Graduating from college is a cause for celebration. But it’s also a time to switch gears and deal with new responsibilities, like managing your student debt.
And, of course, you’re not alone. According to the Project on Student Debt at the Institute for College Access and Success, more than 62 percent of students graduating from college in 2019 had student debt, owing an average of $28,950.
But now that you’re done with school, you’ve entered a 6-month grace period where you’re not required to make payments on your federal loans.
So it’s the perfect time to contact your loan servicer, and review the available resources to help you get ready for when you have to start paying back your student loans. Your loan servicer was first assigned when your loan funds arrived at your school.
If MyFedLoan is your loan servicer, you’re at the right place. In this article, we take a deep dive into MyFedLoan and provide some useful tips on how best to use it.
What is MyFedLoan?
MyFedLoan is the online platform of FedLoan Servicing, a non-for-profit organization established by the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in 1963. Their stated goal, according to their website, is to service federal loans and support borrowers with easy ways to manage their student loans.
They service Direct Subsidized loans, Perkins loans, Direct Unsubsidized loans, and Direct PLUS loans.
MyFedLoan serves as your primary point of contact to manage your loans. They’re a loan servicer assigned by the Department of Education to handle the billing and other services on loans they own.
Through MyFedLoan you can:
- Make online payments
- Review your payment history
- View your total loan balance
- Check the status of all your loans, and
- View the interest rate details
- Compare repayment options,
- Review payment alternatives,
- Change your due date and
- View several years of tax information applicable to your loan
If you’re unsure whether MyFedLoan is your loan servicer, call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (FSAIC) at 1-800-433-3243. If you’re still in school, contact your school’s financial aid office directly for information about your loan status and loan disbursement amount.
Is MyFedLoan a legitimate loan servicer?
MyFedLoan is one of several organizations that service student loans owned by the federal government. It’s a legitimate, non-for-profit loan servicer.
FedLoan Servicing is one of a limited number of companies approved by the Department of Education to service student loans. And it’s grown into one of the leading national providers of student financial aid services.
Here’s the complete list of servicers for loans owned by the Department of Education:
- FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA)
- Granite State – GSMR
- Great Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.
- Maximus Federal Services
- OSLA Servicing
How to use MyFedLoan
Now that you’re paying back your student loans, the first thing you need to do is to create your online account at MyFedLoan.org. Once you’ve signed in, you can view your loan balance and review your contact information to make sure it’s correct and update it as needed.
To open the account you’ll need to provide basic personal information including name, email, date of birth, and your account number. If you don’t have your 10-digit account number handy, you can enter your SSN. But if you’re uncomfortable using your social security number, you can call them at 1-800-699-2908 to obtain your account information.
Once logged in, you can enroll in electronic communications and check details about your loan(s) such as:
- The loan disbursement date
- Your loan program or payment type
- Outstanding interest
- If you qualify, the amount you’ve paid towards Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
- The monthly total and breakdown of your monthly payment for each loan
- The total amount paid to date on your loans
In addition, if you’re still in your grace period (that is, you’re out of school, but not yet in repayment), MyFedLoan has a repayment schedule estimator to calculate what your monthly payment may be.
And you can also manage your payments through their mobile app, online, or automatically through direct debit. Their direct debit service is available after you receive your first bill. You’ll receive a 0.25% interest rate reduction, lowering your student loan repayment cost.
Useful loan information on MyFedLoan.org
MyFedLoan offers a wealth of information to help you navigate some of the most relevant topics involving your student loans. These include:
- Student loans 101. Here you’ll find resources to help you understand the different steps in the lifecycle of your loan; the pros and cons of different types of loans and borrowing tips, among others.
- Information about your account. Here you’ll learn more about the features of MyFedLoan’s online account management tool. These include your account details, profile, payment history and online payments.
- Repayment strategy. This section helps you craft a loan repayment strategy according to your loan details and repayment goals.
- Loan consolidation. This part of the website explains the benefits of a direct consolidation loan and whether it might be right for you. It also explains the consolidation timeline.
- Postponing payments. Here you’ll learn postponement options available to you. If you need to stop making payments for a short period of time, you’ll find out whether deferment or forbearance is suitable for you.
- Loan forgiveness and discharge. If you’re employed full-time with a qualifying public service organization, you could qualify for forgiveness on your Direct Loans under certain conditions. This section of MyFedLoan explains how.
