FedLoan Servicing Student Loans – Overview and Repayment Options


Michael Brown Updated: January 16, 2020


If you have federal student loans, you — like millions of other borrowers — may be having your loans serviced by AES-PHEAA, possibly under the name FedLoan.

Too many names and acronyms? We hear you, and we'll explain.

Each federal loan is assigned to a servicing company for management and collection – and borrowers don’t get to choose which one. So even though you took out your loans from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE), that’s not where you send your payments after you graduate.

The DOE vets loan servicing companies based on how successful they are at collecting the loans and at satisfying their customers. The chosen companies  function as the borrowers’ point of contact for everything from making payments to applying for loan forgiveness.

The largest of these loan servicers is a firm with an unwieldy acronym for a name: AES-PHEAA. Here’s what you need to know about what all those letters stand for, and how FedLoan specifically manages loans.

New call-to-action

About FedLoan Student Loans

FedLoan and AES (American Education Services) are both owned by parent group PHEAA (the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency).

PHEAA was founded in 1963 to manage loans granted through the Federal Family Education Loan Program. It started with a small portfolio of about 5,000 loans in 1964. Today, FedLoan and AES handle about 27% of the DOE’s direct loans, serving over 8 million borrowers with debt totaling more than $300 billion.

FedLoan is a newer offshoot of PHEAA, created in 2009 during a period of restructuring. Unlike many other federal student loan servicers, PHEAA is not a publicly traded company. It's a nonprofit quasi-governmental agency.

What does FedLoan do?

Now that you have a bit of background, let's get down to what having FedLoan as a servicer means for you.

If you have a student loan assigned to FedLoan, you'll hear from the company on a regular basis, starting while you’re still in school. Since they're managing loans on behalf of the DOE, they're in charge of quite a few things that may become important to you:

  • Sending bills
  • Processing payments
  • Reviewing requests for deferment or forbearance
  • Certifying borrowers for loan forgiveness, and
  • Helping borrowers change repayment plans.

Most borrowers interact with FedLoan through its online portal. There, you can:

  • Sign up for direct debit (HINT: you can get a 0.25% interest rate reduction on each eligible loan by agreeing to have payments debited automatically from a qualified bank account),
  • Contact customer service, and
  • Use calculators to see what your monthly payments would be under different plans.

FedLoan also has a mobile app for iOS and Android.

A bit of bad news: Like many other federal loan servicers, FedLoan has been the subject of numerous consumer complaints, but don't despair. The entire servicing industry has been trying to improve users’ experiences in the wake of unflattering reports and heightened federal scrutiny.

What benefits and services does FedLoan provide?

FedLoan has a few educational perks on its website, including:

  • loan calculators
  • articles
  • videos
  • FAQs

FedLoan also shares a companion site with sister company AES called “You Can Deal With It” that has budgeting and money management tips for college students and recent grads.

If you want to be the first to know anything FedLoan-related, you can follow them on Twitter. And of course, you can reach their customer service support team with the usual methods —chatting online, calling, or e-mailing questions.

What repayment options does FedLoan offer?

When it comes to federal student loans, servicers don’t have much say in the repayment plans they offer. The list is dictated by the DOE. So like all of the other servicers, FedLoan offers the following prescribed set of repayment options:

  • Standard Repayment, with fixed monthly payments over a 10-year period.
  • Extended Repayment, with fixed monthly payments over a 25-year period.
  • Graduated Repayment for people who expect their incomes to increase over time. Monthly bills start low and ratchet up at regular intervals over a 10- or 25-year term.
  • Income-driven repayment plans, with monthly payments that are capped at 10-20% of the borrower’s discretionary income and qualify for loan forgiveness after 20-25 years.

To make sense of all the different plans, FedLoan has a “repayment schedule estimator” tool at the bottom of the page where they are described.

Does FedLoan offer deferment or forbearance?

If you’re having trouble making payments on your FedLoan-serviced loan, don’t ignore the problem.

Most borrowers should contact FedLoan immediately, and they can offer a few specific remedies to keep you in good standing and help prevent your loan from falling into default:

  • If you’re unemployed, underemployed, or experiencing economic hardship, you might qualify for forbearance or deferment.
  • Income-driven plans can reduce your monthly payments.
  • Extending the term of your loan can also lower your monthly payments.

