A student loan servicer is a company that performs administrative tasks on behalf of a lender, such as the U.S. Department of Education. These companies send out bills, disburse money and collect payments from borrowers. If you ever have questions about your student loans, your loan servicer will provide the answers.
Here are four questions we’ll answer, along with some additional FAQs at the end:
- What is a loan servicer?
- What does a student loan servicer do?
- How do you find your student loan servicer?
- What are the current 11 student loan servicing companies?
- Student loan servicer FAQ
Loan servicers work on behalf of the loan’s lender, and for federal student loans, the government is the lender. These companies collect payments, adjust repayment plans, track repayment and deal with other loan administration tasks. Loan servicing companies serve as a federal student loans contact for borrowers. If you have questions about your loans, a federal student loan specialist from your loan servicer will help you.
- Disburse loan payments
- Track loans when borrowers are in school
- Send monthly bills
- Collect student loan payments
- Adjust repayment plans
- Grant deferment or forbearance
- Track progress towards loan forgiveness
- Discuss cancellation or discharge
- Plus: 5 student loan servicer warning signs
When students take out loans, the loan servicing company disburses proceeds to the borrower.
While you’re in school, loan servicers will keep track of your account information, including the loan balances. Borrowers who have questions about how to view federal student loans can ask their loan servicer for help.
Loan servicers send monthly bills to borrowers. It’s important to keep your address or email address up to date with your loan servicer, so that way the loan servicer can send your bill to the correct location.
When you pay back your student loans, you won’t be paying the Department of Education directly. Instead, loan servicing companies collect student loan payments on behalf of the government. If you want to set up automatic debits for your student loans, you can do so through your loan servicer.
If you cannot afford the monthly payment for a standard 10-year repayment plan, your loan servicer can help you enroll in an income-driven repayment plan. Income driven-repayment plans are designed to make student loan repayment more affordable.
Your loan servicer should be knowledgeable about these plans, but you may want to do some research ahead of time to figure out what plan works best for you. This Department of Education loan simulator can help you find a plan with a payment that fits into your budget.
During a loan deferment or forbearance, borrowers can temporarily stop making payments on their student loans. Loan servicers allow borrowers to request deferment by filling out a form and providing documentation that proves the borrower is eligible. During deferment and forbearance, interest generally continues to accrue on your loans. Whether you have to pay it back depends on your loan type and your relief option.
Loan forbearance doesn’t usually involve interest forgiveness, so unpaid interest is added to the loan balance at the end of forbearance (unless you pay it throughout the forbearance). In contrast, borrowers may or may not be responsible for paying back unpaid interest during deferment. Borrowers deferring subsidized loans, such as direct subsidized loans or Perkins loans, aren’t responsible for unpaid interest during a deferment. However, interest on unsubsidized loans accrues during deferment, and the unpaid interest on unsubsidized loans is then capitalized (added to the loan balance) at the end of the deferment period. Borrowers who will be responsible for unpaid interest may want to look into income-driven repayment plans before pursuing deferment or forbearance.
If you’re working towards student loan forgiveness, you’ll need to work closely with your loan servicer. Different loan forgiveness programs are administered by different loan servicers. For example, TEACH grants and Public Service Loan Forgiveness are only administered by FedLoan Servicing. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, however, can be administered by any federal loan servicing company, so teachers would be able to stick with their given loan servicer or servicers.
Student loans can be discharged due to unforeseen circumstances, such as bankruptcy, total disability or death. Your loan servicer can provide information on whether you may qualify for cancellation or discharge. A loan servicing specialist can also explain how to apply for certain types of discharge.
Loans can also be canceled after 20 to 25 years of on-time payments under qualified income-driven repayment plans. Your loan servicing company will track your progress towards this type of loan cancellation.
- Misallocated payments
- Bad advice surrounding repayment options during financial hardship
- Delays when changing repayment plans
- Incorrect reporting to credit bureaus
- Harassment from debt collectors
Your student loan servicer will contact you when your loan is first paid out to you. Lost track of yours? You can find your student loan servicer by logging into the “My Federal Student Aid” website. Borrowers who haven’t created a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID will need to create an account before logging in. Once you’re logged into the site, you’ll see details about all your loans, including which federal loan servicing company handles the loan administration.