- Special programs. Depending on your current situation, you may be able to qualify for special programs to help you repay your student loans. These include options for service members, TEACH grants and public service loan forgiveness programs.
- Missed payments. Missing payments or failing to pay when your monthly amount is due will have adverse consequences on your credit. MyFedLoan explains your options and how you may qualify for a low monthly payment.
How to make loan payments with MyFedLoan
MyFedLoan offers several convenient ways to pay your student loan bill including:
» DIrect debit. Direct debit deducts your payment from your savings or checking account electronically, every month. It’s a free service that qualifies you to a 0.25% interest rate reduction. You set it up once and forget about it: your payments are made on time every time and are credited to your account the day the payment is due.
After you apply, you’ll need to continue making your regular payments until you receive confirmation that direct debit is up and running.
» Pay online. You can pay online through MyFedLoan’s Account Access tool any time. The service saves your bank accounts for future payments. In addition, you can schedule payments in advance, and target extra payments for a faster loan payoff.
» By mobile app. The FedLoan Student Loans mobile app is available in iOS and Android. The app adds an extra layer of convenience to managing your loans and is highly rated. The Apple version is rated 4.8 / 5.0 and the Android version has a rating of 4.7 / 5.0.
» By phone. Should you have any issue connecting electronically, you can always reach MyFedLoan through the phone and make a payment. Their automated phone system is available by calling 1-800-699-2908.
» Pay by mail. Should you need to send your payment through regular mail, you can do so by sending your check or money order payable to FedLoan Servicing to:
Department of Education
P.O. Box 790234
St. Louis, MO 63179-0234
FedLoans recommends mailing your payment at least 5 to 7 business days before your due date to ensure it’s processed on time.
» Use a third-party bill pay service. You can schedule your monthly payments through your bank or any other third party bill pay service. It’s a convenient way to make your payments automatically and on time. However, MyFedLoan can’t offer you a 0.25% discount through third parties. It’s only available through their service.
» Set up advance payments. You’re also able to schedule your payments into the future by phone or through MyFedLoan’s Account Access tool with a maximum of 8 payments up to 60 days into the future. This feature can be useful if you wish to make several payments in a given month.
MyFedLoan repayment options
Your student loans offer a variety of repayment options, unlike other types of loans. Which option is right for you depends on your repayment goals and your particular situation.
If you’re looking for the fastest loan payoff, consider the Standard Repayment and Graduated Repayment alternatives offered by FedLoan Services.
Standard fixed repayment
According to MyFedLoan, the Standard Repayment is considered the fastest and most cost-effective plan with a repayment term of 10 years for unconsolidated loans. For this reason, your loan is under this repayment plan by default unless you select a different one.
With the Standard option, your payments of principal and interest remain relatively the same throughout repayment. And your monthly payments remain fixed with few exceptions, such as when interest capitalizes.
Similar to the Standard option, the Graduated Repayment alternative offers a 10 year repayment term for unconsolidated loans, but has lower monthly payments that increase over time. Initially, your payments only cover interest, making them lower.
Your payments then increase every two years throughout the repayment period. You’ll end up paying more over the life of your loan than on the 10-year Standard Repayment plan.
Alternative income-driven repayment programs on MyFedLoan
If your loan payments are too high, MyFedLoan offers income driven repayment plans (IRD) to help lower your monthly bill and help you accommodate your situation.
Pay as you earn (PAYE). The payment amounts under this plan are based on your income and family size. Payments generally represent 10% of your income and you’ll make them for up to 20 years. Because your income may change from year-to-year, you must recertify annually. In addition, the plan offers loan forgiveness after 20 years of qualifying payments.
Income-based repayment (IBR). Similar to PAYE, the payment amounts under this plan vary depending on your income and family size. Payments are generally 15% of your discretionary income, though they can be 10% if you’re a new borrower. Under this plan, you’ll be making payments for up to 25 years.
Income-contingent repayment (ICR). This plan offers reduced monthly payments calculated using your discretionary income, family size, and total amount of eligible loan debt. Monthly payments are generally adjusted based on your income using the lesser of: 20% of your discretionary income and the amount you would pay under a 12-year fixed repayment plan. This plan has payments for up to 25 years.
Revised pay as you earn (REPAYE). Under this plan, your monthly payments are calculated using your discretionary income, including that of your spouse, if applicable. Payments generally represent 10% of your income. Under this plan, you’ll make payments for up to 20 years. But it goes to up to 25 years for those who have Direct Loans for graduate and professional study.
