MOHELA Student Loan Servicer Review

Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) services your Direct Loans. Read about their repayment plans, payment process along with the advantages and contact information. They also provide forbearance and deferment for their borrowers.

Updated by C Laltlanhlua on 5th July 2019

MOHELA, Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, established in 1981, is currently one of the ten largest student loan servicers with their headquarter situated in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. They have been providing services for more than 30 years as a non-profit company. Like every other federal loan servicer, the U.S. Department of Education will be the one choosing MOHELA as a servicer for borrowers.

It is crucial, as a borrower, to understand the services and procedures followed by your loan servicer. Doing so will help you escape and avoid unnecessary issues with your loans such as - missing due dates, confusion on the interest rate, ignorance towards better repayment plans, etc..

In case your loan is assigned to MOHELA, this review article was crafted for you to grab everything you need to know about them as your federal student loan servicer.


List of Contents

The following list consists of different topics that will be covered in this article.

You may use this list to navigate to the different sections as per your desire.


What is MOHELA?

MOHELA started as a quasi-governmental entity back in 1981. Currently having more than 600 full-time employees, they are extending their services for student loans with over $39 billion in total. MOHELA is in direct contract with the U.S Department of Education and works as a middleman(called “servicer”) between the government and federal student loan borrowers. As a servicer, they take care of -

  • Accounts Management for federal student loan borrowers

  • Billing and Accepting Repayments

  • Offering suitable Repayment Plans

  • Following up on Loan Defaults

  • Consolidation, Discharge, and Forgiveness for applicable loans

  • Customer Services, etc.

MOHELA has a very optimized web portal where borrowers have access to every information about their loans from interest rates and due date to the outstanding balance, etc. Later in this article, we will discuss their online portal further in detail.


Interest rates

The following table contains the detailed Interest Rates for Student Loan disbursed on or After July 1, 2018, and Before July 1, 2019.

Loan Borrower Interest Rate
Direct Subsidized Loans and Direct Unsubsidized Loans Undergraduate 5.05%
Direct Unsubsidized Loans Graduate or Professional 6.60%
Direct PLUS Loans Parents and Graduate or Professional Students 7.60%

The above rates are fixed for the entirety of the loan period. Further changes will be subjected only to future disbursement.


Loans Serviced by MOHELA

The following loans are owned and serviced by MOHELA.

  • Federal Subsidized and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans

  • Federal Perkins Loans

  • Federal PLUS Loans

  • Federal Grad PLUS Loans

  • Federal Student Loan Consolidation

  • Private Alternative Loans

Repayment Plans

The Repayment Plans for Loans serviced by MOHELA, as mentioned below, are subjected to eligibility. 

Based on the Duration of Loan

1 - Standard (Level) Repayment

  • For Direct Loans & FFELP

  • A term of 10 years, or up to 30 years if consolidation is done

  • A default plan if no other plan is selected

  • Fixed monthly payment with a minimum of $50

  • It is quick and interest paid in total is the lowest

2 - Graduated Repayment

  • For Direct Loans & FFELP

  • A term of 10 years

  • Eligible upon request

  • The monthly payment is low at the beginning and increases gradually

  • Helpful if your income is to increase over time

3 - Extended Repayment

  • For Direct Loans & FFELP

  • A term of up to 25 years

  • Eligible if Loan is more than $30,000

  • Payment can be fixed or graduated

  • Low monthly payment but high-interest amount over time

Income-Driven Repayment Plans

1 - Income-Based Repayment (IBR)

  • For Direct Loans  & FFELP

  • A term of 20 or 25 years with forgiveness thereafter

  • Eligible if the need-for plan can be demonstrated

  • Payment based on 10% or 15% of discretionary income

  • Reduced monthly payment amount if qualify, or cap at 10 years payment

  • Used prior to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

2 - Pay As You Earn (PAYE)

  • For Direct Loans only

  • A term of 20 with forgiveness thereafter

  • Eligible if need-of-plan can be demonstrated

  • Payment based on 10% of discretionary income

  • Reduced monthly payment amount if qualify, or cap at 10 years payment

  • Used prior to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

3 - Revised Pay As You Earn (REPAYE)

  • For Direct Loans only

  • A term of 20 years for undergraduates and 25 years for graduates with forgiveness thereafter

  • Eligible based on adjusted gross income, family size and total federal student loan debt

  • Payment based on 10% of discretionary income

  • Reduced monthly payment amount

  • Used prior to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

4 - Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR)

  • For Direct Loans only

  • A term of 25 years with forgiveness thereafter

  • Eligible based on adjusted gross income, family size and total federal student loan debt

  • Payments  based on 20% of discretionary income or a percentage of payment on a Standard Plan with a 12-year repayment period, whichever is lower

  • Used prior to Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

5 - Income-Sensitive Repayment

  • For FFELP only

  • A term of 5 years after which the plan will be set to Standard or Graduated

  • Eligible based on gross monthly income

  • Lowers payments at 12 months intervals

  • Affordable payment based on monthly income

Income-Driven Repayments are not available for Parent PLUS loans where parents borrow for their child.