As of early 2020, there were 10 official Department of Education loan servicing companies, and one additional company dedicated to resolving loans in default. Below you will see the contact information for all official loan servicing companies. Note, however, that change is afoot: The government is currently making changes to its roster of loan servicers as it seeks to improve the way it administers student loans — see this post for more information.
- EdFinancial Services (HESC)
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
- Granite State (GSMR)
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services
- Oklahoma Student Loan Authority Servicing (OSLA)
- Default Resolution Group
- CornerStone website
- Telephone number: 800-663-1662
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, 6:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m./Friday, 6:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Mountain time)
- ECSI website
- Telephone number: 866-313-3797
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m-8:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
- HESC/EdFinancial website
- Telephone number: 855-337-6884
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-8:30 p.m./Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
- PHEAA website
- Telephone number: 800-699-2908
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
- GSMR website
- Telephone number: 888-556-0022 (direct loans), 800-719-0708 (for Family Federal Education Loans)
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services website
- Telephone number: 800-236-4300
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. (Central time)
- Mohela website
- Telephone number: 888-866-4352
- Email: Mohela provides a secure messaging platform here.
- Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, 7:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m./Friday, 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. (Central time)
- Navient website
- Telephone number: 800-722-1300 (U.S. Department of Education loans), 888-272-5543 (Federal Family Education Loan Program/Health Education Assistance Loans)
- Email: Borrowers can log into the site and email using the Email Us feature in the Help Center.
- Hours of operation: Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m./Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
- Nelnet website
- Telephone number: 888-486-4722
- Email: Borrowers can fill out a secured webform to consult about their loans.
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Eastern time)
- Oklahoma Student Loan Authority website
- Telephone number: 866-264-9762
- Email: [email protected]
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Central time)
This is a company that deals with student loans in default.
- Default Resolution Group Website
- Telephone number: 800-621-3115
- Email: Default Resolution Group provides a secure portal for email inquiries.
- Hours of operation: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m./Saturday, 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
Can I choose my student loan servicer?
When you first take out a student loan, you cannot select a loan servicing company. The U.S. Department of Education assigns servicers to borrowers, and the Department of Education may even transfer your loans from one servicer to another. Unfortunately, there are only a few ways to switch servicing companies.
Can I switch my student loan servicer?
If your loan servicer gives you problems, you may have a way out. Borrowers can change loan servicing companies by consolidating their loans. When you apply for a direct consolidation, you have the option to choose your loan servicer.
When should I contact my student loan servicer?
Loan servicers exist to help borrowers, so you should feel free to contact your loan servicer whenever you have a question about your student loans. Additionally, you’ll need to contact your loan servicer anytime you change mailing addresses or other contact information.
How do I file a complaint against my student loan servicer?
One of the best ways to file a complaint against a loan servicing company is through the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid Feedback System. Borrowers can also complain through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s complaint site. Be sure to provide documentation and clear evidence when you file your complaint.
Kali Hawlk contributed to this report.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 9 lenders of 2022!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|1.74% – 9.51%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.89% – 5.90%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.05% – 5.25%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.74% – 7.99%6||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.86% – 6.01%||Undergrad |
|1.74% – 7.99%7||Undergrad & Graduate|
|1.99% – 8.38%8||Undergrad & Graduate|
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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 June 1, 2022.
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.
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 April 29, 2021. Information and rates are subject to change without notice.
3 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 5/17/2022 student loan refinancing rates range from 2.05% APR – 5.25% Variable APR with AutoPay and 2.49% APR – 7.93% Fixed APR with AutoPay.
4 Important Disclosures for Navient.
5 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
Fixed rates range from 3.49% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Variable rates from 1.74% APR to 7.99% APR with a 0.25% autopay discount. Unless required to be lower to comply with applicable law, Variable Interest rates on 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms are capped at 8.95% APR; 15- and 20-year terms are capped at 9.95% APR. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on the term you select, evaluation of your creditworthiness, income, presence of a co-signer and a variety of other factors. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. For the SoFi variable-rate product, the variable interest rate for a given month is derived by adding a margin to the 30-day average SOFR index, published two business days preceding such calendar month, rounded up to the nearest one hundredth of one percent (0.01% or 0.0001). APRs for variable-rate loans may increase after origination if the SOFR index increases. 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. This benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit lowers your interest rate but does not change the amount of your monthly payment. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance. Autopay is not required to receive a loan from SoFi.
