Congratulations! You’ve graduated from college and are ready to take on the world.
After 12 years of school plus another four or more of college, you’re ready to start earning and start paying down your student loans after a 6-month grace period. The average person has about $32,731 in student loan debt when they graduate, according to Forbes.
If you are one of the individuals that must pay back student loans, then there is a good chance that you will pay them back through FedLoan Servicing.
Read on to understand more about who this company is, how you can manage your payments, and what your repayment options are.
What is MyFedLoan?
When a student takes out loans from the U.S. Department of Education, the loan is assigned to a loan servicer. A federal loan servicer is a company that handles the billing and other services on your debt, and FedLoan is one of these companies. MyFedLoan is one nonprofit organization that service student loans.
If you’ve taken out a Direct Subsidized Loan, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct PLUS Loan, or a Direct Consolidation Loan, there is a strong chance that you will repay your loans through this platform as it is one of the largest of the nine federal student loan servicers.
MyFedLoan is the online platform of FedLoan, a loan servicing organization. The goal of this platform is to help students repay their student loans. On this platform, those with fedloan student loans can:
- Find information about their loans
- Choose a repayment plan
- Place payments on their loans
- Track their progress
- View interest rates
- See previous payments
- View and print important documents regarding their loans
Please note for those who will be working in the public sector and utilizing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF) are paired automatically with FedLoan Servicing.
Is Myfedloan.org Legit?
Yes, Myfedloan.org is a legitimate company. That is just one of the numerous services for student loans that the United States Department of Education has contracted for taking care of student loans.
FedLoan was founded in 2009 by PHEAA to offer assistance to the United States Department of Education by handling federal student loans, specifically Direct Loans, and FFEL or Federal Family Educational Loans. Unfortunately, the company has a reputation for inadequate customer service.
How Do I Get Started with MyFedLoan?
The first thing you need to do when aiming to successfully repay your loans through MyFedLoan is to create an account. This only takes a few minutes and requires you to enter your name, Social Security number, and account number. The company should have sent you an account number, but if you don’t have it handy, you can call the company and answer a series of questions to confirm your identity and receive your account number.
Then, you’ll be asked to set up a password. Your account will host valuable personal information, so you must choose a strong unique password.
Once you’re logged in, you will be able to see all your loans and associated information. This includes the total balance of your loan, minimum monthly payments, and more. From here, you will be able to add a bank account and set up a direct debit to make automatic monthly payments. You may qualify for an interest rate reduction of 0.25% for utilizing the automatic student loan servicing option.
There is also additional information within MyFedLoan portal on how student loans work, FAQs, information about special programs for teacher loan and military loan options as well as a brief overview of your repayment options.
FedLoan Services and Assistance
In addition to the primary loan and repayment options, FedLoan offers several different types of services and assistance to help students with their loans.
Assistance With Appropriate Repayment Plans
If the student is experiencing difficulty making the monthly payments, FedLoan offers options for changing the repayment plan to an income-based repayment plan and/or lower monthly payments.
If the student is experiencing financial hardships, payments they can suspend them through several different options with MyFedLoan.
Students carrying student loan debt and ongoing payments frequently experience issues with paying off their debt and making extra money before they enter their full-time careers. MyFedLoan understands this and helps students navigate these financial uncertainties
If the student has multiple loans, there is often an option for loan consolidation. They can sometimes get an interest rate reduction with a fixed interest rate. The result is decreasing the monthly payment amount. The student can accomplish this by contacting the servicer.
How Do I Make Loan Payments with MyFedLoan?
You can make payments online monthly to MyFedLoan via the website or on the app. Once you create an account and log in, you will see which payment plan you are enrolled in as well as your student loan financial information. Most people will be in a 10-year standard repayment plan, equal to 120 qualifying payments. This means that it will take ten years to pay off your total loan balance.
If you want to set an automatic payment and not have to worry about logging in each month, you can do so on the MyFedLoan website or app. Simply add your bank account and log out. Users must make their payments via a bank account. This means that users will have to provide an account and routing number. If users do not want to make a payment online, they can use the app or pay by phone.