Proof of income and family size, if applicable need to be provided every year to continue the income-driven repayment plan. Failing to do so could turn you ineligible to continue with the plan and set you to the Standard Repayment Plan, whichever has a higher monthly payment.


Procedures for Singing Up

If your loan has been assigned to MOHELA for service, the first thing you need to do is to sign up to their website to have access to their online portal for borrowers. Follow the following steps to do so.

Step 1 - Go to their website https://www.mohela.com and click on the login tab on the left side of the menu bar.

Step 2 - Click on “CREATE WEB ACCOUNT”.

Step 3 - Enter your Social Security Number (SSN) and Date of Birth. Choose and enter a secure username and password. Tick the checkbox to accept the Notices given on the page. Then click on the Continue Button.

Step 4 - Set your preferences for communication and security. And follow the on-screen instructions to complete the signup process.

This process is fairly simple and it will only take a minute or two to complete. After your account is created, you have full access to the online portal where you can see your interest rates, outstanding balance, payment options and other useful information of your loan account.


Modes of Payment of Student Loans

MOHELA provides the following modes of payment.

  • One-Time Payment for a single monthly payment through their website

  • Auto Debit can be set up to automatically debit from your bank account, an additional 0.25% interest rate reduction will be given

  • Automated Phone Call at 888.866.4352 or 636.532.0600 (for International)

  • Online bill payment services via the school’s bill payment service or a third party bill payment service

  • Check by mail or Money Order can be sent, but requires the most amount of time to complete the process

Loan Deferment and Forbearance

Deferment

Deferment is a process in which the repayment of the loan is postponed. The subsidized loan will not accrue interest during the deferment period. If you are unable to afford the monthly payment amount, immediately reach out to MOHELA as you may qualify to apply for deferment.

Types of Deferment

1 - In-School Deferment

If the borrower is still in college or career school and faces financial struggles to pay for the loan, they can request for In-School Deferment.

2 - Unemployment Deferment

If the borrower is unemployed or struggling to secure a full-time job, they can request for Unemployment Deferment up to a period of 3 years.

3 - Economic Hardship Deferment

The borrower can request this deferment during periods of economic hardships.

4 - Military Deferment

If the borrower is at an active military service or operation, they can request for Military Deferment

Kindly contact MOHELA to further check if your eligibility for deferment. The contacts are included at the end of this article - phone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Forbearance

Forbearance is a process in which the repayment of the loan is temporarily postponed. Subsidized loan, as well as Unsubsidized Loan, will accrue interest during the forbearance period. The unpaid interest amount will be capitalized.

Types of Forbearance

1 - Medical or Dental Internship or Residency Forbearance

For borrowers who are attending medical or dental internship or a residency program.

2 - Student Loan Debt Burden Forbearance

For borrowers whose monthly loan payment exceeds 20% of total monthly gross income.

3 - National Service Forbearance

For borrowers who received a national service award for their current servicing position.

4 - Teacher Loan Forgiveness Forbearance

For borrowers who work as teachers.

5 - Department of Defense Loan Repayment Program Forbearance

For borrowers who qualify for the US Department of Defense Student Loan Repayment Program.

6 - National Guard Forbearance

For borrowers who live in a place where a federally-declared natural disaster happens, it could cover up to 3 months.

Kindly contact MOHELA to further check if your eligibility for forbearance. The contacts are included at the end of this article.


Loan Discharge, Forgiveness and Consolidation

Discharge

For several unavoidable circumstances, you may be discharged from your loan and will no longer have to make repayments. The following are the conditions to get your MOHELA Loan discharged.

1 - Closed School Discharge

  • You are eligible for a discharge if the school you are currently enrolled in is closed

  • You are eligible for a discharge if your school closes before 120 days after you withdrew

  • You are NOT eligible for a discharge if you have completed your coursework, even if you have not received your certificate, diploma or degree

  • You are NOT eligible for a discharge if you receive a transfer or a teach-out agreement due to the closure of your school

2 - Disability Discharge

If you were ever to face unfortunate circumstances that result in a Total and Permanent Disability(TPD) and can no longer work, kindly contact Nelnet Total and Permanent Disability Servicer and apply for a discharge.

Website: www.disabilitydischarge.com

Phone: 1.888.303.7818

Mail:

U.S. Department of Education

P.O. Box 87130

Lincoln, NE 68501

Overnight Delivery:

U.S. Department of Education

121 South 13th Street, Suite 201

Lincoln, NE 68508

Upon approval, you will no longer have to make repayments for your federal student loans.

3 - Death Discharge

For an unfortunate event of the death of the borrower or the dependent individual of a Parent PLUS loan, a partial or full discharge may be given after submission of a clear photocopy of the death certificate of the deceased.

In case a death certificate cannot be provided easily, the following documents need to be submitted as an alternative, for Direct Student Loans only -

  • From an official of a county clerk’s office verifying that the deceased and death certificate could not be provided at the current time

  • Letter from a clergyman or funeral director with official letterhead

  • A post of the death on a local newspaper

Forgiveness

1 - Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)

If you work full-time in a qualifying public employer, with a qualifying repayment plan and had 10 years of qualifying monthly payment, you may be eligible for forgiveness for the remaining balance of your direct loan.

