Managing student loans is a significant milestone on your financial journey. Not knowing who your loan servicer is could result in misplaced payments or missed information.
The federal government has contracts with several loan servicers to ease the burden of managing payments for the student loans it issues. These companies handle the extra labor associated with student loans.
For private student loans, your lender and loan servicer are often the same, so you might have less difficulty finding out who’s servicing your loan. Whether your loan is federal or private, we’ll share the resources you need to determine who your loan servicer is and why it may have changed.
In this guide:
- How do I find out who my student loan servicer is?
- Why do federal student loans have different servicers?
- How can I change private loan servicers?
- Why did my federal loan servicer change if I didn’t request it?
How do I find out who my student loan servicer is?
Before determining your student loan servicer, you must know whether you have a private or federal loan. How can you tell which you have?
Many borrowers have federal and private loans. We recommend checking your credit report to see all your student loans. Your federal loans will list the Department of Education or one of the federal loan servicers listed below.
If you have private student loans, you’ll see that your loan account is with a bank, a credit union, or another lender outside the federal government.
With federal loans, the U.S. government is the lender you borrow from. The Department of Education assigns you a loan servicer after your loan amount is disbursed. This applies if you submitted a FAFSA and created a Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID.
Finding your federal loan servicer is simple when you follow these steps:
- Log in to FSA with your ID and password.
- Visit your account dashboard.
- Scroll down until you see the My Loan Servicers section.
- You’ll see your loan servicer and their contact information.
You can also contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) by phone at 1-800-433-3243.
For private loans, the process is still straightforward. Most private lenders service their loans, so your lender and loan servicer are likely the same. Just log in to your loan account through your private lender.
Sometimes, a private lender is bought out or dissolves the company, transferring your loan to another lender. You’ll get a notice from both lenders.
If you don’t get the notification, use the following steps to find your new private loan servicer through your credit report:
- Visit AnnualCreditReport.com for a free copy of your credit reports.
- Click “Request your free credit reports.”
- Enter the required information, and answer the challenge questions.
- Choose which credit reports you want.
- Locate your loan on the credit report, and use the information on the credit report to contact your loan servicer.
This could take a while. Creditors provide monthly updates to your credit report, so you might not immediately see the new loan servicer’s information.
The best way to ensure you know the new loan servicer is to comb through your email and paper mail for notifications. Don’t forget to check your email’s spam folder, just in case!
Why do federal student loans have different servicers?
When the federal government issues student loans, it offloads several responsibilities to private loan servicing companies:
- Payment processing
- Answer questions and resolve borrower issues
- Provide customized payment options
- Keep updated loan records
- Track loans
It’s a massive undertaking to manage that for millions of students, so the government outsources its student loans to multiple loan servicers. Certain loan servicers deal only with specific federal loan programs.
For example, American Education Services only handles FFEL program debts.
Your possible federal loan servicers are:
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services Inc.
- OSLA Servicing
- Default Resolution Group (for defaulted federal loans)
You don’t choose your loan servicer unless you decide to consolidate loans, but they aren’t identical.
Notable differences between the servicers include:
- The customer service experience
- Website layout
- Payment plan options
When your loan is transferred, you might love or hate the change. If the servicer disappoints, you may have the option to change to a new one.
How can I change federal loan servicers?
When your federal loan transfers to a new servicer, plenty of changes come with it.
Borrowers’ reasons for changing servicers include:
- Poor customer service experience
- Preferred payment options are unavailable
- Repeated issues
You don’t get a say in your new servicer when your loan is transferred.
Consolidating your federal loans into a Federal Direct Loan lets you choose your loan servicer. Note: This is your only option if you want to choose your federal loan servicer.
You also may refinance or consolidate your student loans with a private lender. However, it’s essential to consider the benefits you’d lose switching from a federal to a private loan.
How can I change private loan servicers?
Changing private lenders means applying for a loan refinance through another private lender. That involves qualifying for a new loan.
Suppose you apply to refinance your private loans to get a new loan servicer. In that case, you should expect the terms to change, including:
- Interest rate, depending on your credit and financial standing
- Length of term
- Different repayment benefits (deferment, forbearance, income-based repayment plans)
- Repayment options (monthly, biweekly, weekly)
- Monthly payment amount
Since you’re qualifying for a brand-new loan, you can’t keep the same terms. Your terms are based on the new lender’s credit standards.
If your credit score and financial situation have changed for the better since you first applied for the student loan, you could see a lower interest rate and monthly payment.
If your credit standing has fallen, you could see increased rates.
Find out more about how to change loan servicers.
Why did my federal loan servicer change if I didn’t request it?
If you didn’t request a loan servicer change, you might get transferred for the following reasons:
- Your loan servicer’s contract with the federal government expired.
- Your private lender went out of business.
- Another company bought out your private lender.
- You were accepted into a program (such as Public Service Loan Forgiveness or a TEACH Grant).
A new loan servicer might create uncertainty, but you’ll still have stability in knowing your loan terms won’t change.
The following will remain the same:
- Loan balance
- Interest rate
- Maturity date
- Payment amount
You won’t need to sign a new promissory note or undergo a credit check.