If you’d like to submit a larger monthly contribution, insert the amount that you want to pay each month and set it as a recurring payment. You can also send one-time payments in the app or online, so if you ever have extra cash and the motivation to pay down your loan, you can do so via this platform.
What Are My Repayment Options?
While many borrowers choose to stick with the standard ten-year repayment plan, there are other options available. Some people can’t handle the monthly payment right after graduation, so they choose a longer-term.
Others do not earn enough to make monthly payments, so they choose to enroll in a forgiveness program such as the PSLF program for public servants and teacher loan forgiveness. If you are interested in other options, here are a few of the most popular alternatives that you can explore with MyFedLoan.
If you are able to afford a larger monthly payment, a standard repayment is the quickest payment plan offered for repaying your loan. They offer a 10-year term for unconsolidated loans and a 30-year term for consolidated loans.
This option is like the standard repayment, but instead of making the same payment every month for ten years, borrowers start with lower monthly premiums.
Then, the premiums increase every two years. The first two years’ payments typically only cover interest and not the principal of the loan. This is a good option for people who want to contribute to their loans but do not have a high-paying job right after college. As you climb up the career ladder, your student loan payment will increase along with your earnings.
You'll end up paying a lot more in interest, so stay away from this option if at all possible.
Student Loan Repayment Alternatives
Don't worry if you are having trouble coming up with your student loan payment every month. MyFedLoan offers flexible repayment options if you're not able to have a successful repayment of your loan during a stressful time.
This plan factors in a borrower’s income and family situation. Borrowers enter information about their income and dependents to determine a monthly payment that is about 10% of their discretionary income. The term on this loan is 20 years. If, after 20 years, you have not repaid the loan, the remainder is forgiven.
The income-based repayment option is like the PAYE option.
The difference is that borrowers pay 15% of their discretionary income for 25 years, and the loan is then forgiven. This option is common for borrowers under the Parent PLUS loan.
Every year, users must ‘recertify’ their family size and income, and a new payment amount is calculated.
If you need the flexibility of making smaller monthly payments, this short-term plan allows you to do so for up to five years. They base your new amount due on your income and all accruing interest. However, it has a maximum loan term of 15 years and is only available to those who had their loans distributed through the Federal Family Education Loan program.
Income Contingent Repayment
You will be eligible for student loan forgiveness after 25 years of qualifying payments. During this time, you will make monthly payments of the lowest of 20% of your monthly discretionary income or the amount that is equivalent to a 12-year fixed term.
Extended Fixed Repayment
If you have over $30,000 in outstanding Direct Loans or FFEL Program loans, you'll qualify to extend your loan term from 10 years to 25 years. While this may seem great at first, you'll want to consider the repercussions of more student loan interest over the course of the loan for the sake of lower monthly bills.
Extended Graduated Repayment Plan
Student loan borrowers may opt for this plan which extends the term of their graduated repayment plan for up to 25 years. Again, MyFed Loan requires that the public have either $30,000 in outstanding direct loans or FFEL program loans. The monthly premiums will be lower in the beginning and gradually increase over time.
This payment plan is similar to PAYE, but MyFedLoan takes your spouse's income into consideration if applicable. For traditional undergraduate programs, the term is 20 years, and loan forgiveness is granted afterward. For graduate and professional studies, the term is 25 years, and loan forgiveness is offered afterward.
How Does MyFedLoan Compare to Other Servicers?