A word of caution, though: While these measures may help ease your stress in the short term, most will keep you in debt longer and increase the total amount of interest you’ll pay.

Servicers like FedLoan can’t do the one thing that is most helpful for struggling borrowers: lowering your interest rate.

How can I get help before I default on my student loans?

For some borrowers, applying for deferment or forbearance — or even switching to a different repayment plan — helps in the short-term but can create worse financial issues in the future. Defaulting is the scariest of these, but even finding that you've been consistently making payments without making progress can be a major financial blow.

See also: The 1 Big Reason You're Not Making Progress on Your Student Loans

Many people with FedLoan-serviced debt have been able to negotiate much better terms by refinancing their student loans with private lenders. Refinancing is especially beneficial for those who took out their loans before 2014 and are paying more than 4% interest.

In a recent analysis we found that people who refinanced with private lenders saved an average of $253 a month and $16,183 over the life of their student loans. If you have more than one student loan, you can also consolidate them into a single monthly bill, making it easier to keep track of your payments and monitor your progress toward financial freedom.

The private student lending industry has responded to widespread borrower frustration with a surge of innovation. As a result, it’s easier than ever to find out if refinancing or consolidation can save you money.

Most online applications take less than 5 minutes, with no impact to your credit score.

See also: Student Loan Refinancing: How to Compare Rates and Choose a Lender

Curious about whether you could be getting a better deal on your student loans? Find out now with the highly-rated lenders listed at the bottom of the page. 

FedLoan Servicing Contact Information

Office Hours: M-F: 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM (EST)

Email

Phone:  1-800-699-2908

Mailing Address:

FedLoan Servicing
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Website: https://myfedloan.org/


Click here for more information on the other main student loan servicers.

Refinance & Save Today With These Leading Lenders

#1 - Nitro Recommended View More Details

Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products

  • Fixed rates: 2.49% - 6.25% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.88% - 6.15% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit Splash View Loan Disclosure

Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 2.49% fixed APR which can save you tens of thousands of dollars over the life of your loans. No application or origination fees and no prepayment penalties. Splash Financial is in all 50 states and is intensely focused on customer service. Splash Financial is also one of the few companies that offers a great medical resident and fellow refinance product. You can check your rate with Splash in just minutes.

  • Low interest rates – especially for graduate students
  • No application or origination fees. No prepayment penalties.
  • Co-signer release program - you can apply for a cosigner release form your loan after 12 months of on-time payments
  • Specialty product for doctors in training with low monthly payment

Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.

#2 View More Details

For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need

  • Fixed rates: 2.83% - 6.74% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.99% - 6.84% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
Visit CommonBond View Loan Disclosure

CommonBond was founded in 2011 by three MBA graduates from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School who wanted to help their peers escape from high-interest student loan debt. Its original focus was on grad students, but it has since expanded to cover undergrads as well.

Of all the companies we reviewed, CommonBond has some of the best customer service. The company prides itself on being easy to reach by email, phone, or live chat. It offers networking events, expert panels, insider newsletters, and even has a program help borrowers who lose their jobs to find new ones. CommonBond also makes you feel good about choosing to refinance with them by donating money to an education nonprofit for each loan they write.

CommonBond Student Loan Refinance review

  • Unemployment protections - If you lose your job or decide to go back to school, you can delay your payments for up to 24 months.
  • Social promise - For every loan they fund, they also contribute to the education of a child in need.
  • Hybrid loan option - Offerings include a 10-year hybrid loan with fixed interest for the first five years, and variable interest for the final five.
  • Referral bonus - For every friend you refer who refinances their loans with CommonBond, you’ll earn a $200 cash bonus.
  • Qualification - Borrowers must have graduated at least 2 years prior if they want to apply without a co-signer. And borrowers in 6 states – Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, South Dakota, and Vermont – cannot currently refinance through CommonBond.

Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.

#3 View More Details

SoFi is the leading student loan refinancing provider. 

  • Fixed rates: 2.74% - 6.94% APR
  • Variable rates: 2.25% - 6.59% APR
  • Minimum credit: 650
View More Details
Visit SoFi View Loan Disclosure

$30 billion+ in refinanced student loans. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, there's no maximum on the amount you can finance. Some state restrictions may apply.

