Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency PHEAA runs the non-profit organization called FedLoan Servicing. This organization handles Federal student loans nationally.
Nine federal loan servicers are appointed by the government to service the student loans and handle the loan payments. FedLoans is one of them. It should be noted that an employment certificate is required to get FedLoan Servicing. Public reviewers have criticized the company’s customer service as impolite and unhelpful. Others have reported that their website doesn't have the appropriate information.
When you have a Federal Loan, then probably you might end up with FedLoan Servicing automatically. You can't pick your apple from the basket.
There was a lawsuit filed against FedLoan Servicing by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in August 2017. He put allegations on the company that they prevented student borrowers from making a qualifying monthly payment, which they count towards loan forgiveness, changing the consequences of its loan servicing failures on students.
- FedLoan Servicing Reviews
- Loans serviced by FedLoan
- Services provided
- Payment methods
- Is FedLoan the worst servicing out there
- How to settle a dispute with FedLoan
- Contact FedLoan Servicing
FedLoan servicing reviews
In the last three years, the Better Business Bureau has received 271 complaints about MyFedLoan Servicing. So BBB finally declared MyFedLoan Servicing as a non- accredited company. In the past 12 months, they have received 118 complaints.
Many people claim that they had no issue whatsoever with MyFedLoan servicing
You need to provide your employment certification form to get an early confirmation for PSLF. We advise you to check with your new ECF annually. There are 8 million qualified borrowers for Public Service Loan Forgiveness, but FedLoan servicing had accepted 874,379 borrowers
Loan forgiveness is awarded to government workers and employees who have made 120 monthly payments in the income-driven repayment plan. However, many borrowers got disappointed when they came to know that they are not eligible for an IDR plan, or they have opted for the wrong repayment plan
About 30,000 students receive TEACH grants every year, but most of them end up having their grants converted into loans because they haven't certified that they are completing their public service requirements
Benefits of Fedloan services
Managed by PHEAA FedLoan is a servicer that handles many loan Forgiveness applications.
The benefit Fedloans provide
1. When you register online with Fedloan, you get your monthly bills accessible on your electronic device.
2. Once you choose the auto option for your payments, your interest rates will reduce by 0.25%
3. If you fear going in default loans, always choose deferment and forbearance to avoid it, but even during this period interest rates are to be paid.
4. By enrolling Income-driven payments your monthly payments can be easily managed without any financial burden.
5. FedLoan also helps you apply for loan forgiveness once you have made 120 consecutive payments.
6. FedLoan student loan apps are available for easy access and managing your loans on the iPhone and iPad.
Drawbacks of FedLoan Servicing
In 2018, there was a survey on the company from many student loan planner readers. Half of the people gave 2.8 out of 5 stars to FedLoan.
1-Bad Customer Service
Generally, borrowers have mentioned that MyFedLoan has unhelpful, incompetent, and inconsistent customer service
It usually takes months to process simple requests which can be handled in 10-15 minutes. The borrower kept on getting different answers from different customer service representatives
Sometimes they take years to fix one mistake occurred by them and create a problem for borrowers to file their audits
2-Hurdles for public service loan forgiveness
FedLoan Servicing doesn't count the number of payments accurately. To qualify for forgiveness, you need to have 120 payments done, but they somehow come up with a lower amount
Some students had to refinance their loan instead of loan forgiveness because the company didn't count the payment accurately
Usually, under PSLF, borrowers don't get the right information as they don't have trained or informed customer service people to guide them
2017 was a lousy year for MyFedLoan Servicing as the Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey sued them. The complaint was made to the servicer of causing public servants to lose benefits and assistance through PSLF, and the teacher education assistance for college and higher education TEACH grant programs
3-Faults with Income-Driven Repayment
Some borrowers claimed that they didn't get the appropriate amount of information regarding repayment plans. They have been careless at planning the requests, and this makes borrowers pay more
In some cases, people have paid more to get a repayment plan, which took them several months to qualify
4-Making payments process horrible
FedLoan handles its payment process recklessly. In many cases, it has deducted the amount from borrowers' accounts where it has charged. As low-quality customer service, borrowers didn't get any acknowledgment of the problem, and it kept deducting money from them
You need to be very careful at choosing your loan servicing agency, do your research, ask people, and then make a decision
There are many complaints against the company, but these are the most common complaints borrowers have spoken.
Loans serviced by Fedloan servicer
In 2009, FedLoan was appointed to service Federal student loans offered by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) within the William. D. Ford Direct Loan Program.
