The pause on student loan payments is ending. Learn who your servicer is and how to make contact.
Dan AveryFormer Writer
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ExpertisePersonal finance, government and policy, consumer affairs
After a pause of more than three years, student loan payments will resume in October. A provision in the debt ceiling compromise means the forbearance initiated at the beginning of the pandemic can't be extended again without an act of Congress, so now is the time to reconnect with your student loan servicer.
When you reach out, try to have information about your loan available, including account numbers and balances.The White House's proposed debt forgiveness plan and the news that payments are resuming have greatly increased call volume, so expect longer waiting times and website traffic.
Here's how to find out who your servicer is, how to contact them and what information you should have when you reach out.
While the federal government loans money for education, it hands off the management of payments to third-party for-profit companies, known as loan servicers.
If you don't know who is servicing your loan, you can sign into your Federal Student Aid account with your FSA ID. Once you get to the dashboard, you'll see your servicer and other loan details.
You can also call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 800-433-3243 or consult the Department of Education's "Who is my loan servicer?" site for more information.
Your loan servicer might have changed
In June 2020, then-Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced sweeping changes to the companies managing active and defaulted student loans for the federal government. The number of third-party contractors was trimmed significantly: Aidvantage took over 6 million accounts previously overseen by Navient, which got out of the federal student loan business in September 2021.
FedLoans and Granite State ended their contracts with the government in December 2021. FedLoans accounts were transferred to MOHELA and Granite State accounts were given to EdFinancial.
As of June 2023, Great Lakes is no longer managing student loans for the federal government. Its accounts have been taken over by Nelnet, which shares the same parent compan
If your assigned servicer has changed, you should have received a letter or email and your account information should transfer automatically, with no change to the terms of your loan.
Contacting your student loan servicer
There are five companies that manage most federal student loans, the largest of which is Nelnet.
Student Loan Servicers
What to ask your loan servicer
It's been three years since most of the 44 million Americans with education debt made a payment. When you reconnect with your loan servicer, make sure they have your current address and banking information. You may need to reestablish automatic payments.
Find out what your monthly payment will be, so you're not surprised in October. If you've had a change in circumstances -- new expenses, or a job that pays less -- you may want to look into an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan. It may take longer to pay off your debt, but the monthly payments will be more manageable and you'll be less likely to miss one or default.