Student loan debt is a sensitive topic, and therefore the reviews online are very critical of MyFedLoan. From our research, we’ve found that most federal student loan servicers have similar reviews. Here are a few pros and cons of MyFedLoan:
- As one of the largest student loan servicers, it has a well-built system and official account access
- Users have many loan repayment options
- The alerts system for payments is easy to use, especially on the app
- The most common complaint is that the website doesn’t process payments correctly, especially additional payments to a specific loan
- MyFedLoan has received hundreds of 1-star fedloan servicing reviews
- MyFedLoan had an ‘F' rating from the Better Business Bureau in the past
- Reports indicate that they don't process payments correctly and that it's difficult to apply payments to a single loan or make extra payments
- Errors from the student loan servicing provider resulted in unnecessary loan interest tax charges or a lower credit score
While these pros and cons are valid, the company has made statements that it is consistently backing up programs and improving them. The company is a trusted partner of the U.S. Department of Education and therefore, must adhere to its standards. Remember that all student loans allow for an interest tax deduction on your annual tax return.
Can You Negotiate With FedLoan?
Although it is possible to reach a settlement, when it is a FedLoan serviced nonprofit loan, the borrower must adhere to the judgment of the lender. The only way FedLoan will negotiate is if the loan is close to, or in default.
If this happens, it is dependant on if the borrower already has or can save enough to pay the entire settlement within a few installments or if FedLoan will make a higher profit by settling rather than pursuing payment of the loan.
Trying to force negotiations by missing payments on a student loan is not recommended. Credit can easily be damaged, the loan can significantly increase due to collection costs, and any savings are generally less than expected. There is no guarantee FedLoan will offer negotiations. After nonpayment for 270 days, federal student loans automatically go to default.
Common Complaints Against MyFedLoan
You will find numerous negative MyFedLoan reviews due to customer service issues. The customer service team has been called “inconsistent, incompetent and unhelpful” by students with federal loans.
Poor Customer Service
According to one of the FedLoan servicing reviews, a customer called in several different times and received different answers from members of the FedLoan customer service team representatives. A borrower stated a simple request required months for processing. Another borrower called MyFedLoan between 10 and 15 times during three years to correct mistakes made by the company.
Another complaint is borrowers requiring an account audit. A 30-day audit may take as long as six months.
Student Loan Forgiveness Issues
There have been numerous complaints regarding the way FedLoan Servicing handles requests for loan forgiveness. The most common complaint is that FedLoan makes no calculations regarding how many payments are necessary to count as a qualification for the programs.
To get your federal student loan forgiven, the borrower is required to make 120 qualified payments. Numerous complaints have been filed out of frustration by borrowers discovering they were short because FedLoan did not perform their job properly.
One borrower was forced to refinance due to an inaccurate payment count by FedLoan. In some cases, complaints were filed with the Better Business Bureau. Another common complaint is there is not enough information available about PSLF.
Numerous borrowers issued complaints because when they spoke to a customer service representative about the program, it was obvious the representatives did not understand the program or how it worked. The FedLoan issues regarding PSLF became so poor, the Attorney General of Massachusetts filed a lawsuit in 2017 against FedLoan.
According to the complaint filed, Maura Healey accused FedLoan of being responsible for public servants being denied assistance and benefits through both the TEACH Grant and PSLF Grant programs. The Attorney General asked for restitution for all of the borrowers impacted in addition to penalties for the FedLoan Servicer. Additional lawsuits against FedLoan have since been filed.
Numerous complaints have been received regarding the way requests for income-driven repayment are being handled by FedLoan. Borrowers unable to afford their monthly payments are offered some relief with this type of repayment plan.
In certain instances, lousy information was provided by customer service representatives as to the plans available and how they work. Plan requests have been completely mishandled forcing borrowers to make bigger and unaffordable payments.
Even if students are doing all they can to make extra money, there have been complaints that MyFedLoan is less than helpful in these situations.
One borrower claimed FedLoan required several months to correct this issue. This resulted in the borrower paying more than $800 per month for the standard repayment plan as opposed to the $105 per month that should have been paid. There have also been many complaints regarding the way payment processing is being handled by FedLoan.
The majority of complaints claimed payments were not applied correctly by MyFedLoan to outstanding loans. One borrower received a letter from FedLoan stating an adjustment was required for the account. The result was an increase of $2,000 for the principal balance. When the borrower contacted FedLoan, no response was received.
Another borrower discovered payments continued to be deducted from the associated checking account despite the loan having been paid in full.