6 Rate range above includes optional 0.25% Auto Pay discount. Important Disclosures for Earnest.
Student Loan Refinance Interest Rate Disclosure Actual rate and available repayment terms will vary based on your income. Fixed rates range from 3.24% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Variable rates range from 1.99% APR to 8.24% APR (excludes 0.25% Auto Pay discount). Earnest variable interest rate student loan refinance loans are based on a publicly available index, the 30-day Average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (SOFR) published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The variable rate is based on the rate published on the 25th day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a percent. The rate will not increase more than once per month. The maximum rate for your loan is 8.95% if your loan term is 10 years or less. For loan terms of more than 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%. Please note, we are not able to offer variable rate loans in AK, IL, MN, NH, OH, TN, and TX. Our lowest rates are only available for our most credit qualified borrowers and contain our .25% auto pay discount from a checking or savings account. Let us know if you have any questions and feel free to reach out directly to our team.
7 Important Disclosures for Purefy.
Purefy Student Loan Refinancing Rate and Terms Disclosure: Annual Percentage Rates (APR) ranges and examples are based on information provided to Purefy by lenders participating in Purefy’s rate comparison platform. For student loan refinancing, the participating lenders offer fixed rates ranging from 2.73% – 7.99% APR, and variable rates ranging from 1.74% – 7.99% APR. The maximum variable rate is 25.00%. Your interest rate will be based on the lender’s requirements. In most cases, lenders determine the interest rates based on your credit score, degree type and other credit and financial criteria. Only borrowers with excellent credit and meeting other lender criteria will qualify for the lowest rate available. Rates and terms are subject to change at any time without notice. Terms and conditions apply.
8 Important Disclosures for Citizens.
Education Refinance Loan Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates range from 1.99%-8.38% (1.99%-8.38% APR). Fixed interest rates range from 2.99%-8.63% (2.99%-8.63% APR).
IS Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable Rates advertised are based on the one-month London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”) published in The Wall Street Journal on the twenty-fifth day, or the next business day, of the preceding calendar month. As of December 1, 2021, the one-month LIBOR rate is 0.09%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the LIBOR rate, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. Your final variable rate may be based upon the 30-day average SOFR index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The maximum variable rate is the greater of 21.00% or Prime Rate plus 9.00%.
ERL Variable Rate Disclosure: Variable interest rates are based on the 30-day average Secured Overnight Financing Rate (“SOFR”) index, as published by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. As of May 1, 2022, the 30-day average SOFR index is 0.29%. Variable interest rates will fluctuate over the term of the loan with changes in the SOFR index, and will vary based on applicable terms, level of degree and presence of a co-signer. The maximum variable interest rate is the greater of 21.00% or the prime rate plus 9.00%.
Fixed Rate Disclosure: Fixed rate ranges are based on applicable terms, level of degree, and presence of a co-signer.
Lowest Rate Disclosure: Lowest rates are only available for the most creditworthy applicants, require a 5-year repayment term, immediate repayment, a graduate or medical degree (where applicable), and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Rates are subject to additional terms and conditions, and are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
Federal Loan vs. Private Loan Benefits: Some federal student loans include unique benefits that the borrower may not receive with a private student loan, some of which we do not offer. Borrowers should carefully review federal benefits, especially if they work in public service, are in the military, are considering possible loan forgiveness options, are currently on or considering income based repayment options or are concerned about a steady source of future income and would want to lower their payments at some time in the future. When the borrower refinances, they waive any current and potential future benefits of their federal loans. For more information about federal student loan benefits and federal loan consolidation, visit http://studentaid.ed.gov/. We also have several resources available to help the borrower make a decision on our website including Should I Refinance My Student Loans? and our FAQs. Should I Refinance My Student Loans? includes a comparison of federal and private student loan benefits that we encourage the borrower to review.