Loan servicers act as an intermediary between you and the federal student loan program that helped you pay for school. No matter what your situation after you leave school, if you’ve taken out federal student loans to pay for your education, it’s in your best interest to know who your federal loan servicing company is, so that you can stay on top of payments (or make other plans to protect your future).
Current federal student loan programs include the Federal Perkins Loan, Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, and Direct PLUS Loan. Typically, federal student loans come due when a student graduates, drops below half-time enrollment, or leaves school (or after a grace period of up to six months, for some programs). When it’s time, you’ll make your payments directly to your loan servicer.
Even if you can’t make your payments, it’s important to know who your federal loan servicer is and to contact them as soon as possible to learn your options. Loan servicers can help you find new repayment plans, change your existing plan, or consolidate your loans. They can also help you with student loan forgiveness programs or deferment.
Who Is My Federal Loan Servicer?
With the exception of Perkins Loans, which are sometimes serviced by the school you attended, most federal loan servicing goes through one of these organizations:
- CornerStone: 1-800-663-1662
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA): 1-800-699-2908
- Granite State – GSMR: 1-888-556-0022
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services: 1-800-236-4300
- HESC/Edfinancial: 1-855-337-6884
- MOHELA: 1-888-866-4352
- Navient: 1-800-722-1300
- Nelnet: 1-888-486-4722
- OSLA Servicing: 1-866-264-9762
To find out which loan servicer is yours, you’ll need to create an FSA ID and access the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), which is the U.S. Department of Education’s student aid database.
Using the NSLDS to Find Your Loan Servicer
The FSA ID replaces the FSA PIN, which served as the login code for Federal Student Aid sites until May 10, 2015. If you logged into the system prior to that time (for instance, to fill out your FAFSA), you’ll need to create a new FSA ID in order to use the system.
- Go to the Federal Student Aid FSA ID page.
- Create a new FSA ID. The site will prompt you to fill out your email address and choose a username and password. You’ll also have to confirm that you are 13 years of age or older. Click continue to fill out the rest of your information.
- Note that the information you enter for your FSA ID must exactly match what you included on your FAFSA. According to the Federal Student Aid site’s FAQs, login issues are often due to students and parents confusing their FSA IDs. They remind students not to share their FSA ID with anyone, to avoid confusion.
- Once you’ve created your FSA ID, go to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), and click on “Financial Aid Review.” You’ll be asked to confirm that you’re willing to share private information, including your Social Security number. Click “Accept,” and use your FSA ID to log in.
- Next, you’ll see a page listing your federal student loans. Click on the blue numbers just before the “Type of Loan” column. Scroll to the bottom of the page, and look for a line reading “Servicer/Lender/Guaranty Agency/ED Servicer Information.” The contact listed beside “Current ED Servicer” is your federal loan servicer.
You will then have to sign up directly with your federal loan servicer to make payments. Once you’re signed up, you can opt to receive your billing statements electronically, and pay them the same way, or schedule automatic debits from your bank account. You can also pay your bill by check, mailing your payment directly to your loan servicer — however, you may be eligible for a small interest rate reduction (for example, 0.25%) if you opt to pay via automatic debit.