You might get FedLoan as your servicer if you have opted for the following federal student loans -
The two main types of Federal Loans mainly serviced by FedLoan are -
Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) Loans
As stated on their official website, these kinds of loans were sold and transferred as a result of legislation known as the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA).
Under ECASLA, the U.S. Department of Education offered to purchase FFELP Loans from third-party lenders, primarily from the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years. FedLoan is one of the limited servicing agencies that is used by the US Department of Education to service these kinds of loans.
William D Ford Federal Direct Loan Program (Direct) Loans
These loans are not given through any third-party lenders; instead, they are provided directly by the US Department of Education. FedLoan is one of the few service providers employed by the US department of education to service these loans. These include Direct Subsidized, Unsubsidized, and PLUS Loans.
Services provided by FedLoan
There are several facilities provided by FedLoan to a student loan borrower to ease the process of loan repayment. The various repayment, consolidation, forgiveness, and deferment plans are mentioned below.
1)Repayment with FedLoan
Student loan repayment is the most important phase in clearing your debts. Based on the budget the borrower can take help from the various repayment plans offered by FedLoan. The eligibilities may vary according to the type of loan, here is an overview of all the repayment plans available and key features to look out for each
It can be the best option for you if you want to get rid of your loans as quickly as possible and are comfortable with the monthly payments required. This is the quickest pay off plan available. The monthly payments to be made in this plan are fixed.
This is the perfect plan to go for if you are comfortable in making larger monthly payments in the future. Monthly payments are less in the beginning, but it will increase over time. It is a quick payoff option, and in this plan, the initial monthly payments satisfy the interest-only.
Extended Fixed Repayment
This plan is ideal for you if you have a lot of debt on your hands, and none of the other programs are suitable for you. Monthly payments are lower than that of the standard repayment plan, and the repayment period is extended.
Extended Graduated Repayment
This repayment plan works best if you have a lot of debt, and your current situation isn’t suited for the other repayment plans available. Monthly payments are initially low and will increase over time. The repayment period can be extended.
if you require temporary relief to fit in your budget and are worried about your monthly payments, then this plan is perfect for you.
Monthly payments are low, and the repayment period can be extended. To be eligible, the loans have to be disbursed by FFEL. You must reapply annually for this plan as the information used to calculate the amount to be paid changes.
Income-Driven Repayment Plans
need to be submitted at studentloan.gov, these plans are based on your state of residence, income, and family size. Since the factors mentioned are subjected to change you will have to update it annually.
Here is an overview of the lifecycle -
Go to studentloans.gov and submit your request for application
Get approved for the IDR plan
Recertify when you receive a notification from FedLoan (you will be notified every 12 months)
Log in to studentloans.gov to complete the recertification
Receive loan forgiveness or pay off the remaining balance.
2)Consolidation with FedLoan
Student loan consolidation allows you to combine multiple federal loans into a single loan. Consolidation has its upsides as well as its downsides, and it depends from person to person and the current financial condition to see whether it is the right choice for you.
As mentioned you can combine only your federal loans, but what if you have private loans as well?
The solution to that is you can include those loans into the debt not to be consolidated, although adding this would result in an increase in the repayment term on your direct consolidation loan, as the total amount consolidated is more than the total amount of loans not to be consolidated.
Another important factor one should be aware of when consolidation is when it comes to PLUS loans, as a student you cannot consolidate your federal loans with a PLUS loan in your parent's name.
As a parent, you can consolidate a PLUS Loan with a federal loan you took for your schooling, you cannot consolidate a PLUS Loan with a federal loan obtained by a student in his/her name. Below are some pros and cons of FedLoan:
Much easier to manage payments with one bill and one servicer
You get an option to choose your servicer
If you have the fear of your interest rate going up you can switch from a variable-rate to a fixed-rate plan
If you are looking for a repayment plan, consolidation of your loans can help you get eligible for PAYE, REPAYE, PSLF, and ICR repayment plans.
There are chances of you ending up with a longer repayment term
If your interest gets capitalized then you
You could potentially lose eligibility for loan incentive program benefits
You could lose your eligibility for PSLF payments
You could lose your eligibility for IDR payments
There may be several reasons why you would have to postpone a payment. FedLoan considers this, and in fact, the IDR plan allows borrowers to pay $0 a month till they are financially capable of making payments.
If IDR isn’t an option for you, then you can temporarily suspend your payments by using the following options - (It should be noted that the interest will accrue during this time of suspension)
Forbearance and Deferment
Both forbearance and deferment are somewhere similar as they can help you to postpone your payments. Under forbearance, you can pause your payments for up to 12 months at a time, and you are responsible for interest accrued whatsoever loan type you have.
