By: Katie Wornek, UHEAA
If you’re approaching graduation or considering dropping below half-time enrollment, you will soon be held responsible for paying back any federal student loans you borrowed, which means you will be working closely with your loan servicer.
A loan servicer is a company responsible for billing, collections, and other services associated with student loans. Here are four steps you can take to ensure your loan servicer can work as your ally during repayment:
Find your loan servicer(s)
The first step in establishing contact with your loan servicer is to find out who it is! In a recent study by LendEDU, over 40% of student loan borrowers from the class of 2017 reported that they did not know who their loan servicer is. Most federal student loans utilize these nine servicers:
|FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)||1-800-699-2908|
|Granite State – GSMR||1-888-556-0022|
|Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.||1-800-236-4300|
You can use your FSA ID to log into the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and find your loan servicer. Remember – if you have multiple federal student loans, you may have more than one servicer.
Know your loan balances, payment amounts, and payment dates
As a borrower, your primary responsibility is to repay your loans according to the expectations outlined in your Master Promissory Note. Read all loan documentation carefully to understand your starting principal, interest, total monthly payments, payment due dates, and up-to-date balances. Keeping tabs on this information can help you budget your money responsibly every month. Loan servicers can provide plenty of guidance throughout the life of your loan, but you are your best advocate when it comes to managing your student loans.
Keep your contact information up to date
Until your loan is repaid in full, your loan servicer will likely need to contact you at least periodically with important information and updates. Make sure your email address, phone number, and physical address are always current. You can use your FSA ID to log into the NSLDS and check your contact information.
Know when to contact your servicer
Loan servicers don’t just exist to collect money from student loan borrowers. Their goal is to help you successfully repay your loan and, as a result, they will work with you to find a repayment plan that best suits your financial circumstances. If you are having trouble making your monthly payments, contact your loan servicer to explain your concerns and explore solutions.