What is student loan servicing?
A company ‘services’ your loan by sending you your monthly bills and processing your loan payments. Loan servicers are also responsible for helping you understand your options for paying off your loans and helping you pick the path that’s right for you.
It’s important to keep your contact information up to date to so your loan servicer can help you stay on track with repaying your loans. If your circumstances change at any time during your repayment period, your loan servicer is supposed to help you address those changes.
What are my repayment options?
You almost always have options available to you in how you pay off your loans. While we can’t give you advice for your specific situation, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has a helpful tool that can point you in the right direction and help you learn about some of your options.
You should contact your loan servicer if you would like to discuss repayment plan options or change your repayment plan. If you have a federal loan, you can find out who your servicer is by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243. You can also get a list of all federal loans made to you by visiting the National Student Loan Data System and selecting “Financial Aid Review.” Click on each individual loan to see who the servicer is for that loan (this is also the company that sends you a bill each month).
For borrowers with federal loans, the U.S. Department of Education provides an overview of Direct Loan and Federal Family Education Loan Program repayment plans.
What do I do if I am double charged or my servicer is wrong about my payment history?
If you believe your account balance is wrong, a good initial step is to contact your loan servicer and ask for a statement that shows all payments made on your student loan account. If payments that you made were not credited to your account, you may need to provide evidence showing that these payments were made.
How do I know if I am eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness or Income Based Repayment?
If you are employed by a U.S. federal, state, local or tribal government or a not-for-profit organization, you may be eligible for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. The Program forgives the remaining balance on your direct loans after you have made 120 qualifying monthly payments under a qualifying repayment plan while working full-time for a qualifying employer.
To qualify for the program, you must:
- Be employed by a U.S. federal, state, local, or tribal government or not-for-profit organization;
- Work full-time for that agency or organization;
- Have Direct Loans (or consolidate other federal student loans into a Direct Loan)
- Repay your loans under an income-driven repayment plan; and
- Make 120 qualifying payments
Only certain types of federal loans are eligible for public service forgiveness, so be sure to check with your servicer if you think you qualify for the program. Please consult the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site for more information about whether you qualify for the program.
Income-driven repayment plans are designed to make your federal student loan debt more manageable by reducing your monthly payment amount. If you need to make lower monthly payments or if your outstanding federal student loan debt represents a significant portion of your annual income, an income-driven repayment plan may be right for you. Learn more about income-driven repayment on the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid site.