Another option is loan deferment through which you can postpone your payments for up to 36 months. If your loan is subsidized, then the government will take care of your accrued interest.
You can check your eligibility under the Manage Repayment Section of your account (FedLoan account) by taking a quiz online.
Worried about your college tuition? Learn more about student loans
4)Loan Forgiveness and Discharge
Based on your situation from a professional standpoint you may be eligible to cancel or forgive your loans. After 120 qualifying payments, you could qualify for forgiveness on your direct loans.
Here is an overview of some of the forgiveness programs -
Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) - If you are working full time with a qualifying public service organization or serving as a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer, you could potentially qualify for forgiveness after making 120 qualifying payments.
Teacher Loan Forgiveness - You can qualify for up to $17,500 on your FFEL program loans or Direct Loans if you teach full-time for 5 consecutive academic years in a low-income, secondary school or educational service agency.
Total and Permanent Disability Loan Discharge - If you have a medically definable physical or mental impairment or are a veteran who has a service-connected condition you could potentially qualify for a discharge based on a total and permanent disability.
Apart from the programs mentioned above, there are other options available, although they are much less common. Here is how you can qualify for them.
Other Loan Discharge Programs
School closure - You can qualify for this if the school you were attending had closed down and you were unable to finish your program in another school through a reach-out program.
False Certification of ability to benefit - You can qualify for this program is the school you attended had falsely certified your ability to benefit from the education.
False Certification (Disqualifying Status) - You can qualify for this if you had a physical condition, medical condition, legal status, or legal condition that would legally bar employment in your field of study at the time your school-issued your loan.
False certification as a result of identity theft - You can be eligible for this program if the loan was falsely certified.
Unauthorized signature/payment - If the school took your signature on the loan application/promissory note without you being aware of the transaction or endorsed your loan check and did not give you the loan proceeds, then you can be eligible for this.
Unpaid refund - You can qualify for this program if your school did not pay a tuition refund which was required under federal law. You can be eligible regardless of whether the school is open or closed.
Spouses or parents of 9/11/01 victims - If you are a spouse of a public servant or spouse/child of a victim who died or was permanently disabled due to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, then you can be eligible for a loan discharge.
When you miss on a payment you fall under delinquency and if you miss several payments then you default on your loans. This hurts your credit rating.
FedLoan will report the status of your loans to the consumer reporting agencies every month.
Still in school?
You don’t have to make payments while you are still in school, but FedLoan provides you with the tools to stay informed, from loan balances to interest accrued.
You can get instant access to the loan details through your account access. FedLoan can help verify enrollment if the student has received a bill while still in school.
Tools to help you target which loan you want to pay down first.
Done with school?
When you enter the grace period, FedLoan helps you with what to look out for during those six months.
You can always review your loan information through account access, which is an online tool provided by FedLoan.
You can estimate your monthly bill and create a plan on how to go about your repayment.
Once you know how much you should be paying each month, you can start lowering your payments by exploring various repayment options; there are options such as IDR where you can make a payment as low as $0 per month. Explore the different payment options available, as discussed earlier in this article.
7)Helping borrowers not moving to default
FedLoan helps you with simple tasks like sending you bills and reminding you due to payments. Always process your payments so that you don't fall into the default category. FedLoan know for helping students apply for loan forgiveness, they also help in the deferment or forbearance process. They provide details of the borrower looking for information to change your repayment plans. Consolidation and refinancing option details are also provided by them so that you don't fall into the default loan category. It is found that Consolidation and refinancing help save a lot of interest and payment amount.
FedLoan payment methods
Student loan payments can be made through FedLoan in the ways given below -
1 - Direct Debit
You can link your existing account to your FedLoan Servicing account. It will credit your money automatically on the same day for each month. By doing this, you get a benefit of 0.25% on your interest rate.
2 - Website
You can make a one-time payment through the website manually.
3 - App
You can download MyFedLoan App, and you can pay your dues or make any extra payment through it.
4 - Phone
It provides an automated phone line that is available all the time. Call on 1-800-699-2908, give your account number and bank account to make your payments.
5 - Mail
You can send your payments -
U.S. Department of Education
P.O. Box 530210
Atlanta, GA 30353-0210.
You can do this by sending a check or money order to the company. If you can't afford your current loan payments, then FedLoan provides some options for repayment.
6 - Pay by Third-Party Bill Pay Services
If you are keen on getting on board with a third-party service such as a bank, it should be noted that they should have the right address so that your payment is sent to the right place.
