App version: 0.1.0

Guide to Student Loan Servicing Changes

Student Loan Servicer Change: What to Know
Rebecca Safier
Rebecca SafierUpdated April 8, 2023
Share this article:
Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
When you take out student loans, you pay them back with the help of a student loan servicer. Your loan servicer is responsible for processing your payments, helping you switch repayment plans, and providing other services. However, it’s possible your loan servicer will change once or even multiple times throughout the life of your loans. It’s important to stay on top of any student loan servicer change so you don’t miss payments. Read on for more information about student loan servicing changes, including why your student loan servicer keeps changing and what you can do to keep up. 

What Is a Student Loan Servicer?

A student loan servicer is a company that acts as the intermediary between borrowers and their student loan lender. Your loan servicer is responsible for: 
  • Collecting and processing payments
  • Helping you switch to a new repayment plan 
  • Accepting applications for student loan deferment 
  • Maintaining your loan records 
  • Providing customer service and responding to your inquiries 
  • Accepting applications for student loan forbearance 
You’ll typically create an account on your loan servicer’s website to pay back your student loans. 

Why Did My Student Loans Transfer to Another Lender?

If you’re wondering, why does my student loan servicer keep changing?, it’s important to note that student loans can transfer to a new loan servicer for a few reasons, including: 
  • Your loan servicer’s contract came to an end. Several federal student loan servicers saw their contracts end with the Department of Education in the past few years, including Granite State Management & Resources, Navient, and FedLoan. If you were working with any of these loan servicers, you probably saw your loan servicer switch to Edfinancial Services, Aidvantage, MOHELA, or Nelnet. 
  • You’re applying for loan forgiveness. When you pursue Public Service Loan Forgiveness, for instance, you’ll be assigned MOHELA as your loan servicer.
  • You consolidated your student loans. When you take out a Direct consolidation loan, you have the opportunity to choose a new loan servicer from among the Department of Education’s loan servicing partners. 
  • You refinanced your student loans. When refinancing student loans with a new lender, you may get a new loan servicer to process your refinanced student loan. 
  • Your loan servicer was sold to another company. Private student loan servicers sometimes get acquired by other companies. In this event, your loans will get transferred to the new company. 
  • Your lender went out of business. Finally, you may see student loan servicing changes if your original lender went out of business. 

What Happens When Your Student Loan Servicer Changes?

When your student loan servicer changes, you’ll receive notification from both your old servicer and the new servicer. In fact, your loan servicer is required to notify you of a transfer of student loans to another lender according to the promissory note you signed when you took out the loan. The Department of Education might also send you a letter about loan servicer changes. The welcome letter you receive from your new loan servicer should inform you about the steps you’ll need to take. You’ll likely need to create a new account on your new servicer’s website. Automatic payments won’t necessarily transfer, so you may have to enroll in autopay again if you want your student loan bills to be automatically debited from your bank account. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with your new servicer’s website and reaching out to its customer support team to learn about your options. Recommended: Getting Rid of Student Loan Debt: 13 Options

Finding Your New Student Loan Servicer

As mentioned, if your student loans are switched to a new loan servicer, you’ll receive notification from your old and new servicer. Make sure your current loan servicer has your most up-to-date contact information so you don’t miss any important communications. If you have federal student loans, you can also track down your student loan servicer by signing into your Federal Student Aid account. You’ll need your FSA ID to sign in, which consists of your unique username and password. If you have private student loans, there’s no centralized dashboard to track your loans and servicers. Instead, you can try reaching out to your lender to find out who your loan servicer is. You can also order a free copy of your credit report from to find this information. 

Do Your Student Loan Terms Change?

The terms of your student loan will not change when your student loan servicer changes. Your interest rate and repayment plan should remain the same. At the same time, student loan servicers are generally not known for their efficiency. It’s possible that something could get messed up in the transition, so it’s worth signing into your accounts and contacting customer service to make sure everything looks as it should. This is especially important if you’re relying on an income-driven repayment plan or working toward a student loan forgiveness program. Public Service Loan Forgiveness, for instance, requires 120 payments on an income-driven plan. Make sure your loans are still on the appropriate repayment plan so that you don’t lose any progress toward PSLF. As discussed, borrowers on autopay may also have to enroll in automatic payments again.Don’t assume your automatic payments are still processing, or you could end up accidentally missing bills and see your loans go into delinquency or default

Can a Private Lender Transfer My Student Loans?

Private lenders can transfer your student loans to new loan servicers. This might occur if your private lender switches to a new servicing partner or goes out of business. For instance, Wells Fargo stopped originating student loans in 2021, and its outstanding loans were transferred to Firstmark Services. Your student loan servicer might also change if you refinance student loans with a new lender. Student loan refinancing involves replacing one or more of your current loans with a new one. If you refinance with a new lender, you’ll also likely get a new loan servicer for your refinanced student loan.Refinancing can lead to a lower interest rate, but be cautious about refinancing federal student loans. If you refinance federal student loans, you turn them private and thus lose eligibility for federal repayment plans, forgiveness programs, and other benefits. 

Can I Change My Student Loan Servicer?

If you’ve had frustrating experiences with your current student loan servicer, you might be wondering if you can switch to a new one. Unfortunately, you usually don’t get to choose your loan servicer — it’s assigned to you. There is one exception, though. If you consolidate your federal student loans with a Direct consolidation loan, you’ll typically get to choose a new loan servicer from among the Department of Education’s loan servicing partners. If your loan servicer has been misleading or done something egregious, you can also submit a complaint with proof of your claim to the Department of Education. Refinancing your student loans can also result in a new lender and loan servicer. However, you’ll be assigned whichever loan servicer works with your new lender, rather than getting to choose your own. 

The Takeaway

With all the goings-on in the world of federal student loans, you might be wondering why your student loan servicer keeps changing. These student loan servicing changes can certainly be confusing to borrowers, especially if your automatic payments are interrupted. The best way to protect yourself is to update your phone number, email, and address with your loan servicer so you don’t miss any important messages. Sign into your accounts regularly to see if any changes have occurred.Staying on top of who your loan servicer is and how to contact them will help you stay on track as you pay off your student loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was my student loan servicer changed?
What happens when my student loan servicer changes?
How do I find my new student loan servicer?
Photo credit: iStock/AaronAmat

About the Author

Rebecca Safier

Rebecca Safier

Rebecca Safier has nearly a decade of experience writing about personal finance. Formerly a senior writer with LendingTree and Student Loan Hero, she specializes in student loans, financial aid, and personal loans. She is certified as a student loan counselor with the National Association of Certified Credit Counselors (NACCC).
Share this article: