The U.S. Department of Education and many other private lenders issue loans to students to help them fund their education. These lenders do not always handle the loan servicing and customer services themselves. It does not mean that they will not share funds to the school, college payments or other services provided for the potential borrowers to manage their loans.
This is where Heartland Educational Computer Systems Inc, commonly referred to as ECSI comes in action. Heartland ECSI is one of the largest and oldest student loan servicers in the U.S. ECSI services several types of loans for students at every educational level. If you are borrowing for school then there is a good chance for you to have ECSI as a servicer for some of the loans.
List of contents
- What is Heartland ECSI?
- Services provided
- Available tuition payment plans
- How to create an ECSI account
- Consolidating your Federal Loans
- Refinancing your private loan
- How to make contact with ECSI
- Customer reviews
What is Heartland ECSI?
Heartland ECSI stands for Heartland Educational Computer Systems Inc. It is a student loan servicer that manages the repayment process for student loans from many colleges and universities, including Federal and even private education loans. They also provide the flexibility of repayment duration for college graduates who have recently moved into the workplace.
The company has been in business since 1972 and has been serving as one of the largest servicers in the student loan industry. It has around 2,200 colleges and university as partners and handles over 11 million payments on a daily basis and collect over $100 million in payments annually. They can service any type of student loan and provide customer services.
The key point to know is that ECSI does not offer student loans. It is a loan servicer which manages the collection and processing of monthly payments. Private lenders and the Department of Education entrust ECSI to manage these services with borrowers.
The lenders might use these servicers in order to focus on getting new borrowers while all management of customers will be done by servicers. Using third-party servicers helps them lower the labor cost for keeping tracks of repayments.
It is commonly done in universities and colleges as they do not have staff or the ability to handle the repayment so they hire them for outside help.
Heartland ECSI also acts as a customer service agent for the borrower. They also pick all the important tax documents that you require and keep you updated with the status of your account while helping you with the queries you may have too.
The following is a list of services provided by ECSI -
1. Manages your student loan
It consists of a collection of payments and reporting the payment information to the 3 credit bureaus and to access the account information which was borrowed.
2. Helps refund
The company helps in refunds and thus, makes arrangements for the funds to be delivered. You can always log in through an online account with ECSI to see how much of your refund you have received. Under direct deposit, you will be getting refunds to your banks within 2-3 days after the loan is disbursed.
3. Provides the right repayment options
It provides the students various options to defer student loan payment when they are in school and provides various payment plans for those who have graduated or left the academic programs.
4. Assitance for past tuition and fees due
Heartland ECSI gives assistance for those students who have a past due. They help them in the process of repayment by walking them through everything - from getting a new payment plan or to just get the balance paid in full. If you are in default, the ECSI education company might report it to credit bureaus.
5. Consolidation and refinancing your loan
It gives people the option to consolidate and refinance federal student loans as well as private student loans.
1098-T Tax Forms
They send out the tax documents to those students who have paid qualified education expenses in their previous tax years. The qualified expenses consist of tuition enrollment fees and the cost of course materials.
ECSI has partnered with around 2,200 colleges and universities where they collect more than a total of $100 million in terms of annual student loan payments.
The collected loans include the following -
Federal student loans
Refinanced student loans
Private student loans
Primary care loans
Health and nursing loans
Virtual student loans
As a borrower, you do not choose whether Heartland ECSI will be your servicer or not. The lender assigns you a servicer and informs you of it, telling you any further actions that you have to take.
Available tuition payment plans
Heartland ECSI not only provides you the option to pay back the student loan, but it also offers tuition payment plans to eligible students. It makes it easy and possible to pay the tuition of your school over the months without even looking at the incurring late fees if it is pending or any other fee. Their services prevent the payment of large amounts in the long run and help save money.
Tuition payment plans are optional and vary between schools. ECSI makes it efficient by maintaining a total list of schools which allow these payment plans. This also includes schools that are in Arizona, Maryland, West Virginia, and Boston too.
To get enrolled in this payment plan and make a payment, you need to visit the Heartland ECSI payment plan page and sign in to get all the instructions in order to complete the application. Go for the school that you are in and follow up on the action.
After you get access to your account, access the information and check the available payments which are listed and which allows you to pay tuition, student fee and student housing cost for a period of several months than doing it once at the beginning of the year.
How to create a Heartland ESCI account
The company normally works with colleges and universities. For student loan borrowers, the school's financial websites often direct you to create an online account with the ECSI.
Go to their website, click on the sign in or register button where you will get a register window
Create a username and password for yourself
Follow up with the 'Continue' button next. You will be required to enter your personal information such as your name and date of birth.
You are required to choose a security question and keep the answer protected for your personal use only and log in later. It is often used during password recovery in cases of forgotten passwords.
Go for sign in and accept it.
Use the username and password that was created before and use it to log in.
You are required to answer one of the security questions which you have previously chosen. It will only happen in case you log in from a new device.
Now you need to connect your accounts which requires information such as the ECSI key or the school code, account number and the ECSI PIN.
