Once it's time to start paying back your student loans, you might be surprised to learn you don’t deal directly with the U.S. Department of Education. The federal government doesn’t actually administer repayment of those loans. It assigns them to a few authorized servicing companies that handle processing your payments and answering your questions.
Aidvantage is one of the newest servicing companies, but it's part of a larger company called Maximus Education that administers many programs for state and federal governments. If Aidvantage is your student loan servicer, learning who they are and what resources they offer could save you time and money. Here’s what you need to know about Aidvantage.
Aidvantage is a new player on the student loan servicing scene. When Navient got permission from the Dept. of Education to end its contract for servicing federal student loans starting in 2022, it transferred its existing loan portfolio to Aidvantage.
Like all servicers, Aidvantage manages borrowers’ accounts, processes monthly payments, and communicates directly with borrowers about their loans. The company helps borrowers change repayment plans or request deferment or forbearance, if they’re experiencing economic hardship. It also certifies borrowers for loan forgiveness.
Once you have an account on Aidvantage's website, you can use the online portal to check your statements, make payments, change due dates, calculate payoff times, switch payment plans, print tax documents, and more.
Loan servicers don’t have much discretion when it comes to designing repayment plans. For federal student loans, they can only offer the payment plans established by the U.S. Department of Education. Aidvantage offers a set of repayment options:
If you have a loan (or loans) being serviced by Great Lakes and you’re struggling to make your payments, the first step is to contact their customer service department. All graduates are entitled to a six-month grace period immediately after finishing college, but entry level salaries can be meager and unexpected financial difficulties can arise at any time. If you’re unemployed, underemployed, or experiencing hardship, you might qualify for forbearance or deferment. You might be able to decrease your monthly payments by extending the term of your loan. These are some of the remedies that servicers can offer, but the options are limited.
Many grads with federal student loans have been able to cut their monthly payments significantly by refinancing with a private lender at a lower interest rate. If you owe at least $5,000 and you’re paying more than 4% interest, it’s a good idea to explore refinancing. Lowering your interest rate by just a few percentage points could have a huge impact on your overall repayment. In a recent analysis we found that people who refinanced with private lenders saved an average of $259 a month and $19,231 over the life of their student loans.
If you have multiple student loans, you can also consolidate them into a single monthly payment, simplifying your finances and making it easier to chart a path out of debt. It’s easy to find out if refinancing or consolidation can save you money. Online applications take less than 5 minutes, with no impact to credit. With most modern lenders, you can get a personalized quote in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee.
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The easiest way to access your loan information or contact Aidvantage is through their website, but there are other options if you need them.
Office Hours: Mon.-Thu.: 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM; Fri.: 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM (ET)
Email: To email Aidvantage, log into your account and use the Email Us feature in the Help Center
Aidvantage – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing P.O. Box 4450
Portland, OR 97208-4450
Aidvantage – U.S. Department of Education Loan Servicing P.O. Box 9635
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18773-9635
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