Why FedLoan Payments Increase
One of the main reasons for an increase is a change in the calculations used for the interest rate. The interest paid is compounded daily for student loans. This can result in a larger monthly payment. When a month contains 31 days as opposed to 28, the monthly payment will be higher simply because the month has additional days. More interest is charged due to these extra days.
Any loan using a variable interest rate as opposed to a fixed-rate can change. If the LIBOR or Prime Lending rates increase, the borrower may see a difference in the amount of the monthly payment. Banks offer favored customers a better interest rate referred to as the Prime Lending rate.
Some of the leading banks throughout the world charge a LIBOR rate for short-term loans. The payments may not be going where the borrower believes.
Not Seeing The Principle Change? Here Are A Couple of Reasons
There are two reasons no progress is being made for the total amount of the loan.
The first is the payment distribution if the borrower has more than one loan. The second is how the payments are being applied by the lender. When a monthly payment is made on the loan, the funds are applied in a certain order by the lender. The lender covers any late fees owed first. Funds are then applied to the interest. Funds are applied to the principal balance last.
If the borrower has multiple loans, each loan most likely has a different interest rate. If the payment is evenly distributed by the lender among all of the loans, the chance is good any difference in the balance of loans with a higher interest rate will be minimal.
The best option is to contact the lender to have a larger portion of the payment applied to the loans with a higher interest rate. If the borrower has the cash available, it is a good idea to make an extra payment specifically for the loan with the highest interest rate.
Consequences of Not Paying MyFedLoan
If FedLoan receives no payment on a federal student loan for over 270 days, it automatically goes into default. It is far from uncommon for a student to experience difficulty paying off a student loan. According to the most recent figures, of all borrowers, paying off student loans between 2017 and 2018, 13.5 percent defaulted in three years.
Interest will continue to accrue on ignored loans, and the balance will increase. If the borrower does not accept a repayment option or take advantage of a manage repayment tool, they will send the debt to collections. The result? In addition to the interest, expensive fees are added to the loan.
The borrower's credit score will be negatively affected, making it more difficult to obtain an apartment lease, credit card, auto loan or mortgage. If the student defaults on a federal loan, the government can take 15 percent of the borrower's wages!
They may also sue the borrower, although this is not common. Federal student loans do not have a statute of limitations. As long as the borrower is alive, they can be sued for nonpayment of the loan. In contrast, private loans do have a statute of limitations set by each state.
A federal loan will never go away and should be paid in full.
Is MyFedLoan Legit?
FedLoan Servicing is one of the nine federal student aid loan servicers. They are approved by the U.S. Department of Education and are one of the three largest servicers in the United States.
Who Is The Best Federal Loan Servicer?
While the top servicer is up for debate, the most popular federal loan servicers are:
- PHEAA or FedLoan Servicing. FedLoan currently handles 27 percent of all federal student loans. That means PHEAA is the largest federal loan servicing organization available at this time.
Other Student loan servicers, as previously mentioned, are:
- Granite State
- Great Lakes (like the Great Lakes Educational Loan Services)
Can I change my loan due date?
If your student loan payment isn't due, you can change your loan due date. However, there are a few criteria that you must meet.
- Be in active repayment
- Make your first scheduled payment on time
- Be current on your monthly payments
- Change your date for between the 1st and 28th of each month
Please note that it won't be an immediate change, and may take up to two billing cycles to take effect. This means that you must meet your existing payment dates until it is changed. Your request may cause two payments to be due at once within a 30-day billing cycle depending on when you make the request in comparison to your due date.
What options do I have if I can't afford my loan payment?
If you foresee not being able to afford your loan repayment progress, make sure to contact MyFedLoan to have a conversation about your payment options.
Here are some choices that MyFedLoan may offer you:
- Changing your due date
- Switching your payment plan
- Postpone payments via a deferment or emergency administrative forbearance
If I'm still in school, why I am getting a bill?
