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 19th September 2019

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, and more. 

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.

Table of Contents

What is MOHELA?

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 started as a quasi-governmental entity and is 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 student loan 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, and more.

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, and more. 


Loans serviced by MOHELA

The following loans are 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

Procedures for signing up

If your loan has been assigned to MOHELA for servicing, 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. 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

MOHELA provides the following modes of payment - 

  • One-time payment for a single monthly payment through their website can be done

  • The auto-debit can be set up to automatically debit from your bank account  and an additional 0.25% interest rate reduction will be given

  • An automated phone call at 888.866.4352 or 636.532.0600 (for International) can be made

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

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

Loan Discharge, Forgiveness and Consolidation

Situations are inevitable especially if it involves a financial condition, for a borrower situations of getting his loans discharged or forgiven can happen it is how he goes about getting it done. In order to get it done the loan servicer plays a crucial role. Here is how MOHELA plays a role as a servicer to help get your loans forgiven, discharged or 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 gets 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 Loans only -

  • Documents 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

If you are looking to forgive your loans here are the options available to you:

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.

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


MOHELA Review 

Is MOHELA your servicer? Here is a review on MOHELA as a servicer and how they will help you as a borrower during your repayment period, aid during any disputes and how to submit a complaint.

Help during repayment

All borrowers are given the standard 10-year repayment plan, under this plan you will have to make even payments over 10 years. It is the quickest way to pay a loan with the least amount being spent on interest payments. 

If you find it difficult to meet these monthly payments then MOHELA has the following options available for you:

Graduated Repayment plans - This is also a 10-year repayment plan but the payments to be made initially are low and gradually get higher. The payment increase is about 20% for two years. But even with this increase the final two years of payments the amount will not be more than 

It would be recommended to go for this option if you are sure that your salary will increase over the next two years to help cope with the increase in payment. It should be noted that you can always switch back to the standard repayment plan. 

Income-driven repayment plan - The payments to be made depend on your financial situation. There are 4 repayment plans available to borrowers they are: Pay As You Earn(PAYE), Revised PAYE, Income-based and Income-Contingent repayment plan. 

It is important to note that these plans take a long time to get processed so get your documents verified as soon as possible with your servicer and speak to your servicer to have a better understanding on which plan to go ahead with it as each borrowers situation is different.


Problems and complaints associated with borrowers with MOHELA

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 for the 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, and more. 

MOHELA started servicing loans on behalf of SoFi, so far there are no problems with the loans being serviced incorrectly but it is always advised to be up to date with the condition of your loans.

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.


In case I get into a dispute who do I call?

Before you take any further steps it is important to try and resolve the issue with the loan servicer itself. A request to speak to a manager can also be made in case you are not comfortable with the representative given to you. If you still aren’t satisfied with the way the situation is being handled then you can take the following steps:

  1. The Department of Education (DOE) - They can look into your dispute, you can contact them by calling them at 1-800-621-3115

  2. The FSA Ombudsman Group - This is a private and confidential group that helps in student loan related issues.

It is important to keep track of your credit, there are chances where the servicer may have reported the borrower when he/she was in a period of forbearance or deferment. Another scenario is when the borrower would have had his loans transferred and during this transfer, they may have missed reporting a payment.


How do I submit a complaint against MOHELA? 

If you are unhappy with the way MOHELA has dealt with your student loans then you can use the help of these websites to file a complaint:

  1. FSA feedback system - all borrowers are allowed to send feedback which can either be positive or negative via the federal student aid feedback system. You can even report any suspicious activity or complaint as well. In order to file a complaint you must first describe the issue you are currently facing and then propose how you would like to have it resolved.

  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) - This is another government website where borrowers can send issues they are facing with the way their student loans are being handled. You can file a complaint by first answering a few questions to help categorize the issue you are facing and then you may describe the problem CFPB will send the issue to the company for a resolution. It was mentioned on their website that 97% of the consumers received a timely response to the problem they were currently facing.

  3. Better Business Bureau (BBB) - To file a complaint with BBB you will have to enter your name, address, and email ID. After which you can submit the problem you are facing with the company. BBB then sends the problem to the company and ask for a response within 14 days. If there is no response got then they will send another request. 


How do I leave MOHELA?

If you have tried everything to try and resolve your issues with MOHELA and you still can’t stand them being your loan servicer, then you can try the following options:

  • Consolidation - you can consolidate your federal loans into a single loan. This helps manage your loans easier with a single payment to be made at the end of the month. You get a new interest rate which is the weighted average of the interest rates of the loans being consolidated. 

  • Refinancing - If your loans are a mix of federal and private loans then refinancing your loans is the best option for you. This is done through a private lender. Your loans get combined and you will be assigned an interest rate based upon your creditworthiness. Upon refinancing you will have to make just one payment at the end of the month, it is important to note that upon refinancing you will lose all the options associated with your federal loans.  


Contact Information 

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.