You will be at your school account screen in no time. Click the red + sign which is located below and says 'connect an account'.
Enter the following information which you have received from your lender.
Using your ECSI key, enter it on the left side under the connect an account then press connect.
Enter your ECSI PIN on the right side of the box with the school code and your social security number as well as your loan account number.
ECSI Key will be displayed and processed on the left side of the box.
Your loan account should be connected.
Consolidating your Federal Loans with Heartland ECSI
If you have Federal student loans that are serviced by Heartland ECSI, consolidating your loans to a Direct Consolidation Loan will help you keep the option for loan forgiveness under the income-driven repayment plan.
You can check if there are loans that are set exactly at 5% or below. The institution usually goes for these loans for students because it has a lower interest rate. There aren't any eligibility criteria for students or loan forgiveness or federal repayment programs to consolidate these non-direct loans under the federal forgiveness programs.
Refinancing your private loans
Under Heartland ECSI, the loans are not set at a 5% interest rate. Having Heartland ECSI as a loan servicer and wishing to pay off this loan faster might require a wise refinancing of the loan with a new lender.
The advantage of refinancing is that you can choose the lender and servicer and the advantage of cashback bonuses are readily available. By doing this you might get a lower interest rate and better terms on saving of your thousands in interest.
How to make contact with ECSI?
For borrowers to make contacts with them, the ECSI makes paying back of loans simple and fast.
1. Online payments - They make provision for payment through three means such as - online, direct payments(recurring ACH payments), e-check (single ACH payments) or credit card.
2. Phone payments - ACH and credit card payment methods are accepted through the telephone.
3. Snail Mail - The borrower can mail the check or money order to the ECSI. It provides an efficient online system to grant access to student loan borrowers, every information regarding tuition fee payments and loans. ECSI software handles electronic payments, e-signature for master promissory notes and the Credit bureau reporting mechanism to process the IRS 1098.
You can get in touch with ECSI from Monday to Friday from 7.30 am to 8.00 pm EST.
Loan Servicing: 888-549-3274
Tuition Payment Plans: 866-927-1438
Financial Aid Refunds: 855-250-3230
Tax Documents: 866-428-1098
You can even live chat with the customer service representative from Monday to Friday from 8 am to 7 pm EST
Heartland ECSI Customer Reviews
Borrowers have given a mixed review of ECSI as a student loan servicer and in terms of the company's customer service teams too. A total of 148 complaints have been made with the Better Business Bureau about ECSI.
ECSI processes the payment twice, which leads to the misleading and insufficient fund while checking the accounts, a student claimed
Others claim that they never received any paper works for public service loans
Failing to set up an automatic payment plan and ACH transactions properly have also been filed
Long waiting for customer supports when getting at ECSI
Even the complaint board has also received a complaint on the ECSI which states that the ECSI business practices have been downright greedy
Many customers do say that their service is awful and find it hard to navigate around their website
Moreover, ECSI charges fees for online payments
Others complained about payments missing while the site was under maintenance.
Looking at the complaints, you might not want the ECSI as a servicer or you might be disappointed that it has been chosen to service your loans. If you are facing any trouble with the ECSI as a servicer, you can always call or send them a mail to get the issue resolved.
The option of changing a servicer requires you to consolidate the eligible federal student loan with the Department of education or to the private loan lender.
ECSI has so many different loans where it has no guarantee that these steps will help you with your new servicer.
Other student loans that are serviced have also received complaints and have been sued by the borrowers as soon as the new servicer couldn't live up to the expectations.
Having a broad understanding of your obligations as a borrower goes a long way to help you and make sure you confirm all the payments which have been made and also contact ECSI if you feel something is wrong.
How do I contact Heartland ECSI for queries?
You can contact a student advocate using Live Chat or toll-free at 844.454.6100, Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 8:00 pm Eastern Time.
What happens if I miss a monthly payment for a payment plan?
Given the situation that you miss a scheduled payment then you have 45 days to make the payment and bring your payment plan to a current status. If you do not bring your payment plan current within the 45 day time period, your full balance will be considered past due and you will begin to receive communications about your past-due account. Your account may also be sent to a collection agency.
Why is it necessary to sign a pay plan agreement?
When you set up a payment plan to pay your past-due account balance, you will need to sign a payment plan agreement. This agreement ensures that both parties understand and agree to the details regarding the payment plan agreement including the number of monthly payments, the monthly payment amount, and the date in which the payments will be drawn.
Why is it necessary to sign a Truth in Lending Disclosure?
In some instances, you will be required to sign a truth in lending disclosure as part of the payment plan set up process. There are different criteria that determines if you need to sign a truth in lending disclosure such as payment plans over 12 months. The truth in lending disclosure is required under Regulation Z of the Truth in Lending Act of 1968.
What is the right to cancel?
If your payment plan requires truth in lending disclosure, you are given a 3 day right of rescission or Right to Cancel. This allows you up to three business days to cancel your payment plan should you change your mind. Your right to cancel extends until midnight of the third business day after you complete the payment plan set up process. No additional penalties will be applicable for exercising your right to cancel.