In June, the US Department of Education announced that they will be making big changes to the federal student loan servicing system.
What does this change mean?
New companies will service those paying off federal student loans. Unless some of the previous providers win back their contracts, all individuals who are currently paying off federal student loans will have different servicers once all is said and done. Servicing changes may be seen as soon as the end of 2020 or early 2021.
With nearly 45 million borrowers of student loans, you will want to ensure you are not just a number when the service provider changes and that you do not get lost in the shuffle. Worst yet, if they don’t transition all your data, missing payment reports may occur, and you definitely don’t want that. It happened in 2012 during the last transition.
The steps below may help you in the event that your records are lost during the transition.
5 tips to ensure a smooth transition
Download and save your payment history.
Keep a copy of your receipts for any future payments made. This will help you avoid surprise late fees if payments fall through the cracks during the transition.
Download and retain any relevant loan records you currently have online.
Download or “save as PDF” any servicer correspondence.
Expect to be contacted by these new servicing companies. The plan is for the servicers to correspond with student loan borrowers in various ways including phone, email, social media, snail mail.
Be prepared and don’t be caught off guard!
THE BOTTOM LINE:
In late 2020 or early 2021, the US Dept of Education is planning switch student loan service providers. To make sure your data is not lost in the transition, remember to download and retain copies – either digital or hard copies – of all documentation including payment receipts, account statements, and correspondence. There is going to be a lot of data moved around and you don’t want to be a casualty of a clerical error during this major data transition. Don’t count on the Dept of Education or your current servicer to retain and recoup your payment history for you.