2-  Teacher Loan Forgiveness

If you are a teacher who had taught for 5 consecutive years as a full-time employee in an educational service agency, secondary school or low-income elementary school, your federal loan may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,000. You have to fill up the application form and contact MOHELA to process your application.

Consolidation

Consolidation is the process of combining smaller loans into one loan for one payment, with one interest rate. During the process of consolidation, you may choose your new servicer. Just log into the website - www.StudentLoans.gov.

A mailing option is also present which takes a longer period of completion time. MOHELA is among the listed servicer to choose from.

We have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of loan consolidation thoroughly in previous articles, you may also check them if you would like to.

To consolidate your Loans under MOHELA contact them through the contact details given at the end of this article.


Complaints

Compared to the number of loans that they have serviced, the number of online complaints available is very low. Here are the most common complaints regarding their services.

Recurring Phone calls

Many customers complained about the number of times MOHELA attempted to call them, mainly reminder of delinquency. If they fail to make contact with borrowers, the home phone, work phone, and even family members were contacted excessively even when these family members’ phone numbers were not listed for contacts.

Loan Transfer Issues

In 2015, MOHELA received a transfer of every single one of the loans which were previously serviced by Aspire Resource. This particular transfer caused one of the largest issues including false delinquency reports of loans, changes in schedules of payments, inability to retrieve document history which is allegedly due to loss of documents during the transfer process, etc..

Failure to Inform about Forgiveness Programs

Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) has always been a complicated and confusing program. Customers lack knowledge about their eligibility and made numerous complaints since MOHELA failed to notify them.


Conclusion

MOHELA, being one of the biggest servicers for Federal Student Loan, has provided services over 30 years and for over $39 billion loans. They are one of the biggest servicers for Federal Student Loan with a high reputation. Their services are commendable. Nevertheless, issues and complaints from customer still exist as discussed above and MOHELA also still have rooms for improvements.

Contacts and Assistance

For contacts and assistance from MOHELA, please refer to the following.

Telephone number

888.866.4352 (Toll-Free)

636.532.0600 (International)

FAX number

866.222.7060 (Toll-Free)

636.787.2790 (International)

Address

MOHELA

633 Spirit Drive

Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243

You may also contact MOHELA from the online portal.

For information regarding the services of MOHELA, you may also contact the US Department of Education.

US Department of Education phone number - 1-800-621-3115.


FAQ's

  How do I pay Mohela?


You can pay through the online phone mail or money order and auto debit. you can pay through all these 4 ways. Each has its own benefits and additional advantages regarding it. You can pay through phone at any point of the day through auto debit you likely get a discount of 0.25 on interest rate and other things as follows.

  Can I refinance my Mohela student loan?


Yes, you can refinance your federal student loans but not with your federal student loan servicer. You can always go with a private lender for refinancing before you go for refinancing better to think about the benefits of federal loans such as income-based repayment or loan forgiveness and see are you relying on it and choose it.

  Does Mohela forgive student loans?


Yes, it provides forgiveness options to the borrowers under the income-driven repayment plan where you require to make payments for a period of 20 to 25 years and then the remaining balance can be qualifying for forgiveness. It even provides teacher forgiveness plan.

  Is Mohela a federal student loan?


It's a federally owned loan servicer who services the federal loans for students or parent PLUS borrowers, where it services the loans on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education it helps you in managing your loans and gets you explored the benefits and repayment decisions and prepare the payments.

  Does Mohela report to credit bureau?


Student loan servicers report all faults of minimum 90 days to the credit agencies. The late payment generally states hangs to your credit report for seven years. So it's kind of hard that you work with your student loan servicer. If you are experiencing any sort of difficulties on making payments then contact and discuss the alternative options available for you.

  What does graduate repayment mean?


There are several numbers of loan repayment options available to the U.S. student loan borrowers among the one is the graduated repayment schedule. Where borrowers can reduce their monthly loan repayments for a certain time without extending their repayment period by going with the graduated repayment.

  Can you pay Mohela by credit card?


Loan servicers such as MOHELA and FedLoan needs their borrowers to make their payments through their cheque or savings the account. Under some events, it can be possible with strict conditions on it. well, private students can able to pay for their student loan through credit card but it might need to pay a fee for doing it.

  What does MOHELA stand for?


Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority it is based on the St. Louis, Missouri with its workplace in Columbia, Missouri, and Washington D.C, MOHELA has more than 30 years of experience in the area of student loans servicing industry.

  What does standard repayment mean?


Standard repayment is the very common and popular repayment plan which is open for federal student loan and parents PLUS loans as it defaults the option of the borrower who has not chosen any other repayment plan. In the standard repayment plan, you will be getting a standard 120 fixed payments in the repayment term for a period of 10 years.

  What kind of loan is Mohela?


It's a federal loan servicer which does on behalf of the Department of  Education which is specialized in Federal Family Education Loan programs there are a lot of services who provide you loan servicing among them the MOHELA is one and it does other various services to help them in the payment and another process too.