Best Loan Servicer For Student Loan Consolidation
- Biden Administration Punishes Student Loan Servicer Mohela For Errors
- Finding Your Student Loans
- Financial Aid Dictionary: Top Terms Related To Grants, Work Study, And Student Loans
- Cfpb Consumer Sample Student Loan Payment Letter
- Tips For Student Loan Management
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness Faqs
- Best Private Student Loans Companies For 2023
- How More Ffel Borrowers May Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness
- Summer’s New Consolidation Tool Can Help 14 Million People Reduce Their Student Debt
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Best Loan Servicer For Student Loan Consolidation
Unfortunately, when it comes to federal student loan servicers, you can’t “have it your way.” The US Department of Education chooses your student loan servicer when you first take out your federal student loan.
Nelnet Student Loan Servicing Review
Typically, close to 90% of all federal loans are awarded to one of the “Big Four” student loan servicers. But now that Navient is no longer a federal loan servicer and FedLoan is gone, there’s a new “Big Four.” Student loan accounts are in a significant transition period even before payments resume after a multi-year hiatus.
As servicers change, you will likely be assigned one of the remaining four loans, which are now EdFinancial, MOHELA, Aidvantage, or Nelnet.
Picking one of these servicers as the “best” is relative because most borrowers don’t like their servicer. That said, here’s how we decided which service providers are the “best of the worst.”
To come up with our list, we pulled data from all student loan servicer complaints the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received from May 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019.
Biden Administration Punishes Student Loan Servicer Mohela For Errors
Next, we took the Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid data to determine the number of recipients for each servicer.
Finally, we divided the number of complaints of each service provider by the number of recipients and multiplied the result by one million. This gave us the number of federal student loan appeals per million loan recipients.
While this data is subject to change, we believe it’s an accurate way to judge servicemen, given that they didn’t have to do much during the break.
The “Top Servicer” is not a member of the Big Four. It can be said that he won on a technical level.
Finding Your Student Loans
Aidvantage (Navient’s replacement) just started servicing loans in December 2021. However, it is a subsidiary of Maximus Education, which manages defaulted student loans — and it doesn’t do it very well. So the bar is not set very high.
In the first half of 2022, Aidvantage did not prove to be a great replacement. Currently, the servicer receives many complaints from borrowers and receives not so great information regarding their loans.
The Missouri State Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA) is the first nonprofit federal student loan servicer to make our list, narrowly squeaking ahead of Nelnet. Here’s why.
The more complexity a service provider is asked to deal with, the more likely they are to mess up. MOHELA is now managing the PSLF program and is not doing a very good job.
Financial Aid Dictionary: Top Terms Related To Grants, Work Study, And Student Loans
Nelnet has more experience than MOHELA, without being required to deal with PSLF. Lenders criticized Aidvantage for poor customer service and their website, which is why MOHELA didn’t finish last.
Additionally, MOHELA has had some experience as a smaller servicer over the past few years before becoming one of the Big Four. Aidvantage is brand new.
If MOHELA is your student loan servicer, you might want to check out our overview of the biggest headaches MOHELA customers face.
If you were assigned Nelnet as a student loan servicer, you can view it in one of two ways:
Cfpb Consumer Sample Student Loan Payment Letter
While it has had its share of complaints, Nelnet customers tend to be much happier overall. Nelnet merged with Great Lakes in 2022. In our previous ratings, Great Lakes was the top service provider. Hence, we would expect continuous improvement.
In total, Nelnet received 120 complaints per million users. Not terrible for a company that services a huge portion of all student loan debt.
However, that is a significant number of complaints. If you’re wondering what Nelnet customers tend to feel frustrated about, you might want to read the most common Nelnet complaints.
Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) — also known as EdFinancial Services — ended up in a dead heat with the Granite State in customer complaints. Both had 13 complaints filed with the CFPB. That’s only about 22 complaints per million customers.
Tips For Student Loan Management
While that sounds pretty good, you may still run into issues with EdFinancial if you are assigned as your servicer. In Student Loan Planner®’s own survey from the summer of 2018, only two respondents had their loans with HESC.
