Many or all of the companies featured provide compensation to LendEDU. These commissions are how we maintain our free service for consumers. Compensation, along with hours of in-depth editorial research, determines where & how companies appear on our site.
CornerStone is a well-established not-for-profit federal loan servicer that helps student loan borrowers in repayment. It has a wide variety of options for borrowers to help make repayment easier.
In this review:
- What Does CornerStone Do?
- CornerStone Student Loan Management
- What Do People Say About Having Student Loans With CornerStone?
What Does CornerStone Do?
While the federal government offers a variety of student loans under the U.S. Department of Education, the government doesn’t collect payments, talk directly with borrowers in a customer service setting, or handle any payment arrangements. Instead, the government contracts out to servicing companies to handle the day-to-day business of administering the loans.
Once student loan proceeds are disbursed, each loan is assigned to a servicer who borrowers will deal with going forward. Payments are sent to the servicer and if you need to change anything on your loan, such as your last name after a shift in marital status, that’s who you’ll talk to. If you find yourself having problems making your payments, the servicer is authorized to work with you to find a solution.
As a federal student loan servicer, CornerStone does not offer loans. Instead, it services federal student loans. Servicers do not initially handle the loan; all of that is done through the federal government using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and any loan-specific paperwork. In addition, servicers don’t work with your college or other lenders. Their primary focus is to provide borrowers with customer service in repayment.
You earned a degree—now you deserve a better interest rate
- Rates start at 2.57% APR
- Refinance both federal and private student loans
- Skip one monthly payment each year if certain conditions are met
- 12-month forbearance period as well as academic and military deferment
CornerStone Student Loan Management
CornerStone offers a number of services and benefits to federal student loan borrowers, including privacy protection. CornerStone doesn’t sell data or otherwise violate your privacy and it protects your information.
Repayment Plans & Options
CornerStone offers all of the repayment options available with federal loans while handling all payment processing for federal loan borrowers. These include the standard repayment plan, extended repayment plan, graduated repayment plan, and all of the income-driven repayment plans (including income-based repayment). If you are having trouble with your loan repayment on the standard plan, talk to CornerStone to see if another option may make more sense for you.
In addition to helping you with switching repayment plans, CornerStone can also help you learn about student loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, consolidation, deferment, and forbearance.
Borrowers who enroll in automatic payments get a 0.25% reduction in their interest rate, which can add up quickly over time. You can get another 0.25% discount for on-time payments, and for Direct Consolidation loans. Less interest paid means less money spent overall; if you have two non-sufficient funds occurrences within a 12-month period, however, you’ll lose that benefit.
Armed Forces Members
Those who are currently serving in the military are eligible for additional benefits with CornerStone, even if their loans were taken out prior to the beginning of their military service.
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, or SCRA, caps all interest on student loans at 6% during periods of active duty, and CornerStone can help with military deferments, waivers, and even discharge of federal student loans for veterans who have been permanently disabled as a result of their military service.
Delinquency and Default
Many students have a hard time paying their student loans after their grace period is over. To help with that, CornerStone offers a number of options.
If you are late with payments or even just stop paying your loans back altogether, the consequences can affect you for years to come—and can make it impossible for you to get certain types of jobs, pass a credit check, or even rent an apartment. If you find yourself in trouble, CornerStone can help—but only if you contact them, which they encourage.
CornerStone has a robust customer service force; after all, that’s their main focus. If you have questions about your loan, need to consolidate, or run into financial hardship, they have representatives who can help you.
They have many different tools on their website, including budgeting and how-to articles that can teach you how to best manage your loan payments and overall financial situation.
What Do People Say About Having Student Loans With CornerStone?
Customers of CornerStone have mixed reviews. On Yelp, the company has one-star reviews across the board. The Better Business Bureau, however, gives them an A+ rating with zero complaints. Many student loan servicers have taken a hit in recent years due to lawsuits and charges of misconduct at other servicers like Navient, but CornerStone hasn’t had any scandals.
No servicer is perfect; in fact, even if your servicing company is doing well, you’re still probably not going to like them. After all, they’re taking a chunk of your income every month to pay your student loans. CornerStone, however, is one of the better ones. Their value statement shows a company that takes integrity, privacy, and accuracy seriously, and the company seems to work hard to advocate for their customers.
If you have a federal student loan, you’ll be assigned a servicing company when you start repayment. You could be assigned to any of the nine federal servicing companies—some of which have a spotty and even troublesome history.
When you’re assigned to CornerStone, however, you’re in good hands. Whether you need to consolidate your multiple loans, request a deferment or forbearance, or simply need a repayment schedule more in line with your income, CornerStone can help.
Author: Dave Rathmanner