Are your student loans serviced by EdFinancial Services? You may be in for a rough repayment period. Compared to other federal student loan servicers, EdFinancial is known for its poor customer support.
Here’s what you need to know about the main EdFinancial Services complaints and what you can do if it services your loans.
What is EdFinancial Services?
As a federal loan borrower, you’re assigned a loan servicer who acts as a middleman to help you manage your student loan debt payments. You don’t have a choice about which servicer you get.
EdFinancial Services is one of the nine student loan servicers. The company is based out of Knoxville, TN. EdFinancial student loans supports federal Direct Loans and loans from the Federal Family Education Loan (FFELP) Program.
Complaints about Edfinancial Services
EdFinancial Services doesn’t receive as many complaints as other loan servicers, but it still leaves customers dissatisfied, as shown in online complaints. It has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but there are 37 customer complaints on the site.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has 253 complaints about the servicer, with 41 complaints listed for 2019 alone (as of Aug. 24, 2019). Let’s take a look at the top two complaints from borrowers.
1. Poor customer service
EdFinancial Services has developed a reputation for subpar customer service. One borrower tried to switch repayment plans from a Graduated Plan to a Standard Plan. They applied for the change through the EdFinancial website, but only some of the loans were switched.
Several emails to EdFinancial Services went unanswered, according to the review. The borrower also noticed a forbearance on their account that they had never requested. The customer service agent said they couldn’t participate in a Standard Repayment Plan. Yet part of their loans had been switched to a Standard Plan already.
EdFinancial Service told the borrower that since the monthly payments increased, a forbearance was placed on the online account out of courtesy. However, the borrower was simply trying to pay off their loans quickly. Every decision EdFinancial made (without the borrower’s consent) worked against that.
In the summer of 2018, Student Loan Planner® surveyed readers about federal loan servicers. One borrower shared his experience with EdFinancial’s poor customer service.
He had to contact them to resolve an issue, and he felt they were short with him and would only provide help if it benefited EdFinancial Services, too. He noted the servicer’s employees’ lack of empathy in correspondence with its borrowers.
2. Mishandling of loan payments
One of the many roles of a loan servicer is handling student loan payments. Many customer complaints stem from irresponsible payment management on the part of EdFinancial.
One customer complaint on the CFPB website claimed that their credit report showed they were 90 days delinquent on loan payments. They were signed up for autopayments through EdFinancial but received no communication from the loan servicer at any point.
Another borrower complained to the CFPB that their account showed a 90-day late payment. But they had switched repayment options and their loan was in deferment. Their payment history even shows the account was OK the month before but was suddenly flagged as being 90 days late.
If your loans are serviced by EdFinancial, log into your account and verify online payment records to avoid issues like these.
What EdFinancial Services gets right
Despite its shortcomings in communicating with borrowers, EdFinancial Services excels in other areas.
The help section of its website is better than many other federal loan servicers. The layout is easy to read and understand. There’s information on loan forgiveness, deferment, forbearance and tax information. The site also provides a loan repayment calculator as a resource for borrowers.
EdFinancial Services also offers special help to military service members to make sure they’re aware of possible student loan benefits, which include the following:
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
- Military Service Deferment
- Post-Active Duty Student Deferment
- Department of Defense (DOD) Loan Repayment Program
- Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)
On top of that, EdFinancial Services provides tips for service members about to deploy. It offers a designated Servicemember Liaison, too, who assists current and former members of the military with their student loans.
EdFinancial Services isn’t known for having the best customer service. Hopefully, you can find the information you need through their website. But if you do need to reach out, the hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 8am-8:30pm ET and Friday 8am-6pm ET and their phone number is 1-800-337-6884.
What can you do if EdFinancial Services is your loan servicer?
Is EdFinancial Services is your loan servicer? Know that you don’t have to suffer through poor customer service. Student Loan Planner® helps borrowers find the best way to repay loans.
One option to consider is consolidating your loans through a new servicer. Your loans will be paid off by the new loan servicer. You’ll be left with a new loan with new terms, rate and monthly payment. In addition to EdFinancial, Direct Consolidation Loans are serviced by the following federal loan servicers:
- CornerStone Education Loan Services
- FedLoan Servicing
- Granite State Management & Resources
- Great Lakes
- Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA)
- Oklahoma Student Loan Authority (OSLA)
During the consolidation loan application process, you’ll be able to choose your loan servicer. Take time to research servicers before making a decision. The last thing you want to do is switch to another poor loan servicer.
Federal borrowers can also choose to refinance student loans through a private company. Keep in mind that when you refinance, your loans become private loans with a new lender.
You’ll lose access to protections offered with federal loans. This includes deferment, forbearance, repayment programs and forgiveness programs such as PSLF and Teacher Loan Forgiveness.
Are you unhappy with your loan servicer? Decide if the headache is worth continuing down your current repayment path. If not, make a plan to take control of your loan repayment through one of the suggestions above, such as consolidating or refinancing through private lenders.
Student loan repayment is one of the biggest financial decisions in your lifetime. Don’t waste time with a poor loan servicer if you have other options.