MOHELA Student Loans: The Ultimate Guide   

Michael Brown Updated: July 24, 2019

What is MOHELA?

Founded over 30 years ago, the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority is one of the nation’s leading federal student loan servicers. MOHELA manages roughly 1.5 million accounts and $31.8 billion in outstanding debt, so if you’re currently repaying federal student loans, there’s a good chance they service yours.

If that’s the case, then you’re in the right place. This extensive guide to MOHELA will walk you through every aspect of working with the company so that you can stay confident throughout your repayment process. From creating an account to making your monthly payments, we’ve got you covered on all questions related to managing your debt with MOHELA.

What does a federal loan servicer do?

Before we discuss the details of working with MOHELA, let’s describe what they – and other loan servicer companies – do for you and your debt. Federal student loan servicers are companies that handle repayment, borrower communication, and other services related to your government student loans. Currently, nine companies service federal student loans, and MOHELA is one of the largest.

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Here’s a brief list of some services your federal loan servicer will perform related to your student debt:

  • Receive and track your payments
  • Work with you to adjust your repayment plan
  • Implement deferment and forgiveness options when applicable
  • Inform you of your payment progress and other details related to loans

To determine if MOHELA is your servicer or if another company is managing your educational debt, log into the My Federal Student Aid website. There, you’ll be able to see which company is currently servicing each of your federal student loans. Borrowers often have to work with multiple companies handling their various loans, so don’t assume your servicer is the same in all cases.

Once you do confirm MOHELA is your servicer, head over to their website and move on to our next section.

Managing your account with MOHELA

Creating your account

If you’re just beginning the repayment process, creating an account on MOHELA’s website is your first step to access information about your loan and selecting your preferred payment options. Thankfully, the process is relatively simple because MOHELA has already received all the information they need about your loans from the Department of Education.

Creating Your MOHELA Login

Step 1:

Log into your account using the Login Page

Step 2:

Click the “CREATE WEB ACCOUNT” button on the home page


Step 3:

Enter your Social Security number and birthdate

Step 4:

Create a secure username and password

Step 5:

Press continue to set your preferences related to security and communication


Editing your account info

When working with your loan servicer, it’s essential to keep your contact information updated. You don’t want to miss some important update related to your loan or have your private financial information mailed to an old address for anyone to open. If you move, change your name, or get a new phone number or email, here’s how you update those details in MOHELA’s records.

How to Edit Your MOHELA Account Information

Step 1:

Log into your account using the Login Page

Step 2:

Once logged in, select the “Profile & Notifications” link beneath the “My Account” section of the column on the left

Step 3:

Select the account-related detail you’d like to adjust; confirm and save your changes before leaving the page


If you prefer to skip the snail mail and receive all your communication from MOHELA digitally, they offer a “paperless” option for all borrower correspondence. To sign up for this program or learn more about it, head here.

Reaching MOHELA customer service

If you have any questions related to your loans or need to make a change to your repayment plan, MOHELA customer service representatives can be reached by phone at the following numbers:

  • (888) 866-4352 for help in the U.S.
  • (636) 532-0600 for international assistance

Representatives are available at the following times:

  • 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday
  • 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday

You can also access automated payment and account information by phone 24/7.

Making payments with MOHELA

MOHELA allows its account holders to submit payments in a variety of ways. Explore the options below and choose whichever payment method sounds simplest.

Set up auto debit

If you value simplicity, this option allows you to have payments automatically withdrawn from your bank account on a specified date each month. Doing so may even qualify you for a .25% deduction on your interest rate – which could translate to significant savings over time.

To set up this payment option, log into your Mohela account. If you’re not enrolled in auto debit currently, a prompt for this option will be visible near the top of the page.


Click the “Apply Now” link and follow the instructions to establish auto debit. You’ll need to enter your bank account information to confirm this payment method, so have those details handy.

Make a one-time online payment

To make a single monthly payment through the MOHELA website, log in to your account. Then select the “Make a Payment” option beneath the “Payment Assistance” section within the left column.


