Tips to keep track of your loans
Now that federal student loan repayment has been extended to May 2022, borrowers should be aware that your loan servicer might change at any time over the life of the loan. In fact, borrowers who are currently assigned to Granite State Management & Resources and Navient should get ready to pay a new servicer once Federal Direct loans go back into repayment after May 1, 2022. Those currently assigned to FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) should be prepare to transfer to a new loan servicer sometime later in 2022.
What is a loan servicer? The servicer handles the billing of your student loans—the company you will make payments to and who you will connect with for repayment plan changes. The servicer is often different from the lender, which is where the funds originated. The U.S. Department of Education is the lender of Federal Direct student loans, but the government contracts with various servicers to collect on those loans. Private student loan lenders sometimes service their own loans, but they can also choose to outsource the servicing.
How to confirm federal loan servicer
The best way to find your current federal loan servicer is to log into the Federal Student Aid website and review the My Aid Dashboard. This website will also show when your first payment will be due when the student loan repayment pause ends.
Granite State borrowers
Granite State has started the process to transfer the Direct loans they held over to Edfinancial Services. Loans should be transferred by the end of 2021. Once these loans are with Edfinancial, borrowers will receive a confirmation notice including the new website. The auto-debit information is with the new servicer, but they urge borrowers to verify the information once their loans are with Edfinancial.
Navient will be transferring their Direct loans over to Aidvantage (Maximus) with the process complete by the end of 2021. Navient has sent their borrowers various email notifications since October, most recently including a checklist of what to expect. Once these loans are with Aidvantage, borrowers will receive a welcome letter with the new website. They are planning for a smooth transition and have promised very few changes for borrowers. These borrowers will keep the same account numbers, customer service phone number, and addresses for mailed payments. They will also use their Navient user ID and password to access the Aidvantage website.
FedLoan Servicing borrowers
FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA) has already transferred some of their Direct loans over to MOHELA. These borrowers had to create a new username and password on the MOHELA website. While they have extended their contract through December 2022, more loan transfers from FedLoan Servicing to other servicers are expected in the next year.
Tips for success
When federal loans transfer to new servicers, the loan terms, including interest rates and benefits do not change. Borrowers who are anticipating a servicer change should save a copy of their current loan information and verify that their contact information is up to date so their new servicer will be able to reach them.
Borrowers should read every notification from lenders and loan servicers. These are often emails, but could be texts and mail as well. Loan borrowers often receive solicitations from refinance lenders and even loan forgiveness scams, so it can be tempting to ignore loan notifications. Now is not the time to disregard information from servicers. Again, the best way to confirm the current servicer is to log into the Federal Student Aid website.
Upon transfer to a new loan servicer, it is vital to access account information on the new website to review account details, confirm contact information is accurate, and to make note of an updated user ID and password for that new website. Check back with us in the new year, when we will provide more tips to get you ready for the first federal loan payment in 2022.