Between the letters, phone calls, and emails borrowers get from companies claiming to want to help with student loan debt, it can be confusing to figure out which companies and claims are legitimate.
MOHELA is a real service loan provider, and, if you've heard of them, they may be responsible for your federal loans. Here's how to find out whether they're your provider and how to contact them if you need help managing your payments.
MOHELA, or the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, is one of the nine federal service loan providers. That means they are in charge of services, including handling repayment and communication, on federal student loans.
The company manages roughly 1.5 million accounts and handles $31.8 billion in student loan debt. As such, they receive and track payments, work with borrowers to adjust their repayment schedules, and assist in forbearance and determent requests.
With more than 30 years in business, MOHELA has lots of experience servicing student loan accounts.
There are a lot of scams out there — so beware of companies that offer to help reduce your monthly payment or promise to consolidate or pay down your your federal loans for a fee. While this is entirely legal, it's a red flag. You should never have to pay for help with your student loans.
Instead, reach out to your loan servicer for help. If you need to confirm that MOHELA is your provider, here's how to check.
Since your federal loans are assigned by the U.S. Department of Education, you can find your servicer by going to the agency's student aid database, the National Student Loan Data System.To access the database, you'll need your Federal Student Aid (FSA) ID. In addition to your provider, other information like the type of loan you have and what you owe is available here.
If MOHELA is your loan servicer, you can contact the company directly through their official channels, outlined here.
It's a good idea to contact your provider if you need to change your address, email or phone number, if you need help with repayment, or if you have a question about your monthly bill or what you owe.
Don't forget to create an account with MOHELA so that it's easier to access your student loan information and make automatic payments.
See also: MOHELA Student Loans: The Ultimate Guide
Works with 275+ not-for-profit community lenders for higher approval chances
LendKey operates student loan programs for over 275 not-for-profit and community lenders across the country. 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.
Offers unemployment protection and career/coaching/networking
SoFi, which stands for “Social Finance,” was created by a group of Stanford business students who found themselves with a mountain of debt after graduation. They set out to change the student loan industry and help borrowers like themselves to get lower interest rates. SoFi has some of the lowest interest rates and, unlike the other lenders we reviewed, it has no maximum amount you can finance. However, Nevada residents can’t currently refinance with SoFi. Minimum loan balances are higher in Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania due to state laws. Additional state restrictions may apply.
For every loan they fund, they contribute to the education of a child in need
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.
Get a personalized review of your refinancing options with CommonBond today.
Earnest empowers people with the financial captial they need to live better lives.
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.
Click here to apply with Earnest and to see how much you can save.
Operates in all 50 states; 2nd largest student loan refinancing lender
Laurel Road is a national online lender with customers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Many of our non-bank competitors are not able to lend in all 50 states.Laurel Road has grown to be the second largest player in the student loan refinancing space in large part because of our reputation as the go-to low rate provider.
Special offers for medical resident and fellow refinance products
Splash Financial is a leader in student loan refinancing with new rates as low as 3.25% 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.
Click here to see more of Splash's offerings and to see how you can save money.