  • Serious savings: Save thousands of dollars thanks to flexible terms and low fixed or variable rates.
  • No hidden fees, no catch: No application or origination fees. No pre-payment penalties.
  • Fast, easy, and all online: Simple online application and access to live customer support 7 days a week.
  • Access to member benefits: SoFi members get career coaching, financial advice, and more—all at no cost.
  • 98% of surveyed members would recommend SoFi to a friend

Save thousands on your student loans and pay off your loans sooner. Find your rate.

#4 View More Details

Ability to apply for cosigner release after 24 consecutive payments. 

View More Details
Visit NelNetBank View Loan Disclosure

Give Your Life’s Journey a Jump-Start.

If you’re ready to put student loans in your rearview mirror, Nelnet Bank student loan refinancing offers low rates and flexible terms to help you start getting ahead.

  • VARIABLE RATES: 1.95% - 5.69% APR See Disclaimer
  • FIXED RATES: 2.55% - 6.31% APR See Disclaimer
  • AUTO DEBIT SAVINGS: We’ll knock .25% off of your interest rate when you enroll in auto debit. See Disclaimer
  • NO ORIGINATION FEES: No application, origination, or prepayment fees on Nelnet Bank loans.
  • HARDSHIP PROTECTION: Hardship forbearance helps protect against unexpected loss of income. See Disclaimer

See How Much You Can Save: Estimate your savings with a student loan refinance from Nelnet Bank.

#5 View More Details

Works with 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances

  • Fixed rates: 2.95% - 7.63% APR
  • Variable rates: 1.90% - 5.25% APR
  • Minimum credit: 660
View More Details
Visit LendKey View Loan Disclosure

Connecting student borrowers to a network of over 300 community lenders with low interest rates. By partnering with these lenders, LendKey is able to give consumers direct access to the best rates available from the most borrower friendly institutions. As the servicer of all loans obtained through its platform, you can rest easy knowing your personal information will be safe and that the best customer service team will be ready to answer your questions from application until your final payment.

LendKey Student Loan Refinance review

  • Lightning fast rate check - 2-minute rate check with no impact on your credit score
  • More lenders, more options - see the best offers from over 300+ community lenders for higher approval chances
  • Life of loan relationship - With LendKey, your personal information will never be sent or passed on to third parties. Their customer service team is with you from the moment you land on their website until you've completely repaid your loan.
  • Unmatched benefits- Community lenders put people over profits and offer unique benefits like cosigner release after 12 on-time payments, interest only repayment options to keep monthly payments low, the largest unemployment protection period in the market, and more.

Get a personalized quote from LendKey now.

#6 View More Details

Best for borrowers who want to customize their repayment schedule to pay off debt fast.

View More Details
Visit Earnest View Loan Disclosure

Using technology, data, and design to build affordable products, Earnest's lending products are built for a new generation seeking to reach life's milestones. The company understands every applicant's unique financial story to offer the lowest possible rates and radically flexible loan options for living life.

  • Commitment-free 2 minute rate check
  • Client Happiness can be reached via in app messaging, email, and phone 
  • No fees for origination, prepayment, or loan disbursement
  • Flexible terms let you pick your exact monthly payment or switch between fixed and variable rates
  • Skip a payment and make it up later
  • Online dashboard is designed to make it easy to apply for and manage your loan

Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.

#7 View More Details

16 different loan term options – more flexibility to pay down your loan faster

  • Fixed rates: 3.24% - 5.54% APR
  • Variable rates: 3.34% - 5.69% APR
  • Minimum credit: 680
View More Details
Visit CollegeAve View Loan Disclosure

College Ave Student Loans offers major help and minor stress. We’ll help guide you through the process to find the right loan term and interest rate for you and the family budget.

  • Fast rate check: Get your new rate in 60 seconds 
  • Instant credit decision
  • Super flexible terms: 16 loan terms available from 5 to 20 years
  • No fees to apply

Click here to see more College Ave offerings and to start saving today! 

I reduced my student loan payment by $152 per month, by refinancing thru Nitro

Save Money Now