I just need to vent about my student loan servicing company – FedLoan Servicing. They recently took over a student loan of mine that was purchased by the Department of Education. Since taking over my student loan, I must admit that they are absolutely horrible. I have another student loan with Sallie Mae, and the difference in customer service and usability is incredible. Here's my drama with FedLoan Servicing, and why I feel like FedLoan Servicing is a scam.
The Start of My FedLoan Servicing Drama
FedLoan started off poorly in the fact that I had to re-sign-up for all of the direct debit and online statements that I already had setup with the Dept. of Education. To make matters worse, there is a lag time of approximately two billing cycles before my direct debit would kick-in. Also, my student loan qualifies for an interest rate reduction if I sign-up for online statements. Well, I lost the reduction, and had to re-gain it after the transfer.
FedLoan Servicing Delinquent Notice
Next, after FedLoan confirmed to me that my direct debit was processed and I have a confirmation letter stating this, their payment system does NOT process my payment. I log-on to my account, and there are big notices saying “DELINQUENT!” I call FedLoan, and the clerk is completely ignorant and rude, and refuses to answer any of my questions. I call back, and speak to another clerk, who tells me that FedLoan has all kinds of problems with their payment systems, and that this happens all the time. I finally have to get her manager on the phone, who basically admits this without actually admitting it, and fixes all my problems.
FedLoan Payment Processing and Direct Debit
Finally, I had a payment pending for 2 weeks before it was credited to my account. If FedLoan is a loan servicer, then why won't it process my payment! Furthermore, they have a pay-ahead program, which they call a safety net, but it really makes it difficult and confusing.
For example, if you have direct debit on your account, you would expect your payment to be withdrawn each month. Say it is $200. Well, if you make a stand-alone payment of $200, expecting to pay down more on your loan, your direct debit will not go through, since you already paid the minimum. Therefore, you really didn't make an extra payment. You then have to manually make another student loan payment. How ridiculous. My mortgage debits my account the same each month. If I make an extra payment, it makes no difference!
Fedloan's business practices are shameful, and what makes them worse is that they are contracted by the United States Department of Education!
Be Aware of Potential Credit Problems Due to FedLoan
Remember, FedLoan is a loan servicer, and so they WILL report any delinquencies or other issues on your account to the credit bureaus (Equifax, Transunion, Experian). That can seriously impact your credit score. What's worse is that they could be reporting false information, because the error was FedLoan's and not yours. Realize that if FedLoan is telling you your loan is delinquent they may have also told the credit reporting agencies, and that will harm your credit score.
That's why I urge you to check your credit score! I recommend you use a free service like Credit Karma to simply check you score. They only give you one credit score, but that's enough to know if something is wrong. Plus, Credit Karma is truly free (you may have seen their commercials on TV). The last thing you want is your credit score hurting your job prospects.
Get Away From FedLoan
If you’re struggling with FedLoan and are looking for professional help, we recommend you get in touch with Ameritech Financial. They will be able to help you navigate your repayment situation, and will ensure that your student loan situation is in order – effectively minimizing your interactions with FedLoan (who is having lots of problems), or any of your loan servicers for that matter. You can call them at 1-866-863-3870 or check out their website here.
Finally, if you are able to, you should look at refinancing or consolidating student loans with a lender other than FedLoan Servicing. You can do this in a variety of ways, but I would recommend starting with Credible. Credible is a “Kayak for student loans,” meaning you fill out one simple form and receive offers from multiple lenders on a single dashboard. Credible only works with high quality private lenders, who will be a lot easier for you to work with than FedLoan.
Remember, though, to understand when it makes sense to refinance your student loans.
Continue The Conversation
We recently launched our Student Loan Forums. Are you have trouble with FedLoan or another loan servicing company? Stop by and share your story and interact with other members of the community who may be going through the same thing.
Read the Rest of the Story in Three Parts:
- FedLoan Servicing – The Horrible Saga Continues
- Why I Hate FedLoan Continued
- Getting Out From Student Loan Debt
Thanks for following along! If you're looking for issues with NelNet Student Loan Servicing, check out our post on NelNet Student Loan Servicing Problems.
Note: This post was edited to clarify the payment practices. There is a lot of misunderstanding surround this program.