If you're still in school or have switched schools, you may receive a bill because MyFedLoan hasn't updated your enrollment status yet. This can take a few weeks. But, if you'd like to get ahead go ahead and make the extra payment or request a general forbearance by logging into your account. Once your status is updated in their system, you'll stop receiving the unnecessary bills.
Are Student Loans Forgiven For Teachers?
There are three programs for student loan forgiveness for teachers – the Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Teacher Loan Forgiveness, and Perkins loans, Teacher Cancellation. These loans can forgive a portion of or the entire federal student loan. However, none of these programs apply to private loans.
Remember, there may be forgiveness options for private loans available directly through the lender. The qualification for federal loans is teaching for five consecutive, full-time years at a qualified low-income secondary or elementary school. Borrowers with Stafford or Federal Direct loans are also qualified.
As previously stated, a maximum of $17,500 can be forgivable in the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. The program is for qualified teachers without a significant amount of debt. The program is not nearly as generous as forgiveness with a Public Service Loan, but the forgiveness is issued much faster.
The borrower begins by checking school eligibility where they work through the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. The specific amount forgiven is based on the grade levels and subjects taught.
Special education, science, and math teachers can receive forgiveness for as much as $17,500. Secondary and elementary school teachers can receive forgiveness for a maximum of $5,000, depending on the subjects taught.
How Many Times Can You Get Teacher Loan Forgiveness?
The most straightforward answer to the question is one. There is a type of exception due to the numerous programs available for student loan forgiveness, such as Teacher Loan Forgiveness and PSLF. If a teacher is working at an eligible private or public school, they can pursue both Teacher Loan and Public Loan Forgiveness programs. Although borrowers can pursue more than one program, all qualified payments at the time the loans are forgiven will only be applicable for one program.
There are different qualifications, timelines, and requirements for each student loan forgiveness program. That means it is not possible to qualify for two programs at the same time. If the situations are consecutive, there is an exception. If, after five years, the borrower receives approval for Teacher Loan Forgiveness, qualification for PSLF is possible after making an additional 120 payments.
How do I find the contact information for MyFedLoan?
There are many ways that you can get in touch with MyFedLoan regarding your student loan. The most common ways are by phone, mail, and online.
MyFedLoan is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. They can be reached by calling 1*800-699-2908.
Their general mailing address (for payments too) is:
Department of Education
P.O. Box 790234
St. Louis, MO 63179-0234
For letters and correspondence:
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184
For credit disputes:
FedLoan Servicing Credit
P.O. Box 60610
Harrisburg, PA 17106-0610
For consolidation letters and correspondence:
FedLoan Consolidation Department
P.O. Box 69186
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9186
Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency
Office of Consumer Advocacy
1200 North 7th Street
Harrisburg, PA 17102
Visit their contact us page for additional information.
To get in touch with MyFedLoan online, go to their website, head to account sign in, and send a secure email. This is to ensure your privacy when asking account-specific questions.
MyFedLoan Will Affect Your Financial Success Status
While borrowers do not get to choose which federal student loan service they work with, customers of MyFedLoan are typically pleased with their experience. The company has several customer service options to help you get started with the platform and to help you make payments along the way.
If you are having trouble making your student loan payments or are considering consolidating your loans, you may want to check out this post to learn more. We always recommend that you take steps to better your finances if you're having trouble paying your bills.
Here are a few things that you can do to alleviate the stress that comes with money management:
- Avoid debt
- Get out of any existing debt fast, especially high-interest student loan debt
- Build an emergency fund
- Maximize your earning potential
- Start a side hustle
If you implement a few of these tips into your daily financial regimen, you'll have your student loans paid off in no time at all. Just make sure that you are being a responsible borrower who is proactive about any changes that need to be made. Once this is taken care of, you can feel confident in building off of your momentum towards financial freedom.
Michael launched Wealth of Geeks to make personal finance fun. He has worked in personal finance for over 20 years, helping families reduce taxes, increase their income, and save for retirement. Michael is passionate about personal finance, side hustles, and all things geeky.