.
As a borrower, you don’t have a choice in who services your loan once repayments are due, so if your lender has partnered with GSM&R, then you must use their services. (With that said, you could ditch your federal loan servicer by opting for Direct Loan Consolidation or private student loan refinancing.)
|Not sure if you have Granite State student loans?|
|If you haven’t heard from your lender or servicer, look at your credit reports or review your most recent loan statement. If you have a federal direct loan, you can confirm your servicer by logging into the Federal Student Aid website with your FSA ID.|
Once you’ve determined that your servicer is GSM&R, you can follow a few simple steps to set up your Grant State loans account.
- Go to www.gsmr.org and click “Register.”
- Next, you’ll be asked to enter your Social Security number, email address and birthdate.
- You will need to create a username and password and click “Continue.”
You’ll then be guided through additional steps to your newly-created account page.
|Ways to submit Granite State student loan payments|
|● Enroll in automatic payments using a checking account
● Submit dues online, over the phone or via snail-mail
While GSM&R is a legitimate federal and private loan servicer, it does have a checkered reputation. Borrowers posting on the Better Business Bureau website have reported problems with processing deferments, for example.
In addition, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) database listed 86 complaints filed about GSM&R between July 2017 and July 2020. These are the top concerns among those filed:
|Dealing with your lender or servicer||28||33%|
|Incorrect information on your report||19||22%|
|Problem with credit reporting||14||16%|
|Struggling to repay your loan||10||12%|
|Attempts to collect debt not owed||5||6%|
For its part, GSM&R was absent from the leading complaint-holder companies highlighted in the CFPB student loan ombudsman’s 2019 report.
|To settle a dispute with GSM&R…|
|● Contact the lender directly
● For federal loans, consult the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman
● For EdVestinU loans, file a CFPB consumer complaint
● Also, consider writing a letter to Congress
Even if GSM&R is your servicer today, it might not be tomorrow. The servicer’s contract is due to expire by the end of 2020, though it remains possible for ED to temporarily or permanently extend the partnership.
Stay on top of your Granite State student loans, in case they’re assigned to a new servicer come 2021. You should receive GSM&R correspondence detailing your loan status, but it doesn’t hurt to be proactive and pick up the phone — that’ll make tracking down your loan servicer much easier at a moment’s notice.
Even if GSM&R joins the group of new servicers announced in June, it’s likely you won’t have to visit the servicer’s website to manage your Granite State student loans. That’s because ED has been rolling out Next Gen, its one-stop-shop of a loan management platform.
If your Granite State loans were originally borrowed from EdVestinU as private debt, on the other hand, they won’t be affected by the servicer’s evolving relationship with the federal government.
Andrew Pentis contributed to this report.
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