Who is my student loan servicer?
Your student loan servicer is the third-party company or institution that handles the repayment of your student loan. Your servicer isn’t the same as your lender.
A student loan servicer is the company you’ll send your student loan payments to, and it’s where you’ll direct any questions regarding your loan. Your student loan lender is the bank or financial institution that provides your student loans (federal loans are issued by the U.S. Department of Education), and the student loan servicer handles billing, customer service, and other management tasks for your student loans.
This guide will help you understand who your student loan servicer is, how to find your loan servicer, what to do once you find your servicer, and why you might have more than one student loan servicer.
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- Who is my student loan servicer?
- How do I find my federal student loan servicer?
- How do I find my private student loan servicer?
- What do I do once I find my student loan servicer?
- Why might I have multiple student loan servicers?
Who is my student loan servicer?
Your loan servicer is the third-party company or organization that issues your monthly bill, keeps track of your payments, and manages your student loan account. You don’t choose your servicer; the lender assigns one to your account. If you have a federal student loan, the Department of Education will assign a student loan servicer to your loan.
It’s important to know who your student loan servicer is since this is who you’ll go to for help, including postponing a loan payment, switching repayment plans, and other loan-related issues.
The process for identifying your loan servicer, which we’ll cover below, is different depending on whether you have a federal student loan or a private student loan.
What do student loan servicers do?
Student loan servicers perform many different functions, including:
- Sending your student loan bills and keeping track of payments — After you graduate and your student loan repayment period begins, you’ll start working with your loan servicer to pay off your loan debt.
- Handling your deferment or forbearance requests — If you’re experiencing financial hardship and have federal student loans, you can apply for a temporary loan deferment or forbearance. You can also apply for forbearance with some private loan servicers, although the time period is generally shorter.
- Tailoring your extra payments — If you pay more than your monthly student loan bill, you can tell your loan servicer how to apply the extra money. For example, if you have multiple student loans, you can direct the servicer to apply the extra funds toward your loan with the highest interest rate instead of equally distributing the money across all your loans.
- Providing repayment and refinancing options — If you have federal student loans, your loan servicer can help you determine whether you’re eligible for income-driven repayment plans. If your loans are through a private lender, your servicer may be able to lower your student loan payments by refinancing your loan into a new loan with a lower interest rate or longer repayment period.
- Refinancing your student loans — You can’t transfer private student loans to the federal government. But you can refinance federal and private student loans with a private lender. Just remember that if you refinance federal loans into a private loan, you’ll lose federal benefits, like Public Service Loan Forgiveness and access to income-driven repayment plans.
- Confirming your eligibility for federal student loan forgiveness programs — Eligibility for partial or full student loan forgiveness programs is based on your income, occupation, and a variety of other factors. Check with your federal student loan servicer to determine your eligibility.
How do I find my federal student loan servicer?
If your student loans are through the federal government, you can quickly identify your loan servicer by logging in to your Federal Student Aid account with your FSA ID. Your account dashboard contains the name of your student loan servicer and other valuable information about your account, including the types of student loans you have, loan balances, and the accrued interest on those loans.
Another method to find your federal student loan servicer is to call 1-800-433-3243 or TTY 1-800-730-8913 for the deaf or hard of hearing.
Federal student loan servicers
The student loan servicers for U.S. Department of Education (ED) loans are:
- Aidvantage — 1-800-722-1300
- ECSI — 1-866-313-3797
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) — 1-800-699-2908
- Granite State Management & Resources (GSM&R) — 1-800-719-0708
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. — 1-800-236-4300
- HESC/Edfinancial — 1-855-337-6884
- MOHELA — 1-888-866-4352
- Nelnet — 1-888-486-4722
- OSLA Servicing — 1-866-264-9762
- Default Resolution Group (only for federal student loans in default) — 1-800-621-3115 or TTY 1-877-825-9923 for the deaf or hard of hearing
Changes underway for federal student loan servicers
You might have heard rumblings in the news about federal student loan servicing in recent months. In October 2021, the Department of Education extended the servicing contracts of six loan servicers through December 2023 while proclaiming these companies will be held to higher standards in the future. The six companies with new federal contracts are Great Lakes, HESC/Edfinancial, MOHELA, Navient, Nelnet, and OSLA Servicing.
For its part, Navient announced it’s now transitioning its student loan portfolio — all 5.6 million federal student loan accounts — to a company called Maximus. Maximus applied for and was granted a contract to service federal student loans under its servicing division, Aidvantage. As of December 2021, Navient no longer services student loans.
Granite State (GSM&R) also transferred its student loan portfolio to Edfinancial in December 2021. And FedLoan Servicing, which handles all PSLF applications, will continue working with borrowers until its contract expires. Meanwhile, FedLoan Servicing is currently transferring loan accounts to Aidvantage (formerly Navient-owned loans), Edfinancial, MOHELA, and Nelnet.
If your student loan servicer is shutting down, there are some things you can do to prepare for the changes.
Pay special attention to communications about your transfer. Once your student loan account transfers, you should receive notifications from the Department of Education and your new and old servicers, informing you of the change and what steps you need to take next.
Record or print important information from your current account, such as your payment history and loan balances. Once the transfer is complete, refer to your records to ensure your essential loan details are accurate. At that point, you can address your loan payments to the new servicer.
How do I find my private student loan servicer?
To find your private student loan servicer, log in to your loan accounts or look at your most recent student loan statement.
You can also request a credit report, which should list your private loan lenders and their contact information. You can request free copies of your credit reports annually from the three main credit bureaus at AnnualCreditReport.com. Once you have your lenders’ information, contact them to determine who is servicing your student loans.
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What do I do once I find my student loan servicer?
Once you find your student loan servicer, you can set up an online account and link your bank account so you can make direct payments from your bank account. You can set up payment alerts, or, better yet, you may be able to get a rate discount when you agree to make automatic payments.
If you have federal student loans, you can contact your student loan servicer if you want to apply for deferment, forbearance, or check on your loan forgiveness eligibility. Your student loan servicer can also help you consolidate multiple federal student loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan, which will give you just one monthly payment to keep track of.
You can also contact your loan servicer if you want to refinance your federal loans, private loans, or a combination of both into a new private loan. But keep in mind that it may not be wise to refinance federal student loans through a private lender, as this will cause you to lose access to federal benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and student loan forgiveness programs.
Why might I have multiple student loan servicers?
If you have multiple student loans, chances are you have multiple student loan servicers. For example, if you have two or more federal student loans, the Department of Education may assign more than one loan servicer to handle your accounts.
Likewise, if you have private student loans with different lenders, you could have a different servicer for each loan. When dealing with multiple student loan servicers, you might consider automating payments to ensure you don’t miss any payments.
Can I switch student loan servicers?
You can’t change your student loan servicer because you're dissatisfied with your current loan servicer. But you might receive a new loan servicer when you refinance, consolidate, or make other changes to your student loans.
If you’re consolidating multiple federal student loans into a single loan, you can select the loan servicing company you’d like to work with when you apply. Along the same lines, if you're an employee of a public entity and you sign up for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, FedLoan Servicing will become your servicer until its contract expires.
Also, when you refinance your student loans with a private lender, you’ll be working with a new lender and servicer.
Remember, no matter who your loan servicer is, it’s a private company whose options may not always be the best fit for you. Look out for your own best interests by understanding the terms of your loans, and always ask questions if you’re unsure about your loan servicing options.
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