Financial Aid Repayment

Still Figuring Out Your Federal Student Loan Repayment? We Have Some Tips

Tips include being in touch with your loan servicer, being patient, and using free resources.
A student repaying their student loans

There is so much that has happened with federal student loans in the last few of years, including a pause on repayment and introduction of a new repayment plan. We want to make sure that you have the best information to manage your loan repayment and to take advantage of your loan repayment options. Keep in mind that the guidance that we provide here is for federal student loans. MEFA Loans are private student loans, and therefore have different repayment terms and options.

Be in Touch with Your Loan Servicer

Your loan servicer is the company who collects your loan payment. You may be paying back your loans and still not sure who exactly your loan servicer is. During the federal loan repayment pause, over 17 million borrower accounts changed servicers. To find out your loan servicer, log in to studentaid.gov and view your loan information. You'll want to make sure that your contact information within studentaid.gov is correct so that your loan servicer can reach you by mail, e-mail, and phone if necessary. You can contact your loan servicer if you want to discuss your repayment options or if you're having trouble making your payments.

Be Patient

Be patient when you're trying to get in touch with your loan servicer or waiting to hear back on an issue with your account. Despite robust preparations by the Department of Education and the loan servicers, the repayment system was simply not set up to handle the end of the federal loan repayment pause, an event during which 40 million borrowers all re-entered repayment at the same time. We are hearing that there are still long call hold and paperwork processing times.

Use Free Resources

If you're still adjusting to the return to repayment after the federal student loan pause, we have some guidance that can help. View our Returning to Repayment on Federal Student Loans webpage, which provides 5 key repayment tips and also includes plenty of other resources.

As well, our recent webinar, Federal Loan Repayment Options: Choosing the Right Path after the Pause reviews the repayment options available to federal loan borrowers, including the new SAVE plan, and also shares details on Public Service Loan Forgiveness and best practices to ensure you remain in good standing during repayment.

MEFA works closely with TISLA, the Institute of Student Loan Advisors, a non-profit that offers free guidance and assistance with dispute resolution to student loan borrowers. Their website has a wealth of information for federal student loan borrowers. Sections include:

They also have a Student Loan Calculator that can help you determine which repayment plan will work best for your budget and financial goals.

If you have specific questions about your own student loans, it's best to reach out to your loan servicer, as mentioned above. But if you have general questions about loan repayment, we are happy to help. You can reach us at (800) 449-MEFA (6332) and collegeplanning@mefa.org.