Federal Student Loan Servicers: How to Find Yours
Student loan servicers manage student loan debt until it’s fully paid off, accepting payments and providing borrowers with information and other assistance. Since student loans can be transferred and companies can change names, you might need help locating your current loan servicers.
Here’s how to find your student loan servicer and details on your debt, as well as a breakdown of what exactly servicers do.
Who is my student loan servicer?
The Department of Education automatically assigns a private company to manage all aspects of your federal student loans. Note that you can’t choose your federal loan servicer the way you can choose your private student loan company.
Your servicer will be indicated on your StudentAid.gov account. In some cases, the servicer will change —for example, if your loans are in default or the servicer doesn’t renew its contract — so keep an eye on your account.
This is especially important since the current student loan servicing contacts will expire in December 2023 (see more on this below).
If, on the other hand, you want to change servicers, you don’t have many options. You could refinance with a private borrower, but this would forfeit all the special benefits that come with federal loans, such as special forgiveness and income-driven repayment programs.
Below are the contact numbers and further information for current federal student loan servicers, plus the servicer for student loan default.
|Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc. (formerly GSMR)||1-800-236-4300|
|Nelnet (formerly U-Fi)||1-888-486-4722|
|Default Resolution Group||1-800-621-3115 (TTY: 1-877-825-9923 for the deaf or hard of hearing)|
How do I find my student loans?
The process for finding your loan servicer will differ depending on whether you have federal or private student loans.
Federal student loans
Sign into your Federal Student Aid (FSA) account using your FSA ID to view a list of your current loan servicers. Your account dashboard will also show more details, such as loan balances and repayment terms.
Alternatively, you can call the FSA Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243). Those who are deaf or hard of hearing should call 1-800-730-8913.
Private student loans
Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-stop place to view your private student loans. Instead, you’ll need to check your most recent student loan statements or sign into each account if you have your login information.
Alternatively, you can track down your lenders by requesting a credit report, which should list all of your debt. You can access your credit reports from the three main credit bureaus for free at AnnualCreditReport.com.
Use the private loan lenders’ contact information on your credit report to call them and make sure which entity currently manages your student loans.
What do federal loan servicers do?
Your student loan servicer is a third party acting as a middleman between you and your lender (the federal government). Although the funds come from the government, the private company is the one that collects and processes your payments.
Your student loan provider can also help with a range of services and assistance. For example, you can contact them to discuss the following:
- A repayment plan: Most federal loans automatically start on the 10-year standard student loan repayment plan. However, you can change your repayment plan if an extended plan fits your budget better.
- Student loan payments: If you want to lower your monthly student loan bill, your loan servicer can help. Some options include applying for an income-driven repayment plan and enrolling in autopay.
- Deferment or forbearance: If you can’t keep up with your student loan debt, you can temporarily pause payments with deferment or forbearance. Your servicer can discuss the pros and cons of each option.
- Student loan forgiveness: Your servicer can help determine your eligibility for student loan forgiveness and guide you through the application process.
Upcoming federal student loan servicing changes
The U.S. Department of Education, along with the FSA, plans to address the current issues with the federal student loan servicing system.
As of now, each federal loan servicer maintains its own website, contact center and outreach efforts. However, this disjointed system can make it hard for borrowers to receive quality customer service and consistent information regarding their student loans.
The ultimate plan is to transition to a single FSA-branded interface to help reduce student loan default and delinquency, while providing a better customer experience for all federal borrowers.
Even if your loan servicer hasn’t recently changed, watch out for future switches, since servicers need to sign new contracts by December 2023.
To prepare for possible upcoming servicer changes, you should do the following:
- Locate your current servicers
- Ensure your login information is correct
- Download your loan’s payment history
- Update your contact information, such as phone, email and address
And if your servicer or private lender isn’t being helpful, consider sending one of these dispute letters to get your matter addressed,