Many Americans currently owe a bundle in student loans, but not all have a solid repayment plan. Nitro, an aggregate for student loan lenders, reports that Americans currently owe a whopping $1.5 trillion in student loans and the average loan debt is over $37,000. In fact, over the third quarter of 2019, nationwide student loan debt increased by $20 billion from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
FedLoan Servicing is one of the few approved federal student loan servicers that help manage student loans. It offers student loan repayment plans, loan forgiveness for qualified borrowers, consolidation and more. It also provides a library of educational resources and tools for students to better understand student loan debt and repayment strategies.
Paying back loans with FedLoan
Repaying student loans with FedLoan Servicing is simple. The student loan servicer offers different income-driven repayment plans, each of which requires annual recertification. Payments can be as little as $0, depending on income and family size.
- Pay As You Earn plan generally reduces payments to about 10% of discretionary income and payments come with a term of up to 20 years.
- Income-Based Repayment plan similarly reduces monthly payments, but payments are usually about 15% of the borrower’s annual income. However, that rate can drop to 10% for new borrowers. People who qualify can take up to 25 years under this plan to repay loans.
- Income Contingent Repayment plan considers the lesser of either 20% of discretionary income or the fixed amount that would be otherwise paid over a 12-year period. The term is up to 25 years.
- Revised Pay As You Earn plan, designed for borrowers who aren’t eligible for other income-driven repayment plans. It’s based on 10% of your income with a term of up to 20 years. However, if you borrowed a direct loan for graduate or professional study, then the REPAYE term extends to 25 years.
Remember, married couples preparing to file a joint tax return should consider that spouse’s student loan debt and income are also considered in most cases.
There are several advantages to using FedLoan Servicing as a student loan servicer. First, it provides online and mobile access to accounts to check loan balances, see payment statuses, make a payment and more. Finally, FedLoan Servicing has seven ways to make a payment: advance payments, automatic payments, mail, mobile app, online, phone, and third-party bill pay. Setting up a recurring automatic payment results in a 0.25% interest rate reduction.
Working with FedLoan Servicing
Life can get in the way and make it difficult to pay back those federal loans on a set timeline. However, it’s important to never let life stop you from working toward that financial freedom if you can’t pay back federal loans. However, using anonline calculator can help keep a budget in order to pay back loans faster. But, if you can’t pay back student loans, don’t just ignore it.
“My No. 1 tip is to talk with the lender or servicer first,” says Mark Kantrowitz, nationally recognized leading expert on student financial aid. “Ignoring the problem will not make it go away. It may even get worse. For example, if you default on federal loans, you lose deferments and forbearances.”
Missing one payment results in delinquency, but miss several payments and you’ll find yourself in default, negatively impacting your credit score. So working with a FedLoan Servicing agent is vital. Adverse events will happen in life: you lose a job or a portion of your monthly income for one reason or another, and now your budget is off. That’s OK — there are ways your loan servicer can work with you until you are back on your feet.
How to contact FedLoan
FedLoan Servicing phone number (toll-free):
1-800-699-2908; Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.
FedLoan email: Sign in to your FedLoan account to send an email
Fax number (for returning or verifying documents): 717-720-1628
FedLoan mailing addresses
For general correspondence:
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
For sending payments to FedLoan:
Department of Education
P.O. Box 790234
St. Louis, MO 63179-0234
For student loan consolidation-related documents:
FedLoan Consolidation Department
P.O. Box 69186
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9186
For credit disputes with FedLoan:
FedLoan Servicing Credit
P.O. Box 60610
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0610
FedLoan Servicing’s student loan forgiveness program
Because FedLoan Servicing is the only federal student loan servicer that conducts and operates a federal student loan forgiveness program, you may not want to refinance with a different lender if you’re eligible for the program. When borrowers refinance their FedLoan loans, they forfeit any sort of advantages that came with them, like forgiveness programs, revised payment programs and more.
Teacher loan forgiveness
If borrowers teach full-time for five consecutive years in a low-income elementary school, secondary school or educational facility, they are eligible for up to $17,500 in student loan forgiveness.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness program
FedLoan offers student loan forgiveness for people who work for an eligible employer — like a not-for-profit organization, government organization, Peace Corps or AmeriCorps — and make 120 consecutive monthly payments on their loans. Furthermore, your work with the eligible employer must also be full time (at least 30 hours a week) or at least work for more than one employer with a total of 30 hours a week of employment.
Total and permanent disability discharge
For people who have a disability, it may be grounds to have the entirety of the remaining student loans discharged. Of course, the condition must be well-documented and the borrower must prove that they are unable to pay back their loans because of this disability. To obtain an application, contact the NelNet Total and Permanent Disability Service Provider:
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 87130
Lincoln, NE 68501
Other FedLoan forgiveness programs
FedLoan offers other loan forgiveness programs to borrowers who may not fit in the other two cases. These include borrowers who attended schools that are no longer accredited, who were victims of identity fraud when the loan was opened and family members of eligible victims of September 11, 2001 terrorist attack. It’s important to check your eligibility with this loan forgiveness programs before applying.
The bottom line
FedLoan Servicing offers many options to match a variety of incomes and budgets and may also be able to help you find a solution during short-term or long-term financial distress. However, communication and having a solid repayment strategy are the keys to success.
Sometimes paying off student loans faster means paying on the interest while still in school. There are many ways to do this, from working a few extra hours to finding creative, new ways to boost cash flow. Use a student loan budgeting calculator for help, and don’t forget to review your finances. After all, any good budget begins with knowing your assets — and your sources of money coming in.
Prioritize your monthly debts from most important to least important. Is there anything that you could do without for a while? This is one question that you can ask yourself when looking for new ways to find extra cash to repay your student loans sooner. Above all, work with your FedLoan Servicing adviser to find the solution you need.