On the following page, select the date on which you’d like to send your payment. If you’re making a payment for the first time, you’ll need to provide your bank account information. Once you do, your information will be saved so you can easily select that account in the future.

Next, enter the amount you’d like to pay. You can choose to apply your payment across your loans or toward one loan specifically. Then click “Continue” to confirm the details of your payment.

Make a payment by phone

To provide the details of your payment by phone, call (888) 866-4352. Have your account details ready when you call. If you need international assistance, call (636) 532-0600 instead.

MOHELA’s operators aren’t available 24/7, but you can make payments through their automated system at any time.

Send your payment by mail

You can send a check to MOHELA but will need to log into your account to determine which address to mail your payment to (they have multiple). You’ll also need to include your 10-digit account number (visible in the top menu once you log into the website) on the check you send.

MOHELA states that this payment method will take the longest time to process, so don’t cut it close to your due date.

Repayment plan options with MOHELA

If you’re looking to extend your repayment period to lower your monthly payments, MOHELA facilitates a number of plans that adjust the length of time you’ll be paying your loan back.

MOHELA Repayment Plan Options

Standard Repayment

This is the default length of payment under the terms you agreed to when you signed up for your loan.

Graduated Repayment

With this option, your monthly payments will start out low and gradually rise over time. This might help you if your salary is modest now, but you anticipate making more money in the months and years to come.

Extended Repayment

With this plan, you’ll make lower monthly payments over a longer period of time. The total interest you pay will likely be significantly higher with this option, however.


Additionally, MOHELA also administers a number of income-driven repayment plans, which adjust your payments to reflect your earnings. These plans are tied to a number of variables related to your financial circumstances and can vary depending on the federal loans you currently hold.

To learn more about these options, visit the MOHELA Repayment Plans page for specific details. If you think any of these plans might be right for you, however, you can’t make this switch online. Rather, you’ll need to request a change to your payment plan by phone. Their operators can be reached at (888) 866-4352 during business hours. Additionally, selecting an income-driven repayment plan will require you to apply online through the Department of Education’s website. MOHELA representatives can guide you through that process, however.

You might also be interested in student loan forgiveness and discharge programs, which relieve account holders from all or a part of their debt burdens. Forgiveness possibilities are available only to a limited pool of borrowers, such as those serving in specific public service professions. Discharge is permitted only in rare circumstances, such as fraud or closure on the part of your school. To see if you qualify for either type of program, visit MOHELA’s Loan Forgiveness and Discharge Programs page.

As a last resort during difficult times, you can also request a deferment or forbearance on your payments through MOHELA. A deferment postpones payments during a time of financial difficulty, and no interest accrues during this repayment pause. It can be granted by:

  • Unemployment (for up to three years)
  • Economic hardship (for up to three years)
  • Military service (during the 13 months following active duty military service)
  • National service or teaching employment
  • Military or National Guard service
  • High debt burden relative to income
  • Natural disaster

Conversely, forbearance also pauses payments for a specific period, but interest does accrue during this time. Forbearance can be granted for several reasons, including:

As with repayment plan changes, MOHELA will only process deferment or forbearance requests by phone.

Selecting a better servicer

If you’re happy with your MOHELA loan service and terms, we hope this guide helps you navigate every aspect of your repayment. But if you’re interested in exploring better options, refinancing with a private lender could save you hundreds – and the headache of navigating the federal loan servicer bureaucracy. In fact, borrowers who refinance their student loans save an average of $259 each month and nearly $20,000 over the life of their loans.

At Comet, we can help you assess just how much you could save, so you won’t be left wondering if you’re paying too much each month. Use our Student Loan Refinancing Calculator to learn if this option is right for you and to assess just how good a deal you could be getting.

MOHELA Contact Information

Office Hours: 

M-Th: 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM (CT)
F: 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM (CT)

Contact Us: 

Phone: 1-888-866-4352

Mailing Address:

633 Spirit Drive
Chesterfield, MO 63005-1243


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

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