Do you know who your loan servicer is for your Federal Student Aid (FSA) loans? Unfortunately, there are many students out there right now that do not know which company is servicing their FSA loans. In fact, many students get confused because there are numerous loan servicers, and they may even disregard important mail or emails from their loan servicer! There are four major loan servicers for FSA loans, and most students have their loans serviced by one of these companies. These companies are briefly described below.
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
This loan servicer has been around for over 50 years. They serve millions of students. FedLoan Servicing promises to begin student loan repayment by contacting the student with a detailed introductory letter that explains how they can be successful in repayment. They offer a variety of payment options and strive to make things simple and convenient. FedLoan Servicing falls under the PHEAA umbrella, and they service Direct Loans. American Education Services (AES), which also falls under PHEAA, services private and FFEL loans.
This loan servicer has been around for over 40 years. Navient is the new name for Sallie Mae, and they are the same company under a different name. They serve over 12 million customers, and specialize in preventing loan default. They also offer numerous financial literacy tools in an effort to help students better prepare for responsible repayment.
- Great Lakes
This loan servicer is a non-profit organization that strives to help students borrow responsibly. They put a heavy focus on helping students who are least likely to consider college advance their education post high school. They do extensive work with students from minority and/or low-income households. Great Lakes also provides a Knowledge Center on their website that provides tips for financial literacy for everyone, including people who are not using Great Lakes as their loan servicer.
This loan servicer serves more than five million students. They are a customer-based company that strives to promote a diversified clientele. Nelnet even offers to help students who have their loans serviced by another company. Nelnet will answer student questions, offer solutions for those struggling to pay back their loans, and process any payment if they are the loan servicer for the student’s loans.
Before any of these loan servicers can help you, you need to determine who your actual lender is. This is pretty easy to confirm. You can visit the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) or the FSA website to view each of your loans and who your servicer is. As always, if you have any questions about your loans, the best resource is a financial aid counselor at your school.
By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at APUS