MyFedLoan common concerns
Similar to other student loan servicers, MyFedLoan has received its share of complaints and unfavorable press in the recent past.
The Better Business Bureau does not accept complaints for FedLoan Servicing, given its affiliation to the Department of Education. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) does. It has received 1,656 complaints for the 12 months from 10/10/2019 through 10/10/2020. According to the CFPB, MyFedLoan provided a timely response to all these complaints.
About 93% of the complaints related to one of the following four issues:
- Dealing with the servicer (57%)
- Incorrect information on your report (18%)
- Struggling to repay loan (9%)
- Problem with a credit reporting company’s investigation into an existing problem (9%)
In addition, a quick web search highlights several customer complaints about MyFedLoan from a survey conducted by Student Loan Planner in 2018:
- Poor customer service
- Mishandling of IDR plans
- Improper payment processing
- Incorrect calculation of PSLF program payments
The last point has been a recurring issue, with the states of New York and Massachusetts filing lawsuits against the company.
Lawsuits regarding the PSLF program
The Washington Post reported that the New York attorney general sued FedLoan Servicing, for mishandling the public service loan forgiveness program. It’s a federal program that encourages college graduates to enter fields serving the public good with the promise of having their student debt canceled.
FedLoans runs the program for the Education Department and it allegedly miscounted payments, provided inconsistent information and failed to inform borrowers of their right to appeal mistakes.
Also, in 2017, Massachusetts filed a similar lawsuit against the company. However, the report underscores, the vast majority of processed program applications were denied because borrowers did not meet at least one program requirement.
If you’re unhappy with your servicer, make sure you file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) first. You’re likely to receive a timely response from your provider and they may be able to rectify the issue.
If you still want to switch, know that you can’t keep your same loan and switch to another servicer at the same time. To change your servicer, consider the following options:
Refinance with a private lender. You can change your loan servicer by refinancing with a private lender. However, if you do so, you will no longer qualify for current or future benefits applicable to federally held loans.
Consolidate your loans. You can combine one or more federal student loans into a single loan with a new servicer. It’s called a Direct Consolidation loan. It may make loans eligible for PAYE, REPAYE, and ICR repayment programs. There are some disadvantages with consolidation, so review your options before making a decision.
What happens if you miss a MyFedLoan payment?
If you miss a loan payment, your loan will become delinquent the day after the first missed due date. Missing a payment can hurt your credit as MyFedLoan reports the status of your loans to the consumer reporting agencies every month.
If you’re 270 days delinquent, your loan goes into default. Defaulting on your loan will:
- Cause damage to your credit rating because of negative credit reporting
- The government can garnish your wages
- Your tax refunds may be withheld
- Cause the loss of eligibility for federal and state financial aid
What is MyFedLoan contact information?
This loan servicer has multiple ways to reach them. Here’s MyFedLoan’s contact information:
Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET).
For TEACH Grant support: Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET).
Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET).
Support for hearing and speech-impaired callers available Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM (ET)
In case you’re returning or verifying documentation, etc.
Send payments to:
Department of Education
P.O. Box 790234
St. Louis, MO 63179-0234
Send Direct Debit application forms to:
P.O. Box 3661
Harrisburg, PA 17105-3661
Send letters and correspondence to:
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
Send Credit Disputes to:
FedLoan Servicing Credit
P.O. Box 60610
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0610
Send Consolidation related letters and correspondence to:
FedLoan Consolidation Department
P.O. Box 69186
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9186
Contact the Office of Consumer Advocacy at:
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
The Office of Consumer Advocacy
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
You can find additional information by visiting their contact us page.
Your student loan servicer provides federal student loan assistance for free. So you don’t need to pay MyFedLoan for that service.
You can change your due date, but your account must be current, you need to be in repayment and have made at least one monthly payment. In addition, the date must be between the 1st and 28th of the month.
You can change your payment plan to one that takes your income into account, change your payment date or postpone your payments through deferment or forbearance.
Sign in to your MyFedLoan.org account and select “Loan Details” from the left-side menu to review your account.
Your Income Driven Repayment plan is initially approved for up to 12 months at a given payment amount. Near the end of the 12 months, you’ll need to submit a new request or ‘recertify’ for the next 12 months. You need to submit a new request and income documentation every year. You’ll need your FSA ID in order to sign in and recertify.
If you are still enrolled in school at least half time and you received a bill to start paying back your loans, contact MyFedLoan. They’ll need to verify your enrollment.