When asked why they had a bad experience with HESC, one person said HESC had “uninformed individuals on call”. The other said HESC “lacks empathy” and is “short with customers”.
EdFinancial provides fewer loans than the top three companies on our list. And there is a correlation between larger service providers and a higher number of complaints per capita. So EdFinancial is relatively small and that’s what ranks them higher.
You may not have heard of ECSI, one of the lesser known loan servicers. But they are on the list of current service providers. When it comes to quality, there aren’t many complaints about the CFPB (about 100+). The lower number of complaints is probably due to ECSI not managing revenue-driven repayment requests. They primarily handle “odd” federal loans, such as those through the Department of Health and Human Services and Perkins loans.
Public Service Loan Forgiveness Faqs
Here’s a list of former service providers we’ve reviewed in the past, as well as some common historical complaints about them.
FedLoan Servicing has supported a variety of borrowers during student loan repayment, including those under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. However, MOHELA took over most of the FedLoan accounts.
In total, the CFPB received 1,829 complaints from FedLoan Servicing customers from May 1, 2018 to May 1, 2019.
Student Loan Planner has written extensively about the problems borrowers have with FedLoan, including an article addressing complaints from readers who were wrongly excluded from income-based repayment (IBR).
Best Private Student Loans Companies For 2023
The Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA) is a servicer that has been around since the 1970s. They were never a big factor in the student loan servicing market and decided to get out completely.
When it comes to CFPB complaints, Great Lakes received 229. That might not sound great on the surface. But keep in mind that Great Lakes had over 6 million student loan borrowers that it served.
Taking that into account, Great Lakes had a complaint rate of about 36 complaints per million customers. That’s over three times less than Nelnet, seven times less than FedLoan Servicing and 18 times less than Navient.
Even in Student Loan Planner®’s own survey, several of our respondents had good things to say about the Great Lakes.
How More Ffel Borrowers May Qualify For Student Loan Forgiveness
If you have been assigned one of the most hated federal loan servicers, you may be wondering if you can switch to one of the better servicing companies.
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. The Department of Education does not allow borrowers to switch student loan services. There are only two ways you can choose a new service provider from the one assigned to you:
The first way is to consolidate your federal student loans through a direct loan consolidation. In this situation, the Federal Student Aid Office will allow you to choose who you want as your new loan servicer from a list.
The other option is to refinance your federal student loans. With student loan refinancing, you can choose which private student loan you want. Hopefully, you’ll be able to lower both your interest rates and your student loan payments.
How The New Save Plan Impacts Student Loan Planning
However, refinancing federal student loans can be a dangerous move. You will lose all eligibility for federal benefits, such as income-driven repayment plans and the ability to continue with PSLF or other student loan forgiveness programs. You can also miss snooze and submit options. If you’re interested in refinancing, checking your credit report and score can help you see if you’re in good shape to qualify.
For a complete list of current student loan servicers and contact information, such as phone numbers, you can check StudentAid.gov.
To find out if student loan refinancing with a private lender would be right for your situation, or if you need help dealing with a large loan amount, consider a discussion with one of the Student Loan Planner® consultants.
Take our 11-question quiz to get a personalized 2023 recommendation on whether you should go ahead with PSLF, Biden’s new IDR plan, or refinance (including which lender we think can give you the best rate).
Summer’s New Consolidation Tool Can Help 14 Million People Reduce Their Student Debt
Clint Proctor is a freelance writer and founder of WalletWiseGuy.com, where he writes about how college students and millennials can win with money. When he’s away from the keyboard, he enjoys drinking coffee, traveling, obsessing over the Green Bay Packers, and spending time with his wife and two boys.
All prices listed represent the April range. Joint Bond: If you refinance over $100,000 through this site, $500 of the cash bonus listed above is provided directly by Student Loan Planner.
Terms offered are subject to change and limitation by state law. The loans are offered by CommonBond Lending,
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