FedLoan does not provide any interest reduction or any form of incentives when you employ a third party to generate automatic payments. But a 0.25% reduction is provided when you enroll with the automated payment service provider of FedLoan Direct Debit.
If the payments are sent by email, then they will be effective from the day we receive it, or in the case of a holiday, it will be valid on the next working day.
During the submission of payment, no ‘additional’ or extra information will be entertained by FedLoan. If any queries do come up, it will be advisable to contact them directly.
Is FedLoan the worst servicing out there?
FedLoan servicing did not put out the right image of themselves amongst the federal loan servicers. People complain about their customer service, their handling of PSLF, and IDR programs. There exist complaints on how FedLoan handles its payment processing.
The primary reasons that make FedLoan, probably the worst servicing out there can be illustrated as follows:
Many borrowers claim that they have been waiting for months to have their request for income-driven repayment processed and approved. When made to wait for such a long time, there is an important decision that the borrowers need to make: do they make the impossible payments or use their forbearance, while the interest accrues.
Borrowers have encountered a variety of consolidation related errors. They are said to leave loans out even though all the loans are appropriately included in the consolidation application form. Sometimes they have put borrowers on a wrong repayment plan. Borrowers have faced cancellation of consolidation applications without their approval or knowledge. In short, the consolidation department can be termed as a disaster.
IDR re-certification Errors
In an income-driven repayment plan, borrowers must fill a recertification form. This is to recertify their income because the changes in the income result in changes to the borrower’s monthly payment. If a borrower does not recertify before the deadline, they might get removed from the plan. FedLoan customers complain of getting removed from their IDR plan even after they recertified before the deadline. Student loan borrowers often have to pay for FedLoan Servicing’s failures
Complaints received from people against the FedLoan Customer Service team consist of terms such as “unhelpful,” “inconsistent,” and “incompetent.” This sums up the quality and customer relationship with the customer service team.
People are unsatisfied with the way FedLoan handles its payment processing. There are cases where FedLoan didn’t apply payments to the outstanding loans correctly. In some cases, automatic payments were deducted even after the borrower had paid off his loan.
How to complain about FedLoan?
Suppose you face any difficulty while working with FedLoan that you are unable to resolve. In that case, you may file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s Office of Consumer Advocacy.
Call to FedLoan servicing Phone number: 1-800-213-9827 or send mail to:email@example.com
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
The Office of Consumer Advocacy
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
If you have credit disputes, you can mail:
FedLoan Servicing Credit
P.O. Box 60610
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0610
If your issue remains unresolved, you may also make complaints about FedLoan to:- Federal Student Aid Feedback System
You are advised to preserve records of conversations you have, including the day, time, and details of the customer service representative that you spoke. Also, keep copies of any letters, bills, or emails about your account.
How to change servicer?
If you are not comfortable with FedLoan as your servicer, you can change your student loan to another servicer. You can't change federal loan servicers, but there is a way to change servicers by refinancing your federal student loans through a private company. Refinancing student loans help you reduce interest rates on your existing student loans by handing over your loans to another private lender. You have got many private lenders who offer student loan refinancing. Just compare among the best companies to refinance your student loans to order to choose the right one that suits you.
How to settle a dispute with FedLoan?
You may contact the Federal Student Aid Ombudsman Group if your complaint remains unresolved. But this is the last resort. All the information on the Ombudsman Information Checklist should be completed before contacting. You can get in touch via:
FedLoan servicing contact: 877-557-2575
By mail: U.S. Department of Education
FSA Ombudsman Group
P.O. Box 1843
Monticello, KY 42633
Non-profit organizations like The Institute of Student Loan Advisors can be approached for free dispute resolution.
Contact FedLoan servicing
You can stay connected with the company by going to their contact page, which also has a FAQ section.
Their call center is open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 9 pm Eastern time. You can call FedLoan Servicing on this number: 1-800-699-2908 or 717-720-1985 for international callers).
For forms, you can fax them on 717-720-1628. FedLoan has different mailing addresses for various payment options, which are given in the following list.
You can mail payments
P O Box 790234
St. Louis, MO 63179-0234
You can send a Direct Debit application
P.O. Box 3661
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3661
Letters and correspondence should be addressed
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
Mail credit disputes
FedLoan Servicing Credit,
P.O. Box 60610
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0610
FedLoan Consolidation Department,
P.O. Box 69186
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9186
If you need to contact the Office of Consumer Advocacy
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
The Office of Consumer Advocacy,
1200, North 7th Street,
Harrisburg, PA 17102.